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Making the Case for Your Next Customer Education Hire

Written by Julia Borgini

Published on October 23, 2017

If your customer education team is regularly missing deadlines, never gets to the end of their To Do list, and is producing lower quality work because they're so overworked, it might be time for a new hire. Overworked employees are stressed employees, a combination that usually results in less productivity, increased loss time in sick days, and less profits for your company. A new hire (or two or three) will help alleviate the workload, boost morale among your existing customer education team, and help get your team back on track.

But before you can start interviewing people for that help, you have to convince upper management. They'll want to see a business case for that new hire that shows how an additional employee will lead to bigger profits. Here's how you can do that.

Step 1: Audit and quantify the team's workload

The first step to make the case you need to hire someone new for your team is proving how it will make your team's existing workload more efficient. Which means you've got to take a hard look at how you're working now and quantify the workload.

That means pulling together some numbers that will help convince upper management you need help. Calculate the work/time relationship for different areas of work your customer education (CE) team does. For example, ask your team how much time they spend on different tasks. Look at the team's workload and see how it is currently distributed.

This will help you identify your needs and show where you need to improve.

Step 2: Express your work in terms related to your organization's strategic direction

This part of the exercise will not only help you justify the new hire to upper management, but will also help your CE team see the value they bring to the organization as a whole. We can be so focused on our own work that we don't see or understand how what we're doing contributes to the organization.

When it comes to hiring new staff, CE leaders should engage their peers at the leadership level to get input and feedback on the organization's people management strategy. To make the request even more powerful, include financial metrics and information. Upper management wants to see concrete numbers when it comes to hiring.

Step 3: Focus on the revenue impact of a new hire

Time for more numbers, but not just the numbers of what it'll cost to hire a new CE staffer. Look at the costs each team member incurs during their workday (software licenses, communication costs, rent, hardware usage, training costs, etc.) Next, look at their schedules and see how much overtime they're booking and how many vacation/sick days they're taking because they're overworked. Finally, look at the revenue that each CE employee generates for the team, the department, and the organization overall. This can help you make the case for getting the help you need, since upper management likes to think in terms of overall revenue.

By identifying the critical workforce segment in your CE team that is contributing most to your organization and examine how you can engage, develop, and retain them with the proper support (like the help a new hire would give them).

Step 4: Ask for the help

The final step is to actually ask for the help. Often upper management has no idea how short-staffed you may be because you're still producing the same amount of work (or even more, as the case may be). One team I worked on had only five team members and we were able to produce hundreds of pieces of content for the department every quarter. But upper management had no idea of the volume of work we were doing until we asked for more help. When they finally saw that each member was working at 135% capacity all the time, they immediately agreed to the additional help.

Making the case for a new CE hire can take time and effort, but it can be worthwhile. It will help upper management move CE hiring initiatives from the cost column to the profit column, and you get the help your customer education team needs.


[Webinar] - Customer Education:

A Self-Perpetuating Marketing Strategy for Growth

To dive more deeply into this topic, we are hosting a webinar on October 31, 2017 to talk to Adam Avramescu about some of his work on using customer education for non-customers to improving marketing and sales results. We will talk about different examples for how you can use your education content to help your marketing team. Customer education as a marketing strategy might just be your way to position your team as a strategic part of growing your company. Join the webinar and ask your questions.

Get as much out of it as you can. Register now!

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