Over the years, we all experience many different positions in our careers. Some of us start right out of our University and others from a former employer but in all cases, with the right attitude and an evolving skill set, our performance can be recognized and consequently, our value increases as well as our responsibilities and compensation.

First, you may ask “What is the right attitude?” I define it by challenging oneself each and every day to learn more, work diligently as a team member to help the company to achieve its goals, and to identify new ideas to make a difference within the company. Do not leave this up to the bosses! They can articulate the strategy but the tactics to achieve the goals must come from the worker bees. Throughout our careers, all of us must consistently approach our jobs with great energy and a burning ambition to seek out new ways to either grow revenues, increase customer satisfaction, become more cost-effective, and to strengthen our risk profile. When addressing each of these tenets, approach them as if you were operating your own company. A corporate culture that allows its employees to challenge directions and ideas, values the opinions of others and recognizes that every idea warrants consideration. Of course, when challenging, it must be done in a respectful and gentle manner so as not to alienate others within the company. This is a fine line and one must learn to navigate through these waters. Let’s now look at the tenets individually.

A. Revenue Growth

What can I do to help in this regard? Foremost, it is important to understand the pain points of your existing and potential customers as well as their corporate objectives. Identify the problems that they are faced with as opposed to first developing solutions in search of a problem. You must walk in the shoes of the customer to better understand their business and their challenges and then suggest to them possible solutions. This is different than selling them your existing products and has the potential of introducing new products that can differentiate you from others that compete in your space. This approach, through innovation, can endear your firm to the client and produce new sources of revenue.

B. Customer Satisfaction

First and foremost, you must recognize that as employees we earn our compensation because we have satisfied clients and without them, there is no paycheck. Initiatives such as Six Sigma, CMMI, ITIL, Balanced Business Scorecards, and Service Level Agreements are all important frameworks that aid us to perform at a higher level and should be followed diligently to perform our duties right the first time and to avoid rework. It is also most important to listen to the voice of the customer instead of pontificating that our way is the best way. The client always knows their client’s needs and frustrations much better than us.

C. Cost Effectiveness

Quite simply, spend the company money as if it is your money. As individual consumers within our households, we normally evaluate the products before buying, we talk to others regarding their experience, we look for alternatives, we get multiple bids, and we negotiate all prices when applicable. These fundamentals should and must carry over to our corporate spending as well. Likewise, before we make an investment, we conduct our research and likewise, before making an investment for your company the proper due diligence must be conducted and internal policies followed to the letter.

D. Risk Management

Risk is prevalent in all that we do and it is our responsibility to understand the risks and to have processes and technology solutions in place to identify and mitigate them before they occur. Types of Risk include financial risk, operational risk, reputational risk, security risk and privacy. Each one of these can wipe out a company no matter their past performance. Having the proper testing algorithms in place is paramount but unfortunately, people are not robots and at times they take shortcuts and policies are not always followed. That is why procedures that have automated or manual checks and balances are most important. Having top-notch Risk Management, Audit, and Compliance Departments staffed by subject matter experts is without question most important but having intelligent and properly trained and diligent workers throughout an organization are paramount. Risk Management is unquestionably on the top of mind for all CEO’s. By better knowing our customers, we can help them mitigate their risk and create opportunities for our firm.

In conclusion, we cannot rely on LUCK to reach our personal and corporate goals. As we know, “Luck is the intersection of Preparation and Opportunity” so we must continuously learn and grow so, that we, our customers, and our corporation prosper and in that way, everybody wins. It is also very important to remember each and every day that “Yesterday is a canceled check, tomorrow is a promissory note, and today is the only day we may have, so spend it wisely”.

William Aimetti, Senior Advisor at GAVS

This article is reproduced from GAVS’ enGAge magazine, May 2018 edition.