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The key to providing reliable products and services

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Reliability is the hidden metric all businesses are based upon. Quality is a given—without a great product or service, nobody’s lining up at the door to begin with. But if you lack reliability—if you don’t deliver that quality again and again—those who were in your corner one day may not be the next.

Think of one of the biggest names in consumer goods: Amazon. When customers order a 5-star product through Amazon, they expect to receive what’s advertised. They also expect that item to arrive on time, every time—not once in a while.

When leading an organization, how do you provide more reliable products and services? How do you avoid costly delays, or worse—your customers walking out on you?

The answer isn’t just logistics; it involves your employees.

The role employees play in reliability

Think of all the various parts of a company. You have sales, marketing, finance, product, and service, among others. Given all the working parts, getting in sync can be difficult. Unaddressed, this can lead to breakdowns in communication, competing strategic goals, and business inefficiencies.

If the business isn’t operating at peak efficiency, there are bound to be bumps in the road. It can be as simple as a closed deal lost due to a communication blip between teams. Or it can be as far-reaching as a company initiative failing, resulting in weeks of wasted work hours. Regardless of the problem, they all stem from one thing: people. 

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In the case of Amazon, consider how its products and services tie back to its people. There are the quality assurance personnel who ensure 5-star products don’t dip to 4- or 3-star ones. Then there are those who operate Amazon’s truck fleet—ensuring items get where they need to go in a timely manner. These are but a few examples of the working pieces that must flow for production and services to run smoothly.

How to deliver more reliable products and services

If people are paramount to reliability, how do you leverage the former to maximize the latter?

One thing not to do is treat employees like expendable resources. It’s a common pitfall to think by cranking up the heat on “X” department, you can improve reliability. That may yield short-term results, but, in the long-term, it can cause burnout, disengagement, and turnover.

Rather, consider a more strategic approach—one that hinges not around people, but around people decisions.

All business decisions are ultimately people decisions. Who should we put on this team? Who should carry out this key initiative? At the end of the day, employees are the ones who execute the business strategy, implement the processes, and deliver the product or service.

That’s why it’s critical to treat employees as catalysts for reliability—not inhibitors of it. To address business inefficiencies and improve the customer experience, start by examining the makeup of your people—so you can then capitalize on their collective strengths.

A high performing team at PI

Optimize your talent to boost reliability.

Talent optimization is the discipline of aligning business strategy with people strategy to deliver business results. It’s a powerful framework—backed by science—that plays a pivotal role in shaping how people are leveraged in an organization.

Take hiring, for example. To optimize talent, managers and recruiters use people data—such as behavioral makeup and cognitive ability—to help inform hiring decisions. By relying on analytics, not gut, hiring managers increase the likelihood of placing the right people in the right roles.

Or consider the role of your current employees. A talent-optimized company uses behavioral data to measure team dynamics and assess existing job fit. If a like-minded team is hindered by a sole, opposing voice, a talent optimizer may determine that person is better suited on another team, in a different role.

The same approach applies when assessing reliability. If you use QA to ensure your products meet a certain threshold of quality, you’ll want to stack that team with highly detailed individuals that don’t mind repetitive workflows. Likewise, if your services hinge on human connection—like customer support—you’ll want a team that’s outgoing and people-oriented.

By filling teams with the people best suited for the tasks at hand, you load the dice in your favor. Even a company with rocky production and hit-or-miss services can become dependable—it just takes people insight and the desire for change.

Deliver high-quality experiences every time.

At the end of the day, customers will remember your organization based on the value it provided them. If you’re unable to replicate that success for each and every person who engages with your business, you leave a lot up in the air—from scalability to customer retention.

The PI Behavioral Assessment™ is a two-question, six-minute assessment designed to get at the heart of your employees’ workplace drives and needs. With behavioral data in hand, you can design high-performing teams—and boost reliability across all parts of the organization.

Through the power of people data, make reliability a quantifiable fixture of your business.

Join 10,000 companies solving the most complex people problems with PI.

Hire the right people, inspire their best work, design dream teams, and sustain engagement for the long haul.


David is a content writer and editor at PI. He loves Broadway and the Boston Celtics.

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