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One of the biggest asks that CX leaders (still) have to deal with to get executive commitment and engagement – and for the rest of the organization to feel that there’s meaningful impact as a result of changes being proposed/made – is showing ROI. One of the ways to start to do that and to get that adoption across the organization is to show some quick wins.

What are quick wins? Why are they important? What are some quick wins best practices? What’s the best way to communicate them?

What Are Quick Wins?

Let’s start where I always like to start… with definitions. What are quick wins?

Quick wins are small-scale, achievable accomplishments or improvements that can be implemented relatively quickly and with minimal resources. They’re typically targeted actions or strategies that are designed to deliver immediate benefits or results within a short time frame to demonstrate – or to act as – proof of concept.

Why Are Quick Wins Important?

Quick wins matter for several reasons, including the following.

  • Demonstrate progress: Quick wins provide visible evidence of progress toward larger goals or objectives. They help maintain momentum and keep stakeholders engaged and motivated by showing that (positive) change is happening.
  • Build confidence: When you demonstrate quick wins, they boost the confidence and morale of individuals and teams. They also build confidence in the work that you’re doing and the changes you’re making. Success breeds success, and quick wins create a sense of accomplishment and momentum that can inspire continued effort and dedication.
  • Gain commitment: Quick wins can help secure commitment from stakeholders, including leaders, employees, customers, investors, and partners. When people see tangible results early on, they’re more likely to support, adopt, and participate in larger initiatives or changes.
  • Address immediate concerns: Quick wins allow organizations to address immediate challenges or pain points as soon as they arise – possibly even proactively. By delivering timely solutions or improvements, organizations can enhance efficiency, productivity, and customer satisfaction while minimizing negative impacts.
  • Test and learn: Quick wins serve as opportunities to test hypotheses, experiment with new ideas, and gather valuable feedback. They enable organizations to learn from their experiences, refine strategies, and make informed decisions before committing significant resources to larger initiatives.
  • Drive continuous improvement: Emphasizing quick wins fosters a culture of continuous improvement. By encouraging small-scale innovations and celebrating incremental progress, organizations can adapt more effectively to changing circumstances and stay competitive in dynamic environments.
  • Manage change effectively: During periods of organizational change, quick wins help ease the transition and alleviate resistance by demonstrating the benefits of proposed changes early on. They provide tangible evidence that change is feasible and can lead to positive outcomes.

Ultimately, quick wins play a critical role in driving transformation or change success, fostering innovation, and sustaining momentum in various ways. By focusing on achievable short-term objectives and celebrating incremental victories, businesses can pave the way for long-term growth and success.

What Are Best Practices regarding Quick Wins?

To maximize their impact and ensure sustainable results, here are some best practices to consider when looking to create some quick wins.

  • Set clear objectives: I think we can all agree that you’ve got to start here: clearly define the goals and objectives you want to achieve with your quick wins. Make sure they align with broader strategic priorities and are measurable to track progress effectively.
  • Define success metrics: What does success look like? How will you measure it? What metrics would be appropriate?
  • Prioritize opportunities: Identify quick win opportunities based on their potential impact, feasibility, and alignment with organizational priorities. Focus on areas where small changes can yield significant benefits or address pressing needs.
  • Map stakeholders: Identify and interview key stakeholders. Conduct a stakeholder analysis to understand stakeholder engagement, needs, and influence.
  • Engage stakeholders: Involve relevant stakeholders early in the process to gain their insights, perspectives, and support. Collaborate closely with key stakeholders to ensure you will address their needs and concerns.
  • Keep it simple: Keep your quick wins initiative simple, focused, and achievable within a short time frame. Don’t over-complicate it or attempt to do too much, otherwise you could dilute your effort and hinder or slow down progress.
  • Iterate and learn: Treat quick wins as learning opportunities to gather feedback, assess results, and iterate on strategies. Be open to adjusting your approach based on insights and lessons learned.
  • Celebrate successes: This is a must. Recognize and celebrate achievements as you accomplish quick wins. Acknowledge the contributions of individuals and teams, and publicly celebrate milestones to reinforce positive behaviors and motivate further progress.
  • Communicate effectively: Be transparent, open, and consistent in your communications with stakeholders throughout the process. Keep them informed about objectives, progress, and outcomes, and address any concerns or questions proactively to maintain trust and engagement.
  • Stay focused on long-term goals: While quick wins are valuable for generating immediate results, it’s important to keep sight of long-term strategic objectives. Make sure that your quick wins initiatives align with broader organizational goals and contribute to sustainable growth and success over time. Don’t stray for the sake of the quick win.
  • Capture learnings: Document insights, best practices, and lessons learned from quick wins initiatives to inform future decision-making and replication efforts. Share what you’ve learned with others in the organization in support of their quick wins work.
  • Measure impact: Gather data and metrics to monitor outcomes and to identify the positive impact of these early successes, such as improved customer satisfaction, cost savings or efficiencies, and increased revenue. This – especially this – is what executives will look for when it comes to ROI.
How to Best Communicate and Celebrate Quick Wins?

When it comes to quick wins, communicating and celebrating them effectively is critical for gaining adoption and engagement, maintaining momentum, boosting morale, and reinforcing positive behaviors within teams and organizations. Here are some ways to communicate and celebrate quick wins:

  • Announce achievements: Share news about quick wins through various communication channels, such as team meetings, email updates, newsletters, or internal social media platforms. Highlight the accomplishments, the impact they’ve had, and the contributions of individuals or teams involved.
  • Use visuals: Create visual representations of quick wins, such as charts, graphs, or infographics, to illustrate progress and outcomes effectively. Visuals can help convey complex information in a compelling and easily understandable manner.
  • Recognize contributors: Acknowledge and celebrate the efforts of individuals or teams who contribute to the success of quick wins initiatives. Publicly recognize their contributions during meetings, through shout-outs in newsletters, or via dedicated recognition programs.
  • Host celebratory events: Organize special events or gatherings to celebrate major quick wins milestones. This could include team lunches, happy hours, or informal gatherings where team members can come together to celebrate their achievements and strengthen their camaraderie.
  • Share successes: Share stories and testimonials that showcase the impact of quick wins on individuals, teams, or the organization as a whole. Highlight real-life examples inspires others and reinforces the value of continued efforts.
  • Provide rewards: Reward or incentivize individuals or teams that achieve significant quick wins. This could include monetary bonuses, gift cards, extra time off, or other forms of recognition that align with your core values.
  • Create a wall of fame: Establish a “wall of fame” or digital showcase where you can highlight notable quick wins achievements. Or include them in your customer room. Displaying photos, quotes, interviews, or success stories in a prominent location can serve as a visual reminder of your accomplishments and inspire others to strive for excellence.
  • Encourage peer recognition: Foster a culture of peer recognition where team members can acknowledge and celebrate each other’s contributions to quick wins initiatives. Encourage peer-to-peer recognition through formal programs or informal gestures of appreciation.
  • Solicit feedback: Encourage open dialogue and reflection about quick wins achievements. Invite team members to share their thoughts, lessons learned, and ideas for further improvement during team meetings or through anonymous feedback channels.
  • Celebrate milestones: Celebrate progress at every stage of the work to achieve the quick win. Recognize incremental achievements to keep momentum high and to reinforce the importance of sustained effort and dedication.

That sounds like a lot. You don’t need to use all of those ideas; they’re suggestions that you can implement as needed and as you move through your quick wins initiative. Keep in mind that we want to keep it simple and “quick.” So time for communication and celebration along the way may be minimal, but it really is critical to success. Keeping people in the loop about the work that’s being done reassures them that the proposed changes aren’t just another “flavor of the month” initiative. That it’s real. That it’s happening with or without you. And that change can happen, and we’re doing it!

In Closing

Quick wins are an important way to get the commitment that you need for the changes that lie ahead. They can build the business case. They can garner adoption and engagement. And they will keep your colleagues interested and involved because they’re excited about the changes that lie ahead.

Little by little, a little becomes a lot. ~ Tanzanian proverb

ABOUT ANNETTE

Annette Franz is an internationally recognized customer experience thought leader, coach, speaker, and author. In 2019, she published her first book, Customer Understanding: Three Ways to Put the “Customer” in Customer Experience (and at the Heart of Your Business); it’s available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats. In 2022, she published her second book, Built to Win: Designing a Customer-Centric Culture That Drives Value for Your Business [Advantage|ForbesBooks], which is available to purchase on Amazon, Books A Million!, Target, Barnes & Noble, and thousands of other outlets around the world! Sign up for our newsletter for updates, insights, and other great content that you can use to up your EX and CX game.

Image courtesy of Pixabay.