I will start off by letting you know this is certainly not an original idea of mine but has served myself and teams I have worked with very well over a number of years. I like to work in teams that are empowered to make decisions to deliver excellent client experiences and outcomes. The way we achieve this is to ask ourselves 4 simple questions when we have to make a difficult decision. Those questions are;
Is it good for the Client?
Is it good for 3E Advantage?
Is it in line with our STRIVE values?
Is it something I am willing to be held accountable for?
If the answer is yes to the above 4 questions, don’t ask, just do it.
Now you need to replace 3E Advantage with your company name and the STRIVE values with your company values, provided they are the lived values of your team and not just a poster on the wall.
This is not a blank cheque to make risky decisions, as the person is prepared to be held accountable for their decision. They just need to know, with absolute confidence, that the team will support them if the decision was made with the right intent, based on the other three questions.
I can understand the risk averse thinking “what if their decisions cost us a lot of money” or “They must do everything by the policy and procedures manual so we can hold them accountable.” I would say that if you hire the right people and then empower them and entrust them to deliver client service excellence, then the outcomes will be extremely positive ones. What is it costing you in lost business through poor service if your team needs to wade through bureaucracy to deliver the outcomes your clients need? Hire smart, talented people and then focus on supporting them and not controlling them. If they have a passion for client service and have the right value system, then the risks are worth the rewards. I know I love working in an empowered environment.
This goes with another of my favourite quotes “delegate authority, not tasks”
Looking forward to developing decision making and better client experiences through an empowered team.
Author – Peter MacMillan