A strong client relationship is often viewed as the keystone of any successful project or business transaction. Corporate strategy is often shaped around the concept that the customer is always right and that you should never bite the hand that feeds you. While these ideals are often founded on years of first-hand experience, it is also true that the client-boss relationship is not necessarily the most important one to the long-term success of a team. Today’s article discusses another set of interactions that may very well upstage the customer.
The Importance of the Team
While the customer may always be right, they might not always be in need of your services. As such, it is increasingly important for managers to recognize that the internal relationships of a team are that much more important to the overall success of the business. The interactions among peers and between staff and managers are critical not only to the productivity of the group and quality of the deliverables or services provided but also to the long-term engagement and success of the business.
Clients come and go depending on their individual needs. The ability to land new clients and grow your business depends almost exclusively on the value assigned to the internal relationships of your employees. If they work well together and are able to leverage their positive work environment, you will see a marked uptick in sales and customer satisfaction. Without those positive relationships, you will lose many more clients than you might think.
Improving Employee Engagement
In a 2014 survey, it was discovered that employee peer-to-peer relationships were considered to be the most important factor in why a team member is willing to go the extra mile. The importance of teamwork and a positive group environment is clear. Staff members are more engaged and more motivated when their relationships and interactions with other co-workers are positive and supportive. In many cases, the peer-to-peer relationship is stronger than the supervisor to a worker, and that happiness improves employee engagement, drives motivation and builds the company up from the ground floor. Failing to recognize the importance of this can result in poor hiring choices, lack of employee investment in the work product and even higher turnover rates.
Hiring with the Team in Mind
Considering so much weight is assigned to the peer-to-peer relationship, it is a good idea for managers to keep team environment and culture in mind when going about hiring new staff. Seeking out candidates who are a good fit for the team in terms of company culture as well as their technical skills and qualifications will set you on the right path to building a collaborative and self-motivating group of employees. Consider including key members of the team in the interview process and asking for their feedback on whether certain applicants are suitable for the position. In the end, you have the final say – but taking their feedback into consideration will not only make your team feel more invested in the hire but also more committed to the success of the new team member.
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