Promises, promises

Early on in my career, I learned not to make promises that I could not keep.

Even now, I rarely use the phrase “I promise.”

This is partially because so much in any workplace is interconnected and dependant on other people. Making a promise that is not entirely within your own sphere of influence is not prudent.

That said, I have recently been thinking of branding and marketing from an organizational perspective.

To provide direction, one approach I would consider is asking yourself as an organization, what if anything would you promise to your clients and to your employees?

I did this exercise over a decade ago and depending on what industry you are in, your answers might be very different.

My own exercise focused more on the employee side as that was more in-line with my role and responsibilities.

From a customer side, the simple promise to be available to hear their feedback could be a good starting place.

And, if you get feedback through a transparent process, it is vital that you share back that feedback in a transparent process even if what you get back is critical.

The feedback might even feel like a punch in the stomach, yet that would mean your clients are being honest and that is something to build on.

From an employee side, in my perspective, two of the most important promises to make is to involve people in decisions that impact them directly.

And, that individual requests will always be considered individually.

Yes, you can have standardization, yet unique individual cases and scenarios should always get unique individual attention.

I realize some might think this could create a pandoras box type situation yet what I have found is that if you take a cookie-cutter approach to staff engagement and issues, you could lose trust.

If you lose trust, even the best strategy and sophisticated standardization won’t garner great results for the people or the organization.

To me, this is in-line with taking a humanistic approach to dealing with people issues.

On the surface, the exercise above is simple. In practice, it can not only be difficult to identify and consistently deliver, getting an agreed set of promises within your team might also be challenging.

Given this, it might be very necessary to make a few promises and ensure you have everything you need in place to deliver.