Each day, departmental factions negatively impact workplace productivity and profitability. Eventually, factions perpetuate subtle assumptions. Over time, assumptions become dogma and are hard-wired into decision-making that impacts how we deliver to customers. As a result, we continue to underserve colleagues as well as clients.
Departmental factions negatively impact customer experience.
The first way departmental factions negatively impact customer delivery is a version of: “This isn’t my problem.”
- Now, do we mean: “X always takes care of this. I am sure she is already on this issue.”
- Or do we mean: “This isn’t in my job description, so I’m not taking care of this.”
- Then again, there is this version: “Well, I hope someone is taking care of this. Guess we will find out soon enough.”
When we are not curious about whether an issue impacting customers is, in fact, being addressed, we are irresponsible. So, why not let customer-focused questions move us one millimeter outside our departmental confines and comfort levels? Consider that the richest customer delivery solutions often reside outside departmental boundaries.
The second way departmental factions impact customer delivery is some variation of: “I am not smart enough.”
Well, why not?
When companies hire limited-bandwidth workforces, lacking curiosity and critical-thinking skills, departments become fertile ground for self-defeating excuses. Instead of moving one millimeter beyond the confines of a departmental huddle, employees hunker down in similarity. Then, they are intimidated by legacy history, passed along by older managers. Rather than taking customer-focused action, the staff loyally participates in perpetuating departmental turf wars.
Finally, fear of professional intimidation by higher-pay grade knowledge workers from STEM disciplines can always be counted on to keep everyone firmly in their “places.”
I weigh in on this specific issue in my YouTube video. Click here to view.
The third way departmental factions impact customer delivery is the blame game.
The blame game is the aggregated result of factors one and two. Often, we know exactly whose responsibility it is to resolve a negative customer delivery issue: all of ours.
However, a cultural internal faction focus, fear of intimidation, professional complacency, or all three factors keep us comfortably uncollaborative.
How often does the customer finally alert us to a compromised relationship? And guess what is our all-too-predictable next step, in the eyes of that customer? Well, we make excuses and point fingers at someone else in another departmental faction. No wonder customers defect.
Realistically, today’s digitally transforming workplaces leave no room for Yesterday’s departmental factions.
Tomorrow, observe how many times colleagues fall into one of the three scenarios we discuss. Perhaps we, ourselves, are involved in various workplace factions?
The best way to set up customer defection is to fall short on service delivery quality. Unfortunately, departmental factions make members feel powerful in limiting the internal impact of others.
Is your own workplace consumed in continuously playing out someone else’s legacy feuds? Why not move one millimeter beyond a workplace of comfortable factions. Start serving those valuable customers better and better each day, moving forward.
Instead of continuing to limp along, take action! Move one millimeter beyond what is comfortable, towards what is Possible. Today. How?
- Hire me to speak or conduct a workshop at your next corporate or association event.
- Contact me. Let’s create a One Millimeter Mindset™ program that fits your needs.
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Babette Ten Haken’s One Millimeter Mindset™ speaking programs liberate organizations and associations from Yesterday’s Us vs. Them Mindset that keeps Today’s digitally-transforming workforces stuck: working at only half the capacity of What is Possible. One Millimeter Mindset catalyzes personal development and business growth to better serve Tomorrow’s customers. Babette’s professional speaker profile appears on the espeakers platform. Babette’s Playbook of collaboration hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com.
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