How to Inspire Your Team to Go The Extra Mile

How to Inspire Your Team to Go The Extra Mile

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What would your organization look like if you committed to regularly overdelivering to your stakeholders? Going the extra mile isn’t revolutionary by any means, but that doesn’t make it any less important.

Let’s look at how your organization can prioritize going above and beyond.

Defining Greatness

Over-delivering can be a great way to build up your reputation, increase satisfaction rates, and foster trust. But before you can reap these rewards, you must define what exceeding expectations looks like for your organization. The following questions should be answered before any sweeping “extra mile” policies are put in place.

  1. In what ways do we already commonly overdeliver, if any? In contrast, in what ways do we regularly come up short, if any? By understanding which areas you currently shine in versus those that could still use improvement, you can better direct your efforts for the greatest impact.
  2. What does it look like for your company to surpass expectations for customers? For employees? For community partners? Going the extra mile is not something to be reserved for just one group of stakeholders. It’s extraordinarily impactful to surpass expectations for those investing their time and lives in the organization.
  3. Where would additional organized efforts to consistently deliver more than required have the greatest overall impact on your company? Look for pain points within your various stakeholder relationships. Is there a group that clearly needs to be further nurtured? Perhaps this is the first place you can start over-delivering.

Prioritize Your Efforts

When I was brought on as the CEO of Nevada Donor Network (NDN), we were one of the country’s lowest-performing organ procurement organizations (OPO). One of the many reasons for this was our poor reputation among our professional healthcare networks. In short, many healthcare providers, transplant teams, and hospitals did not want to work with us because of our reputation for being a nightmare.

Don’t get me wrong. We were also under-delivering to other stakeholders, like our employees and community partners. However, I knew that being able to mend and nurture our relationships with transplant teams across the country would have the most impact on those individuals and families desperately awaiting life-saving transplants.

Of course, we eventually worked on rebuilding all stakeholder relationships. Still, we prioritized overhauling the way we worked with those who connect us to the individuals in desperate need we are responsible for serving.

Build (and Maintain) a Reputation of Exceeding Expectations

Transplants are usually complicated and critical situations. Our job as an OPO was to make the situation go more smoothly, and we were failing. Transplant teams didn’t want to work with us because we were known for providing inaccurate data and were slow to respond.

Trust was severely lacking, and due to our track record, healthcare providers simply didn’t want to expend resources based on the information we provided.

We asked our healthcare partners how we could help their teams and make the process more seamless. We looked for brutally honest feedback and owned our shortcomings completely. Now, we have systems that routinely over-deliver to our partners where we previously came up short.

End Results

These efforts have allowed NDN to rebuild our reputation as a trustworthy donation and transplantation partner and, more importantly, help as many people as possible.

We’re now known for being a top-tier OPO, but that didn’t happen overnight. We’re constantly looking for ways to go the extra mile while staying true to our commitments. Because of our lackluster past as an organization, we know that we must actively work to maintain the reputation that we’ve built over the years.

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