For most of us – me included – Amazon Prime is a game-changer. And forget about the perks like access to Prime Video, I’m just talking about two-day free shipping! Order something from your sofa on a Saturday afternoon and you’ll have it by Monday. It’s awesome.
It’s a funny thing though, as everything is getting faster – phones, internet, shipping – nothing ever seems to be fast enough.
Once we needed to hear the crackle and high pitch screams of a dial-up modem to go online. We’d wait for images to download and we thought it was great. Today we tap on our phones and if the app or webpage isn’t loaded in a nanosecond we get annoyed.
When Avantas embarks on a new relationship with a client, one of the questions we get most often is “When will we see an ROI?” This can be a tricky question to answer. Not how much return on investment will I see, but when. How fast? That seems to often be the main driver – immediate results.
While there is always low hanging fruit that can be harvested to see an initial ROI quickly, it is the long-term changes that will prove to be the most beneficial. Our most successful clients are ready for change, have the right leadership team in place (and are visible), and communicate why these projects are important.
Being transparent up front about the commitment and dedication it will take to make the project successful will help gain buy-in and set the expectation for timeframes and goals. Laying the proper groundwork for a successful project takes time up-front and is followed by conscious, continued effort to maintain those improvements.
Sometimes it is necessary to reframe the goal when presenting a new project from simply how long will this take, or how soon will this be done, to the more important question of why you are doing this in the first place. If you’re asking your organization to change or adopt new practices, policies, and technology, people are going to ask why. “What’s in it for me?” “What’s wrong with what we are doing now?” “What will change as a result?” People need to know “the why” of a project if it has any chance at all of being successful.
With workforce management initiatives, “the why” is usually tied to improving staff satisfaction, creating better work-life balance, improving staffing to provide better care, and yes, saving money.
Great things can take time. Great things that require people to achieve them always takes time.
You can’t implement better workforce management with a one-click purchase. You can’t do it with an app. Installing a new version of a software or buying something different won’t do the trick either. It takes work, buy-in, commitment to change, and the willingness to do all of this over three to five years. Yes, three to five years. Remember, there is always low-hanging fruit to provide quick wins to gain ROI and build momentum, but this is a journey, not a sprint.
Today we want everything now, or at least in two days with free shipping. There’s nothing wrong with that. There really isn’t. It’s great. It’s convenient. But, when the thing you are investing in is significant and enduring change, the question shouldn’t be, “How soon will we get our ROI?” It should be, “How committed are we to make this a success, to implement profound change, and earn an incredible ROI?”
Maybe this isn’t a great way to sell anything, and maybe that’s okay. It’s honest, and honesty is the perfect foundation for enduring and successful partnerships – the kind we have with our clients.