How to Use Six Sigma HR to Balance Employee and Customer Relations
We think that applying Six Sigma to any business can produce awesome results and better profits, but it isn’t implemented the right way all the time. It takes more than a Six Sigma Black belt to determine the correct action plan for applying Six Sigma. More often than not, the view most experts take are too myopic to see how the initiative can be applied to all facets of a company, not just the manufacturing process. Who would have thought that you could do Six sigma HR ?
We know that a lot of people who know about Six Sigma and who have experienced its implementation can easily say that Six Sigma HR is about automation and scripting. We say that they’re mistaken. Automation and scripting are merely possibly methods of implementation and are usually found in ‘Terminator HR’ or lacklustre customer relations.
What our Six Sigma HR consultants wants to do is just what any other Sigma initiative wants: eliminate defects and boost quality. This means that your employees are going to engage and delivery high-quality customer service that will form part of your client experience.
Six Sigma HR is all about engaging your employees so that they in turn engage your customers into being your own brand lovers. In a sense, this initiative wants you to treat your employees the same way you treat your customers. You have to create that relationship between the two parties that cultivates your brand. This means that you have to be fair, honest, reliable and courteous as manager or CEO.
To help you understand Six Sigma HR, here are five rules that can help in your implementation:
1. Manage your customer and employee experience simultaneously.
Employee and customer satisfaction are directly related. If your employees are dissatisfied, your customers will be able to pick that up from relating to them. Starbucks calls their staff ‘partners’ instead of employees and treats them as important parts of the company, giving them great incentives and opportunities. The company honors the best employees as Coffee Masters and provides for continuous learning. This is why your barista is always open and chatty to customers.
2. Feelings matter above all.
Although most purchase decisions are made through logical reasoning, emotion is what drives the desire to buy something in the first place. You can influence your customer’s emotions into buying more into your company or sharing the same passion you have for your brand with your employees. The minimum requirement for your staff is to satisfy customers—actually, we think that your product is meant to do that. What your staff must do is to make them feel important and that they matter. Although you as the CEO or manager want to value customers, it’s your employees who relate with them directly.
3. Create improvements on a case-to-case basis.
A singular approach to training your employees on delivering customer relations doesn’t work. You can always force-feed them company values, but you can’t expect them to embody these things without an individualized approach. This is where your best managers come in. They have to be able to balance someone’s personality to take away the defects that crop up and produce the positive engagement with the customer. In a sense, this is where you’ll be finding the bottlenecks in Six Sigma HR. Most of the time, difficult persons or people with personality problems cannot work in a company that adheres to Six Sigma HR.
4. Use metrics and scorecards.
There are a lot of tools available like the Six Sigma scorecard or the Complete Balanced Service Scorecard that give you great tools for measuring employee performance. Using a standard shows your staff that you want them judged and evaluated fairly on a good system.
5. Combine local action to produce organizational change.
Six Sigma HR isn’t going to hold steam for more than 18 months. Here, your clients get complacent and your customers are more or less completely engaged with your brand. But what you wanted to target from the start were behaviours and defects in relations. Use the momentum to infect all parts of your company and create a lasting Six Sigma HR culture.
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