When it comes to staying “young” as a company, it may seem counterintuitive to learn from companies that have been in business for a long time. However, by looking closely at the best practices of seasoned businesses, you’ll find what often makes them successful is consistent adherence to a core set of best practices. Following are a few ways you can make sure your business stays current and on the right track.
- Investing in Technology and R&D
Prioritizing investments in technology and R&D for innovation can have many benefits. First among these is helping your customers solve their greatest challenges. Customers value the ability to voice their opinions, and by integrating customer feedback into new product development efforts, your organization will be better positioned to sustain long-term customer satisfaction, loyalty, and valuable relationships.
Fostering a mindset of continuous improvement allows employees to identify areas of opportunity for innovation. Equip employees with top technologies and resources, enabling them to enhance your company’s processes and efficiencies.
Overall, your company will remain successful in introducing disruptive products and services when you offer key differentiators and unique value that clearly separate you from the competition. Connecting your brand and offerings with current topics, technologies and trends help your company remain relevant.
- Attracting / Retaining Talent
Employees are your company’s biggest asset and showing them you care will help you more successfully attract and retain top talent. Committing to, and valuing, ongoing professional development ensures your employees are up-to-date on knowledge and skills training and are engaged. Consider tuition reimbursement for continued education, encouraging your employees to dream big and simultaneously achieve professional and educational goals.
Show you care about employee well-being on and off the clock with a health and wellness program – and experience increased employee efficiency and productivity. A Quantum Workplace report showed that when employees believe their employer cares about their health and well-being, they are 38% more engaged, 28% more likely to recommend their workplace, and 18% more likely to go the extra mile for the organization.
Maintain a talent pipeline with a healthy internship program. When you give fresh minds insight into your business and your challenges, you gain their energy, ideas, and insight into potential future hiring opportunities.
- Keeping Focus on Customer Engagement
Customer engagement should be a priority across your entire organization, with everyone following the same true north. This can and should be achieved year-round by getting to know your customers better, actively listening to them, constantly asking questions and knowledgeably answering their questions. A customer event can be a great way to achieve these objectives and integrate with your overarching product strategy by soliciting invaluable feedback. Being customer-centric energizes employees when they understand the linkage between their job and the real end goal of the business—to serve customers.
Training presents another important opportunity for customer engagement, while potentially providing solutions to help customers address skills gaps. Education can and should be delivered in many forms—from manuals and hands-on classes to online and self-help—to meet the needs of diverse learners.
- Encouraging Diversity of Thought
Ideas can come from anywhere. However, by consciously cultivating diversity of thought, you can stimulate creativity. This can be done in a variety of ways. For example, consider different cultures, backgrounds, and personalities for new hires and develop collaborative, diverse project teams to contribute to new ideas and solutions.
This can also be done via reverse mentorship. Given the growth in technology, younger workers can teach mature employees new ways to solve problems and use the latest and greatest technology.
Finally, creating an environment where employees can be themselves will allow for thought diversity. It starts on the individual level before it is a culture. Visible leadership enhances this. Available, authentic executives who engage with employees at all levels helps create a culture of trust and respect while enhancing communication and collaboration.
Eric B. Luftig is a Vice President at Victaulic, which is celebrating 100 Years of Innovation in 2019. He leads a global team across a variety of departments and areas of focus. Eric is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a degree in Chemical Engineering and has a broad professional background having been in a variety of operational and commercial leadership roles.