Showing Appreciation Goes a Long Way

Showing Appreciation Goes a Long Way

20:20 01 October in Articles, Brand Reputation, Business, Customer Service, Engagement, HR Technology, Human Business, Innovation, Technology, Workplace
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Showing appreciation for what I have plays an important role in my life and business. I have the good fortune of working with great clients, wonderful vendor partners and dedicated and hardworking employees. These three groups have helped me to build a thriving business, and I am thankful for each and every one of them… every day. 

Being in business for over 30 years has been a labor of love, but it’s not always been easy. Like any organization, we had to figure out our workplace culture by watching and listening carefully to what was happening in and around our company. Learning about which skills and traits were a better culture fit took time, but I can happily and proudly say that we have one of the best workplace cultures I know. As I discussed in a recent interview, having a relaxed workplace makes people more productive and creative because the focus is not on constrictions, heavy-set rules, and inflexible corporate policies and procedures. By eliminating these walls and silos, our employees can explore, research and enjoy independent thinking that enables them to expose their personalities and use their creative skills to manage their work and client interactions.

Further, we want our employees to be happy and experience work-life balance, so we make every effort to support this. We have very talented people in our organization who are, also, successful outside of work. We have employees that run the gamut from being a published author, composer, pilot, two screenwriters, and two dedicated military reservists, as well as some who are recognized for being top-tier technical professionals within the Greater San Diego Area.

We learned a long time ago that it takes a village to get things done most effectively. In our case, we choose to remain in our lane, developing talent acquisition software and to focus on the things that we’re good at without the distraction of trying to be everything for everybody. Because we’re focused on being the best at one thing, it allows us to bring in, when appropriate, well-vetted product integration partners such as screening services and back-office solutions for example. These vendor partners can fill in the needs gap for clients by offering them best-in-breed solutions that perform in concert with our product and bring the additional functionality our clients need for their business.

We also learned that building great partnerships with our clients is the reason we have such wonderful relationships and at the foundation of these partnerships are solid lines of communication where information flows both ways. Having a genuine appreciation for our clients and understanding their unique business goals and working with them to achieve their business objectives is one of the factors that garnered us recognition by CIO magazine as a 2018 Top 25 HR Technology. This acknowledgment by the publication is not just for the excellent software we design it also encompasses our steadfast dedication to customer service and technical support after the sale. When companies purchase our software solution, they are acquiring our commitment to listening well, reacting to customer requests within a reasonable time period and creating a superior end-user experience that brings value to each customers’ unique business. We don’t perform our work or run our company with the hopes of being recognized at every juncture, but by doing the right things for the right reasons, the recognition follows, and for this, we’re humbled and honored to receive this 2018 distinction.

When interacting with prospects and clients, we have a rule of thumb that sets us apart. We don’t promise them things that we can’t deliver, and we don’t tell them they can have something we’re not prepared to do. This is indicative of our culture and ingrained in our way of doing business. Setting realistic expectations is the key to any successful relationship… nothing sours a partnership faster than empty promises. Over-promising and under-delivering are the kiss of death for any business.

Further, every company’s brand reputation is different, so understanding and working towards your organization’s mission, vision and values is a great way to reach your goals, and more so, to showcase your brand traits to prospects. So, identifying prospects whose motivations and visions align with and complement your own are essential for a great working relationship. This exercise in identifying viable prospects is very similar to evaluating cultural fit when sourcing job candidates. The need to reveal your authentic self is essential and further knowing that everyone is on the same page is critically important to the longevity of the working relationship.

As 2018 comes quickly to a close, it has been a great one for our organization. Some employees are assigned to new roles to help them realize their career potential; we retain the first six out of 10 original clients from over 30 years ago; CIO magazine recognized us as an outstanding software developer and included us on the Top 25 List for 2018. Listening well, learning at every turn, and strengthening communications with everyone who comes into contact with our organization remains a top priority. And last but not least, this focus is never forgotten: True Partnerships Matter.

 

Photo courtesy of Bernard Spragg.

Doug Coull

dfc@aps2k.com

Doug Coull is the founder and CEO of APS, Inc., maker of SmartSearch talent acquisition and staffing management software. Doug founded APS in 1986 after a successful management career in the contract engineering industry. Under Doug’s leadership and unique perspective on the development and user adoption of software and technology, APS pioneered the resume scanning based system as a new approach to digital candidate management. In the ensuing years, APS continues to reign as one of the industry’s most innovative software developers in the field of HR technology. APS currently services customers on five continents, serving both corporate human resources, as well as the staffing industry. Doug attended Augustana College and the University of Minnesota. He’s the father of two sons and is an avid automobile enthusiast. Doug lives in North San Diego County, California.

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