Case Study #1 –
This client is a business located in or within 50 miles of the Des Moines metropolitan area. It is a professional business with just under a dozen employees that has a number of repeat customers (as well as new customers) for the services and products they offer. Over the last several years the number of customers has remained fairly static. The owner contacted Alan Feirer of Group Dynamic about a desire to help make the business a more fun place to work and to provide better service to their customers. During these preliminary discussions, the owner committed to one full year of services, and ways to measure results were discussed.
The first step was to complete a 360 evaluation with the owner to find gaps in his leadership performance. Once those were determined, he did a Work Expectations assessment to find out what employees wanted out of the work environment. From that, he was able to do a gap analysis to determine what employees wanted that was not currently available. This list was prioritized based on the assessment results, group discussion, and training conversations. As part of this, he noted employees reported it was a good place to work and they enjoyed it. Interestingly, while they were satisfied with the amount of praise they received, they felt there was a need for more structure and communication, improved recognition of contributions, and a better work environment. To address these, Alan led the business in several areas:
- DiSC communications training.
- Disseminating job descriptions.
- Recommended changes to recognize the employees’ professionalism.
- Recommended changes to improve the experience customers and employees had with the business.
With Alan’s assistance, the business owner set two goals –
- To make this business the provider of choice for the area.
- To make the owner the employer of choice within the area for this type of business.
A number of office issues were addressed. One of the more delicate ones was an office problem the employees reported. It was described in generic terms but, in time, Alan was able to identify that it flowed from one employee. After discussing that with the owner, the owner observed some behaviors from that employee that were hurting the work environment. He addressed that with the employee and coached her on how to handle things differently. While the situation greatly improved, the employee ultimately reported that she realized it was not a good match, and tendered her resignation. The employer reported it was a very amicable parting and the employee feels good about her time at this business.
Alan also provided customer service training to all staff. Because there are four different job functions in the organization, he met with two employees at a time, depending on job function, and customized the training. In addition, he provided phone training to reception personnel on a research-based method to keep calls shorter while also getting more potential customers in the door.
Another issue was related to jobs that were not getting done. With information from the DiSC profiles and the Work Expectations training, as well as meetings with staff members, Alan helped the employer identify an employee who was willing to take on more responsibility. The employee has added these tasks to her job description; the owner reports that she is doing an excellent job.
Alan further suggested that the employer needed to schedule regular meetings with the employees. In the past these happened sporadically. Now, they are done regularly and provide a chance to share concerns and ideas for improvement.
Based on additional findings, the owner decided to develop a process to improve marketing and customer retention. Alan did staff sales training based on the DiSC profile. As a result of this, the employees and the owner have begun regularly mentioning other ideas as a service to their customers. In the past, they were reluctant to do so. This has increased sales and bottom line profitability.
Because of Alan’s recommendations, consultation, training, and coaching, the owner of the business reported:
- The working environment is much improved.
- There is increased morale and pride because staff appreciate this investment in their development.
- He is aware of his employees’ work styles and personalities and treats them according to their needs.
- His employees are now proactively talking to their customers about their specific needs and recommending appropriate products and services.
- They are selling more now than in the past.
- They have a process in place to add and keep new customers.
The improvement in their bottom line will be enough to pay for the fees charged by Group Dynamic. There are indications that those increases will continue well into the future.
In conclusion, the owner said his business had been stagnant. With help from Alan Feirer, they have changed the business model, have improved the work environment, have brought business practices up to date, and have improved the bottom line.