How to Make Yourself Invaluable
to the Company You Work For
(ARA) – Feel trapped in a dead-end job and looking for a way out?
Maybe you don’t need a way out, but a way up.
“Employees who look for creative ways to ‘add
value’ for the customer are the ones who become successful,” says
Howard Hyden, president of the Center for Customer Focus in Colorado
Springs, Colo. Hyden is an expert on improving competitive advantage
through customer focus. He travels the country educating companies
on what it takes to set them apart from the competition.
He says companies that want to be successful must
encourage their employees to come up with innovative ways to focus
on the customer. “I can think of dozens of companies where this
concept has worked,” says Hyden.
Perhaps one of Hyden’s best examples comes from a
gas station in California. The station is located near a business
district so a good majority of its customers are professionals. “One
day, a mechanic who works in the station garage overheard a customer
complaining about how she hated having the smell of petroleum on her
hands all day. He suggested to management that they make surgical
gloves available to their customers,” says Hyden. That simple idea
has boosted business tenfold. People now line up to pump gas at this
station because it found a creative way to solve the problem of
smelling like a refinery after pumping your own gas.
“Think that example’s good, here are some others
generated at some of my workshops: a limousine driver who now makes
sure he has a leash, water dish and bag of dog biscuits waiting when
he arrives at the airport to pick up a customer he knows is
traveling with a dog. And there’s a bus boy at a Florida restaurant
who came up with the idea to track uneaten food items instead of
what people order off the menu to figure out items the customers
didn’t like. Employees who think outside the box make themselves
invaluable, and well deserving of promotions and raises,” says Hyden.
Coming up with ideas that will benefit the
customer isn’t the only way employees can get themselves recognized.
Hyden says earning a reputation as someone who puts the needs of the
customer before their own also looks good. So be the person who is
willing to stay late to complete a last minute order, and who, when
handling an angry customer, takes the attitude that the customer is
right, no matter what. Helping your company earn a reputation as one
that puts the customer’s needs first will make you invaluable.
“I don’t care what kind of business you’re in.
The key to success for any employee is to look at the business
through the eyes of the customer and constantly look for creative
ways to add value,” says Hyden. “Once you can achieve that,
everything else will just fall into place.”
Hyden tells people who attend his seminars they
need to find ways to add value or stay home. “The employees get
energized and find it fun when they can create ways for their
company to win in the market place. Many employees feel the grass is
greener on the other side of the hill, so they think they need to
look for a new job to be successfu1,” says Hyden. “Well guess what,
the grass is not greener on the other side of the hill. The grass is
greener where you water it!”
To learn more about Hyden’s strategy for setting
yourself apart from your co-workers, log onto
Courtesy of ARA Content