Efficient employees drive profits

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One of the most common questions I hear is, “how do I increase my revenues?” The obvious answer is to ramp up sales – but, it isn’t the only answer. Each and every member of your workforce is also an agent to profitability growth, not just sales people, and they need to understand and believe this.

Employee efficiencies are the backbone of any business. When there are roadblocks, you question efficiencies, but if all is running smoothly, they tend to continue at the same pace, uninterrupted. Delve a little deeper, however, and you will see that enhancing these efficiencies is the key to turning a profitable business into a really great performer. This is the trigger for the Lead2Cash program, which I’ve just rolled out in Orange Business Services Russia. It is designed to instill an understanding of business in employees outside sales. I believe it will spur teamship and contribute to profit increases across the region.

The road to increased efficiency

Each and every company, regardless of country, language or culture, starts out with a lead and basically ends up with money in the bank.

This business lifeline, from finding a customer lead to receiving payment, can really take a very long time, especially when it comes to large and complex deals. With this comes high variability in the length and efficiency of processes. Often it is complex and drawn out for no apparent reasons.

But if every department outside sales could work just one day faster on each deal in the pipeline, the revenue growth could increase by an astonishing 30 percent. That is simply down to boosting efficiencies. Invoices issued in three days as opposed to four, contracts drawn up by the legal department in five not six days, and so forth. No extra employees hired or new products to sell.

People are a company’s greatest asset

A successful business needs a good idea – but the success of the idea is very much dependent on its people. This means that each and every individual is an important part of the jigsaw and can in some way influence the direction of the enterprise.

True, processes must be fine-tuned to achieve the greatest efficiencies in terms of employee performance and output. But, ultimately it is people who dictate these efficiencies. This is why you will find that successful businesses actively encourage innovation and continuous self-improvement.

Ask around your department, though, and you will undoubtedly find people who don’t feel they have any impact on the route the enterprise is taking. These people need to be reassured that everyone in the company is valued and that they, not just sales people, contribute directly to the enterprise’s success and growth. They need to understand that their efficiencies matter. This easy lesson helps to bring teams closer together and creates a positive company spirit, which underscores our Lead2Cash program. A recent report, by Salesforce, for example revealed that employees who feel their voice is being heard are almost five times more likely to feel empowered to do their best work.

What is the incentive for employees here you may well ask. Higher profitability can mean salary increases, better bonuses, a secure future and greater access to training, for example, or in short: a future.

Human resources are, of course, instrumental in engaging employees to move the enterprise forward. We have a number of Centers of Excellence (CoEs), including maritime and the Internet of Things (IoT), for example. Two-thirds of people who contribute to these CoEs provide input because they want to – it doesn’t link to their daily jobs. But they know their feedback is highly valued and important in terms of innovation.

Creating trusted ties with employees

Energizing employee efficiencies around growth can be a game changer. Helping employees understand how their actions can actually impact the financial success of the company they work for can make for smarter, more informed decision making at all levels – and a buoyant bottom line.

This, essentially, is the methodology behind Lead2Cash, and I look forward to keeping you updated on how the program is progressing.

Richard Van Wageningen

Richard van Wageningen was appointed CEO of Orange Business Services in Russia and CIS by the Board of directors in September, 2013. Starting January 2017, he was appointed as head of newly formed IMEAR (Indirect, Middle East, Africa and Russia) macro region, while retaining his previous position.

Richard van Wageningen brings extensive leadership experience in both the IT and telecommunications industries – both in services and equipment manufacturing companies. Having started his career with AT&T in Russia, Richard assumed leading positions in Lucent Technologies in Saudi Arabia, Portugal and the Netherlands.

Richard returned to Russia in 2005 to head the Russian operations of British Telecom. From 2010, Richard van Wageningen led Linxdatacenter in Russia as CEO. Richard graduated from Groningen State Polytechnics, the Netherlands and the University of North Carolina, USA. Richard has lived in Russia for more than 10 years and speaks fluent Russian.