Corporate Strategy and People – Achieving Balance Between Staff and Customers

Regardless of industry or size, having a concrete strategy is non-negotiable for any business. This is the bedrock of a business’ short and long-term activities, and provides a framework for all stakeholders involved. Who you are, what you want to achieve and the steps required to get there are best defined and detailed in your overall strategy document.

For large organisations, strategy extends to several levels and is a much more elaborate conversation than that of a small business. From corporate to business to functional level strategies, there is much to account for from an executive and operational perspective. The fundamentals, however, are the same. As a manager working within the financial sector, I’m cognisant of how important synergy is across all facets of this business. Working within silos is simply not an option. It’s further compounded by an ever-changing landscape, one that I mentioned in a previous blog:

Historically, banks have operated within a system of hierarchical constraints, tight regulations and technological limitations. But advancements in both computing and telecommunications, and the need for more authentic personalization have paved the way for increased flexibility and streamlined problem solving.”

Personalisation, in particular, is a salient factor both internally with your employees and externally with your customers. Both are significant inclusions in a corporate strategy. Regarding the former, when allocating resources, an organisation should focus on identifying its core competencies, establishing pragmatic talent acquisition and placing leaders in essential positions throughout the business. In other words, “Championing an organisation that brings people together with genuine intent is a long-term managerial mindset that demands continuous learning.”

As for the latter, having such a focal point on your staff is directly correlated to your customer relations. More so within a predominantly face-to-face environment at a financial institution. It’s the basic concept of what you sow is what you reap. When an employer cultivates a culture of open communication, trust, education and recognition, employees are better equipped for their day-to-day obligations.

Your customers then stand to benefit from said culture. Developing and nurturing relationships with them is indispensable for positive customer retention, increasing loyalty and maintaining satisfaction in the long-run. That flow of communication between employee and customer is a pivotal balance within a business’ micro-environment. Employees who are able to exercise their skill-sets and contribute meaningfully to the processes they work with will ultimately thrive. In turn, having both reactive responses to customer issues, and proactive solutions that preempt future questions is as strategic as it is invaluable.

Strategies, by their very nature, are dynamic. As the world advances, so too does the way industries grow and evolve. Banks are not dissimilar in that regard. Banking models are becoming quite tech-savvy and niche-focussed in their goals. Reliability, convenience and service are increasingly integrated into the customer experience across all touch points. As these shifts happen, so too should an organisation’s understanding of its strategy and the direction it wants to go. And remembering that people, employees and customers alike, help steer the business accordingly will ensure that strategy is created with more than profits in mind.

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