Who is your competition?

I mean YOUR competition, not your company’s. Who stands in the way of you getting your best work done? Who stands in the way of YOU achieving YOUR goals? If you work in a support function, in many cases it is your very own customers.

Hear me out here….

What is competition really? Is it not just someone or something competing for your services? If you own a McDonalds and there is a Burger King right next to you, that Burger King is your competition. Your customers have a choice, right? Let’s say that they prefer McDonalds to Burger King, if your customer service leaves something to be desired, they may decide they like Burger King better.  

How is this different from whatever services you offer your (internal) customers? What happens if your customer decides that it is just easier to go it alone than to call you because you are a pain in the rump to deal with even though they know you are the subject matter expert. You are now competing with your customer…

So, what is the alternative? You make it so that working with you is not only the best option, but the only option. Not just because you the expert and have years of training and experience, but also because you make it easier for your customer to work with you than to go at it alone.

I am telling you this because as HR people, we have a tendency to feel that if our customers don’t follow our advice, something really bad is going to happen – like they will get sued, and lose, and get fired, and THEN they will be sorry they didn’t listen to us! You laugh (or maybe not – perhaps I am the only one who thought that was funny), but it is not that far off the mark. Of course I am speaking from an HR vantage point, but it goes for just about anyone who provides a service to the business. Maybe the outcome isn’t getting sued, but everyone has some kind of worse case scenario, but what happens when the worse-case doesn’t happen? You lose credibility.  

Of course the flip could happen and the worse case could happen and the manager gets sued, loses and gets fired. The problem is, the company got sued as well and at the end of the day your responsibility is to it and its employees.

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