Proactive vs Reactive Business Practices

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Proactive vs Reactive Business Practices

Being proactive is the art and science of designing a reaction to a situation that has yet to occur. Proactive individuals strategically anticipate problems, complications, unforeseen circumstances and seek to develop a contingency plan for these scenarios. These leaders take the time to see the possible obstacles on their roadmap to success. Today we’ll look at proactive versus reactive business practices.
Maintain the Advantage
Proactive organizations maintain an advantage over their competitors by taking the initiative during the planning and preparation stage. Proactive teams build space into the project planning timeline to strategize for failure. Preparing for a piece of equipment to go down, anticipating a critical software failure, or projecting a change in public opinion is key to risk management and successful contingency planning. Reactive companies, on the other hand, scramble to respond to shifts in the industry. They go into project planning ill-equipped to deal with the unexpected and often function in a crisis mode. Reactive organizations are often fighting to create a workaround for issues or struggling to keep a project on the correct timeline. This heightens stress and leaves employees feeling insecure.
Improved Customer Experience
Proactive organizations position themselves to continually move toward better customer service. They apply a strategy that will assist them in achieving their customer satisfaction goals. A hotel manager might have staff check guest satisfaction by asking how their stay is or whether they are in need of anything. This question can be asked unobtrusively as the guest passes through the lobby. An independent contractor can keep an updated list of previous customers who have given permission to be used as references. In this way, the list is handy and accessible when a potential client requests references. Reactive businesses are often found waiting to respond to a complaint from a guest or request for information. The time required to develop an appropriate response to such inquiries can be the difference in a repeat customer or a negative review.
Employee Relations
Proactive companies utilize the depth of their talent pool to create and implement positive processes and procedures. Leveraging suggestions, communicating expectations clearly and inviting feedback keeps proactive companies relevant to both their clients and employees. Like clients, 21st Century employees are exposed to diverse training and experience, they may well have an innovative idea that will move the company forward. Traditional top-down management issuing outdated protocols can undermine the ingenuity of core personnel. A constant feeling of not being heard by management, being bogged down with fighting fires, and not having an appropriate response to complaints from customers can eventually lead to a high employee turnover rate.
Admittedly, creating a contingency plan for every single issue that might possibly occur is not only unrealistic, but also time-consuming. Nevertheless, preparing for as many issues as may arise provides the business with an added sense of confidence when executing on the plan. Give your business a better chance of success by taking a proactive approach to your business strategies, human resources department, and project planning. Contact At Your Service Consulting for more on ideas on how to create a proactive environment in your organization.


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Employee Development: It’s Worth Your Time (and Money)

Professional development training provides a three-fold benefit for your company. First, it can work as an added benefit for hourly employees examining the pros of working for your business. Second, it creates a pool of in-house talent when promotions become available. Third, professional development is an employee retention tool that should not be overlooked.

Training opportunities attract motivated, career oriented candidates to your organization. A culture of ongoing learning serves as an added benefit for hourly employees whose benefits package differs from that of salaried employees. The opportunity to receive training, attend seminars, or offset the cost of additional education is a positive factor for candidates seeking to grow professionally. Including your company’s commitment to employee development in job postings and during interviews serves to highlight the value you place on employees. Making a commitment to their learning demonstrates your support of their career goals.

This support also comes in the form of employee advancement within the organization. In-house promotions create a culture of loyalty, decreases turnover rate, and improves the reputation of the company. Hiring from within lowers the loss of productivity and revenue associated with bringing in an outsider. Offering development training ensures that employees remain knowledgeable about their jobs and industry trends. A company that known for having knowledgeable, skilled, well-trained employees is an asset for clients. Your employees can be trusted to offer sound, reliable advice and excellent customer service. Providing opportunities for staff to take on added responsibility keeps them engaged over time.

In any economy, the option of a long-term career with prospects of advancement is a key to employee retention rate. Demonstrating value through offering tools for professional, and even personal, growth will cause employees to refer skilled peers for open positions strengthening your organization. Motivated employees require less supervision and form a strong workforce within any industry.

Employee development proactively prepares executive leadership for future growth and change. Are there current employees who are on track to becoming future senior managers? Investing in those individuals through training and development prepares your company to remain intact after the transition of current senior leaders and directors. Ongoing training reveals the strengths and weaknesses of each employee allowing managers to effectively build their teams. Executives can utilize this insight when considering the future leaders of the company.

Offering access to professional seminars, reimbursing for required licenses or paying a part of tuition costs are great ways to show employees that you care about their future. The financial cost of offering trainings will inevitably be offset by the return on investment gained from a loyal employee who can grow as your company grows. To increase retention, promote longevity, and decrease transition times support the career goals of employees. Investing in your employees is investing in your company. Valued employees are loyal employees.


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Continuing Education: A Strong Path to Customer & Employee Retention

“Education is the premise of progress.”

~ Former Secretary General of the U.Nsept-blog., Kofi Annan

Continuing education is important no matter what field of business you are in. If you aren’t at the cutting edge of business, you can’t position yourself as the “first to know”. Both you and your employees are better service providers when you’re able to stay knowledgeable about trends, policies, emerging tech, and advancements. B2B companies especially will benefit from having knowledge of various systems, methods, and means of fulfilling a customer’s request. This “Jack-of-all-trades” approach lends itself to strong service and higher customer satisfaction. That is not to say that you have to employ enough individuals to supply every need. Strategic partnerships are a great method of providing customers with the services they request, while remaining an integral resource for them. Rather, empower your employees to bring new ideas and methodologies to the table, research them to ensure they are viable solutions and in line with your corporate identity and then implement the solutions through partnerships with appropriate vendors. The idea is to provide real-time, appropriate resolutions to customer needs. The more often you can offer your customers the answer or an accurate referral, the better.

There are several ways that businesses can institute ongoing education options:

  1. Pay for work-related training courses;
  2. Education assistance programs;
  3. Reward graduates with appropriate promotions or raises;
  4. Available on-site training; or
  5. Assist with student loan payments.

As with any recommendation, there are pros and cons that should be weighted to determine which course of action is best for your organizational structure and goals. The key to choosing an appropriate education incentive program is to identify the long-term growth potential within your organization and what key roles a well-educated employee could fill. With so many striving for work-life balance, employees undertake additional education as a means to increase pay potential. If advancement within your organization is limited, educated employees will look elsewhere once they have advanced degrees.

Business owners who compensate their employees for continuing education practices show a higher employee retention rate. Encouraging personal growth while providing a benefit during or after the education is complete will encourage employees to pursue advanced degrees and remain with your organization afterward. Improved employee retention rates provide stability to your organization and a strong foundation for future growth. Encouraging the ongoing education of your employees will not only bring progress to your organization, but it may also have positive tax implications for both you and your employees.