Return and Report

Status Please!?!?

If you are struggling to encourage employees to provide you updates on their assignments, it may be time for some R&R!  No, we are not talking about rest and relaxation, although chances are high you may need some of that too.

Better Communication for Computer and Systems Support

Repetition makes reputation and reputation makes customers.

~ Elizabeth Arden

The Full Scoop

If you are struggling to incentivize employees to provide you updates on their assignments, it may be time for some R&R!  No, we are not talking about rest and relaxation, although chances are high you may need some of that too.

Running an IT Services business requires that one juggle countless assignments, tasks, and deliverables.  There are servers to patch, networks to monitor and backups to check.  No doubt your business has a lot of moving parts too.  We found that while IT Engineers and Technicians can really thrive fixing glitches with computers, servers and networks; they tend to not be as naturally gifted at client communication and project management.  Yes, you know what I am talking about.

Nothing is quite as frustrating as a client calling for an update on an issue, and management not having the answer or worse, understanding the frustration from a client’s perspective of having to reach out for an update.  Your clients have enough work on their hands, the last thing they want is to feel like they are managing you and your people.

A key performance metric we established early in our business was to keep clients updated through frequent communication.  If a client feels they must reach out for an update on an assignment or deliverable, that is a sign; and it is often a sign that communication was lacking.  There is nothing a client or manager appreciates more than someone who will take the initiative to not only accept an assignment, but then follows back up with you to provide an update on its status.  Nobody wants to feel like they are having to chase another person for an update.

Implementing a control and enforcing the principle to always “Return and Report”, can help ensure that employees understand the importance of providing updates to their clients, supervisor, or management, when a delegated assignment has been completed.  We have incorporated these principles into re-occurring team meetings, to stress the importance with our employee base on why reporting back on assignments given is so important.  Our management staff also provides R&R’s back to employees when they have questions for us.  The principle goes both ways, and if you believe leading by example is important too, it is critical to employ and exemplify the same principle when communicating with your staff.

Repetition through active discussion and leadership example has been an important aspect of this process for our team, and we have found it to be a key ingredient to learning.  Elizabeth Arden has been quoted as saying, “Repetition makes reputation and reputation makes customers.”  What reputation do you want to be known for by your customers?   To be credible you must deliver, and to deliver, your team and your clients need to be aware of the marvelous work you are doing.  That is hard to do if you do not strive to communicate updates back on client requests.

Employees will often assume that since a task is completed, the work is done; not true.  A task is only completed once you report back on the status to the individual who requested the work to be done in the first place.  Nothing is quite as frustrating as a client who believes work was not completed, when it in fact was completed and completed well.  As a good friend use to tell me, “If you don’t report it, it didn’t happen.”

This principle has brought us an enormous amount of good fortune and success, and we are confident as you establish “Return and Report” as a control principle for your business, it will bring you good fortune and success as well.