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How listening to staff can help HVAC manufacturers improve their competitive edge

How listening to staff can help HVAC manufacturers improve their competitive edge

03 Apr 23:00 by Jenni Moulson

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It won’t come as much of a surprise to hear that we spend most of our working day talking to people who want to leave their jobs. We’re recruiters after all.

What is surprising is the fact that most candidates tend to give the same old reasons for moving on and many of the problems they face are not only having an impact on staff retention but also on customer relationships.

We’ve often thought that if employers took time to gather feedback from employees about how they feel or where customer service and products could be improved they might be able to implement change before their best people walked out of the door – perhaps taking their best customers with them.

Here’s a fly on the wall insight into what disgruntled employees tell us when they come to us looking for a new challenge, and what HVAC manufacturers can learn to improve client and staff relations.

They’re not listening

One of the most common reasons given for work dissatisfaction is an employer who doesn’t appear interested in the views of its staff. An enthusiastic sales person who tries to pass on valuable feedback from a customer, only to have their initiative ignored, will inevitably feel undervalued and frustrated.

Companies who empower their employees to make a difference to the organisation reap the benefits on many levels. Apart from the value of the intelligence itself, it is highly motivating for employees to hear their boss ask if they think other companies are doing things better. Over time the culture of that business will change to one of continuous improvement with employees who have pride in their role.

They won’t miss me 

An employee who doesn’t feel valued – or even noticed – will have little reason to stay. Equally, someone who feels as if their contribution is making a real difference will be less likely to move on, even if they know they could be paid more elsewhere.

Candidates often tell us that they don’t feel part of the organisation they work for. Sadly, many organisations fail to recognise that their employees like to know how the company is doing, its values and ambitions and how they can make an impact. Organisations that operate a culture of openness and communication will be rewarded with loyal staff.

Their customers are always complaining 

An HVAC manufacturer’s sales staff will be at the front end of communication between the company and its customers. They will hear complaints and compliments alike and hopefully they will be encouraged to share this feedback. A manufacturer that fails to respond to customer feedback puts the sales person in a difficult position, leaving them powerless to improve that crucial relationship.

Good employers not only do the opposite, they take this concept a step further by actively seeking customer feedback through their sales teams: “Is there anything we could be doing better?” Customers love being asked and employees enjoy being part of a process that can make a real difference to important relationships.

The last word

Small changes in culture are simple to implement and can make a massive difference to profitability.

The only reason those changes are not being made is because the boss doesn’t know there’s an issue – even if his employees do!