As we enter 2017, planning to take advantage of the commercial opportunities ahead of us, how many of our businesses will take stock to ensure all our resources are effectively aligned and ready to deliver our market promise and potential?

The biggest resource cost and opportunity for many businesses is our employees, yet how many of us will be putting as much effort into practically harnessing this resource to deliver the financial and marketing plans for 2017?

Ensuring that employees have a clear and consistent understanding of the marketing promise that as a business we have invested significantly in espousing to our target audience, is not only an opportunity but can also become a competitive advantage. So many businesses fail to do this well. The result of this can be measured in how significant the gap is between the ‘promise’ we make to our consumers and how positively they view their experience of the actual service delivery. If your business views service delivery as a key to competitive advantage, this is an important consideration for you.

How can you set your employees up for success?

Fundamentally, ensuring that all employees understand how to simply ‘position’ the business to potential customers is a great place to start. I was asked by several employees of a Technology Services business recently, ‘What are we? Are we a Tech business or a Services business?’. The business positions itself as a Technology business that provides Support Services, however this basic positioning is clearly not understood internally.

Ensuring all employees understand the top business priorities, how these align to the main marketing messages and how their role is an important part of the service delivery process is also key. Employees like to feel they are doing ‘worthwhile’ work regardless of level and role.

To reinforce great service delivery, employee recognition in a way that fits your market and culture, is a great way to build a culture of alignment and helps to close that gap between the marketing promise and the service promise.