Purple Ink recently facilitated customer service training for one of our clients and during our training, we discussed how to make sure our clients’ customers were fans of their business by using the approach detailed in Ken Blanchard’s customer service book, “Raving Fans.“
It’s not often an employee is super jazzed about having a meeting with HR… Can HR departments have “raving fans” amongst their internal and external customers? If HR professionals approach their duties with their customers (current employees and potential employees) in mind, then I think they can.
When an employee needs our help, every interaction is valuable towards creating a good reputation for HR. The worst thing an HR professional can do is simply not respond. A good rule of thumb is to respond or resolve employee requests at least within one business day. If a resolution is going to take longer than that, then say so but at least the employee will know they have been heard.
For potential employees, recruiters and HR have the opportunity to create a first impression of the company. Make every effort to acknowledge each applicant. Send rejections in a timely manner and keep applicants informed about timelines of next steps in the hiring process.
To avoid getting stuck in a transactional HR role only doing new hire or termination paperwork, benefits enrollment, organizing parties, etc., think of ways to proactively improve the organization. Businesses are in a constant state of change, and policies and procedures should follow suit. Does your company have a valuable performance review process? When was the last time your employee manual was updated? Have you thought about adding some flexible workplace policies? How about your training and development process? Come up with strategies and ideas to add value, don’t get stuck.
It can be easy for managers, and HR, to have difficult conversations with employees but HR’s role in these situations should really be that of a partner or advisor to the manager. Instead of taking over and having those conversations, try working with the manager through role-playing or other techniques to empower them to have those conversations themselves. So often leadership development for managing employees’ performance doesn’t occur. HR can provide more value in teaching, than doing it on our own.
Overall, if HR professionals think about their role in terms of providing excellent service to their customers, we can be more likely to create fans and add value.