Building the business connection


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For GSETA 2011 Conference

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Building the business connection

  1. 1. <ul><li>Building the Business Connection </li></ul>
  2. 2. Seeing Ourselves Through the Eyes of Our Customers <ul><li>Accurate or not, perception is reality . </li></ul><ul><li>Has the history and past performance of the workforce system influenced what business thinks of us today? </li></ul><ul><li>Do they see a seamless, integrated One Stop system designed to meet the demands of business? </li></ul><ul><li>Do they see that we continually adapt and change the way we work with business? </li></ul>
  3. 3. Seeing Ourselves Through the Eyes of Our Customers <ul><li>Who does business think we are? </li></ul><ul><li>Who do they think we serve? </li></ul><ul><li>What do they think we are good at doing? </li></ul><ul><li>What makes us different from others providing similar services? </li></ul>
  4. 4. Seeing Ourselves Through the Eyes of Our Customers <ul><li>Who would we like to be known as? </li></ul><ul><li>What businesses would we like to serve? </li></ul><ul><li>What would we like to be good at doing? </li></ul><ul><li>What would make us different from others providing similar services? </li></ul>
  5. 5. Improving the Business Connection <ul><li>When serving business we need to . . . </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Be aware of the challenges our business customers face. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Relate our services to the solutions they need. </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. An Overall Strategy for Improving the Business Connection <ul><li>Study & understand the business environment. </li></ul><ul><li>Identify customers and identify their needs, expectations & preferences. </li></ul><ul><li>Analyze current product/service offerings. </li></ul><ul><li>Identify gaps between customer needs and current products or services. </li></ul><ul><li>Improve or create new product and service offerings. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Improving the Business Connection <ul><li>How well do we know the general business environment? </li></ul><ul><li>How well do we know our local business customers, both current and future? </li></ul><ul><li>How can we learn more? </li></ul>
  8. 8. Improving the Business Connection <ul><li>What issues affect businesses today? </li></ul><ul><li>Technology change & growth </li></ul><ul><li>Skills mismatches </li></ul><ul><li>Aging/retiring workforce </li></ul><ul><li>Immigration </li></ul><ul><li>Shift to the knowledge economy </li></ul><ul><li>Generational differences in the workforce </li></ul><ul><li>Globalization </li></ul><ul><li>Others . . . </li></ul>
  9. 9. Improving the Business Connection <ul><li>What issues affect the industries and businesses in our local community? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Changing sales volume or market share? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New products or services? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Changing workforce demographics? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Understaffed Human Resource functions? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New companies or industries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Others? </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Conduct an Environmental Scan <ul><li>Identify and discuss the issues, events, gaps, circumstances, etc. that affect the general business environment . </li></ul><ul><li>Identify the issues, events, gaps, circumstances, etc. that are affecting your local business community . </li></ul>
  11. 11. How Can We Educate Ourselves About Business Concerns? <ul><li>Local Business Community </li></ul><ul><li>Association and industry journals </li></ul><ul><li>Industry directories </li></ul><ul><li>Business section of newspaper </li></ul><ul><li>Feature articles and classified ads </li></ul><ul><li>Chambers of Commerce & economic development entities </li></ul><ul><li>Business and industry organizations </li></ul><ul><li>Trade shows, industry/association meetings </li></ul>
  12. 12. Learning More About Our Business Customers <ul><li>Focus groups </li></ul><ul><li>Customer interviews </li></ul><ul><li>Point of service customer feedback surveys </li></ul><ul><li>Exit surveys </li></ul><ul><li>Analysis of customer inquiries, comments and complaints </li></ul><ul><li>Shared information among staff, partner agencies </li></ul>
  13. 13. Service/Product Inventory <ul><ul><ul><li>What services/products do we offer now? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How well do the current products and services available to employers address the business needs and issues we just discussed? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Are there services needed but not offered? </li></ul></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Business Services should be… <ul><li>Comprehensive & System-wide </li></ul><ul><li>Consultative HR Services that address: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Information and research needs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recruitment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Retention </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Training </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Business growth </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Engaging key business sectors and local employers in program design </li></ul>
  15. 15. A Portfolio of Solutions <ul><li>Reduce recruitment costs and increase retention through screening and referral of job-ready candidates </li></ul><ul><li>Develop a more competitive workforce by connecting to customized training </li></ul><ul><li>Use real-time information about local wages and economic trends to inform your business decisions </li></ul><ul><li>Increase profitability through an analysis of available tax credits and business incentives </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  16. 16. Customer Relationship Management <ul><li>More than job development </li></ul><ul><li>Not just “selling “ product and services </li></ul><ul><li>Helping customers solve problems </li></ul><ul><li>Providing help even when there may be no immediate gain </li></ul><ul><li>Creates a long-term relationship </li></ul><ul><li>Builds credibility, confidence and trust </li></ul>
  17. 17. Customer Relationship Management <ul><li>Workforce systems with very active business services operations: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Have a passion for resolving the employer’s need. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Go to great lengths to find or develop the help needed. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Broker a wide array of business services, even when outside the scope of job matching and training. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Build partner relationships with other providers (public and private) who can provide needed services. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make it easy for customers to use their services! </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Lessons Learned <ul><li>In studies of local workforce areas, several successful key factors emerge in the design of business services: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Make business services a priority. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Embrace a “Never Say No” attitude. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unified team of account representatives. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Strategically choosing businesses to serve. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Involve customers in service design. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consider fee-supported services as part of service mix. </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Lessons Learned <ul><li>Develop knowledge base on key industries and businesses. </li></ul><ul><li>One-on-one relationships with business accounts. </li></ul><ul><li>Define your market niche in the community. </li></ul><ul><li>Solicit customer satisfaction feedback. </li></ul><ul><li>Use performance data to make changes. </li></ul><ul><li>Pay attention to what others are doing. </li></ul>
  20. 20. You Can’t Improve What You Don’t Measure <ul><li>Measures of Successful Performance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Customer Satisfaction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Numbers of new customers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Employer Awareness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Business Customer Retention </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Employee Retention Rate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Service cycle time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Retention of employees hired </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Market share/market penetration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Others? </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. You Can’t Improve What You Don’t Measure <ul><li>How do we know we are doing the right things and doing them well? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Measure performance at the One Stop Center level. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Document trends over time. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Measure processes as well as outcomes. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Differentiate results among industries and various sizes of employers. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask businesses what is most critical. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use a variety of touch points and methodologies to gather feedback. </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. You Never Get a Second Chance… To Make a First Impression <ul><li>In Person or By Phone: </li></ul><ul><li>Listen for indication of the needs of the employer. </li></ul><ul><li>Specific and descriptive language to describe business solutions. </li></ul><ul><li>Describe features, advantages, and benefits ( FAB’s ) -- Not services, programs, or funding sources. </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid acronyms & workforce jargon at all cost! </li></ul><ul><li>Professional appearance and manner, concise delivery. </li></ul><ul><li>Expedite service delivery. </li></ul>
  23. 23. You Never Get a Second Chance… To Make a First Impression <ul><li>Brochures, flyers, advertisements: </li></ul><ul><li>Know who your target audience is. </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on the audience, not on your agency. </li></ul><ul><li>Choose only key points to highlight the organization. </li></ul><ul><li>If there are other important elements, list them in simple bullet points or in a chart. </li></ul><ul><li>Define and focus on key benefits of using the service. Use “You get” language, not “We offer”. </li></ul><ul><li>Promote the benefits to business, not the features of the programs. </li></ul>
  24. 24. You Never Get a Second Chance… To Make a First Impression <ul><li>Brochures, flyers, advertisements: </li></ul><ul><li>Use customer quotes to demonstrate customer’s value & appreciation. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t cram everything in; make it easy on the eye by using plenty of blank/white space. </li></ul><ul><li>Use professional photographs to enhance the look-and-feel of the brochure. </li></ul><ul><li>Include a contact name, number, and website address. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t list every system partner. Businesses don’t care. </li></ul><ul><li>Use the language of your customers. Review brochures, ads and other marketing tools from local businesses to ensure compatible language. </li></ul>
  25. 25. Do these words speak “business”? <ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Dislocated </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>At-risk </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Case Manager </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Employer </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Job Order </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Support Services </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>What terms would be more “business-friendly”?
  26. 26. Challenges to consider - but not hold us back! <ul><li>Limited resources: Thousands of businesses for each Business Services Staff Person </li></ul><ul><li>Can’t be all things to all customers </li></ul><ul><li>Spread too thin without focus reduces effectiveness </li></ul><ul><li>Existing resources are divided among different organizations with different cultures and missions </li></ul>
  27. 27. <ul><ul><li>Carol Wargo </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Workforce Dimensions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>614-565-5902 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul></ul>Thank you for your participation!