Does Your Business Have A Favorable Verbal ROI?

Every Company likes to think that it hires the right people, with the right background and attempts to provide them with the right wages, benefits and training, so that the employee will be motivated and equipped to properly serve the business.

Unfortunately, the investment made in such individuals is not always reflected in their output or effectiveness.This disconnect is most apparent in an individual’s ability to persuasively articulate the employing organization’s services or products to 3rd parties (e.g. prospective clients, current clients, colleagues, vendors and competitors).

This vital dynamic can be thought of as a Company’s verbal return on investment or “Verbal ROI.”

I continue to be amazed at how even the brightest executives, professionals and HR leaders fail to properly recognize that the ability to speak in public, present and persuade are amongst the most crucial skills that any successful employee can have.

There are basically three (4) types of organizations:

  • “Show Me The Money”- These entities feel comfortable wearing blinders and continue to look solely at raw sales numbers as the measuring stick of competency and success, and do so, in the long run, to their own detriment.
  • “The Diet Starts Tomorrow”- These organizations, with enlightened leaders, recognize the importance of persuasive and articulate employees, but never seem to get around to paying for and providing the right type of training. 
  • “I Bought The Paint Set, Now Why Can’t Anyone Around Here Paint?”- These companies have actually spent the time and money to invest in its workers’ verbal skills, but only focus on the initial purchase and implementation, not the maintenance, monitoring and continual growth and development of its team (kind of like buying the diet book but without actually cutting the calories)
  • “Putting Our Money Where Your Mouth Is”- These businesses recognize that their associates are the face and mouth of their organization…and invest time, training and follow-up in the development of speaking skills.

    Simply stated, Verbal ROI is the actual return an organization gets from the initial and continuing investment in the development of its employees’ verbal skills.

    Think of it as an equation: Verbal ROI = (Human Capital Investment + Individual Education & Experience + Provided Training & Interaction Skills) X (External Productivity) divided by Opportunities For Success.

    Clearly, this isn’t your traditional matrices, but that’s why, in today’s business world, it works so well. Verbally adept employees have better meetings, conduct more effective interviews, and have greater success with sales pitches, conversations and client interactions.

    Today’s Tip: Businesses that truly invest in their associates’ verbal skills (speaking, presenting and persuading) will see a significant and dramatic ROI.

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