Xerox Documents Success
NFC: What is the difference
between what Xerox is doing, for example with customer satisfaction, and
what other companies are doing?
Sanchez-Burruss: There are some things that are unique. I think
that one of the keys for Xerox is how it all fits together in our Xerox
Management Model. Its a holistic process so that its not just
a one-off program. How we look at our customers and how we understand whether
they are loyal or not has alot to do with business results and also our
So when we look at customer satisfaction and loyalty, we
are looking at employee satisfaction and business results at the same time.
Its not just one thing. Another key for success has really been our
senior leadership. Certain strategies work well bottoms-up and certain strategies
still do work well top-down. Our success in winning the Baldrige had a lot
to do with our senior leaders. They said, "This is where we want to
go. This is how we are going to get there.
NFC: The Xerox Management
Model includes goals and strategies, what company wouldn't be doing this?
Sanchez-Burruss: I think you are right. Most companies have strategic
plans, short and long-term goals. The part that is unique is the way the
Xerox Management Model works. Many processes and models look great on paper,
but don't work if you don't use them day in and day out. If you're not really
using them to run your business, then you can't get the full effects of
them. We've been using the Xerox Management Model for so long that it is
now part of our management system. We are truly using it to run the business.
NFC: What's been the challenge
in doing that?
Sanchez-Burruss: The challenge over the years has been in really
using it. It takes a disciplined approach to use it throughout the organization.
And then making sure that everyone in the organization is using the same
strategy, the same tools, the same management model to evaluate the business.
An example is the assessment process. And that's a major disciplineif
you don't do the assessment process then you can't get better.
NFC: Do you think all Xerox
employees understand this assessment process?
Sanchez-Burruss: No, I would say the majority of the managers definitely
do. It's really more of a management tool. It's how we run our business.
If you, as the Baldrige examiners did, go out and touch base with our employees,
I would say approximately 99 percent of our managers know about the Xerox
Management Model and understand it. But our frontline employees know it
exists. They know that they have annual objectives and they know how their
objectives fit in with their organizations objectives. And they also
have specific job responsibilities but they wouldn't approach it as the
Xerox Management Model.
NFC: One of the things that
you look at, in your employee satisfaction survey, is trust. What kinds
of questions measure trust from the employees perspective?
Sanchez-Burruss: There is a list of attributes that employees indicate
are the most important in their work environment. Trust comes up as a top
item that employees want to have in their environment.
NFC: What do you think people
mean when they say they want a trusting environment?
Sanchez-Burruss: It means that you can make a mistake. I think that's
the biggest one. One of the major planks to our Change Strategy is the fact
that we were becoming a learning organization. If we truly are a learning
organization, its OK to make mistakes and that's probably the biggest
test. Because if you made a mistake and your boss says, You're fired,
then you said, "Wait a minute, you told me I could make mistakes. I
thought I was empowered.
NFC: Xerox describes itself
as a learning organization. Many times that translates into training. Do
you see a learning organization going beyond training?
Sanchez-Burruss: We don't use training and learning organization
interchangeably. Training would be something you really need to know for
your job. You need to get trained on the mechanics of your job, that's not
going to change. But let's just take our managers for example. One of the
things all of our employees have been exposed to are the Covey Seven Habits.
Now that wasn't training, I didn't need that for my job necessarily. It
wasn't a skill, but it was learning.
We also have engaged with Peter Senge. One of the things
we took away from that was having dialogues. Its OK to
have a dialogue with someone. You're just talking and from that dialogue
you're learning something and that counts as learning. For example, we start
many meetings with a dialogue and we call it dimension sharing.
And we'll just think of a topic and, as a team, spend 30-45 minutes on a
dimension sharing topic. Now, when we first started doing this people were
just sitting going, Oh my gosh. This is just such a waste of time.
We could have been out of the meeting 45 minutes earlier. But when
you stick to it and you do it, at the end of the day you say, We are
a closer team, we know each other better, those dimension sharings were
fun and it's a way to bring fun into the business.
NFC: Xerox is noted for hiring
people with the ability to delight customers. Is there a litmus test for
Sanchez-Burruss: In the past we were looking at skill set only.
And now that has changed. We are really looking for people who are really
motivated to delight customers, be customer amazers. Because we think that
if they have that as part of their innate ability then all we need to do
is teach them the techniques. (This is one of the key attributes we look
for in a candidate.)
NFC: Xerox developed a process
called Taking Action. What is that?
Sanchez-Burruss: The Taking Action document is a tool.
Its designed to help a manager conduct a feedback session after the
employees have taken the employee satisfaction survey. We conduct the employee
satisfaction survey once a year. Four weeks after you take the survey, the
manager gets the feedback. The manager analyzes the feedback and uses the
Taking Action document to help take their employees through a feedback session.
No matter who you are, no matter how good a manager you are, you can always
find something to take action on.
NFC: Through this whole process,
what has been the biggest frustration for you? What keeps you up at night?
Sanchez-Burruss: You know that one is a difficult question for me.
I had a good survey. My concern, of course, is just to keep doing the good
things that I have been doing. If I were to expand your question I would
say it's the things that the employees are frustrated about that you as
the manager don't have control over.
NFC: Such as?
Sanchez-Burruss: Such as pay. Pay is always a big one. I don't think
we even ask it specifically anymore. We used to ask, Do you feel you
are fairly paid? Well, does anybody? No matter what, you want to
NFC: In terms of customer
satisfaction/loyalty, what are you struggling with?
Sanchez-Burruss: I would say that there are some really good programs
and techniques that we have. We have a culture that is empowered. The thing
that gets frustrating is the amount of change that each operation adds to
various programs. Employees say, "Well, in my operation we want it
this way." And a part of that, we do let happen because they are really
good improvements. Some of these programs have to be used or tried to have
the positive effects on your business. And I think a lot of times we don't
have the discipline and time to try a program, as is, before we change it.
NFC: Time is an issue, but
many times a reflection of, I don't see the value in it? If
there is real value in the process or procedure and it was really going
to help improve business, why wouldn't I use it?
Sanchez-Burruss: I think you're right. The problem is that some
of these things take time to show the value and we are part of a generation
that wants it now. If you can't show me the benefit today, then I am going
to put it lower in my priority. In this world of increased productivity,
you have to do more. And we are constantly challenging everybody at Xerox
to do more than they did the day beforethan they did last year. And
at some point you just continually prioritize. If you can only get to the
top two or three things and that particular program is number five, you
might not get there.
NFC: After winning the Baldrige,
what happens next? What are the next challenges?
Sanchez-Burruss: One of the things we are doing in the United States
is helping our local operations, if they would like to, apply for their
local state awards. So we are going to take it one step down organizationally
and then have them try to showcase what they are doing at their local operation
and compete for their state awards. I think its just a great idea because
its supporting and keeping Baldrige in front of us.
And the second thing we are doing is continually reflecting
back on the feedback that we got from Baldrige to help us make better decisions.
NFC: Xerox Business Services
has been recognized for its leadership in diversity. What have been the
challenges of that for the organization in terms of embracing diversity?
Has it been an easy task?
Sanchez-Burruss: I would say no, its not an easy task. Senior
management has to keep their eye on diversity and has to manage it all the
time. Its like any other business objective, you take your eye off
of ityou lose the focus. Its an ongoing challenge because right
when you think you got all the right numbers (if you are working from a
numbers standpoint) someone can get promoted. It has to be a part of your
overall management process and people development process.
NFC: But diversity as you
said is more than just a numbers game.
Sanchez-Burruss: It really is more than numbers. One aspect of diversity
is the Balanced Workforce targets and, as any organization, we have specific
numbers and targets because diversity is greater than ethnicity. It has
to do with your religious background, it has to do with the diversity of
thought, sexual orientation, etc. All of that comes under diversity and
as an organization we need to be sensitive and embrace everyone. This will
ultimately be our differentiator as a business.
NFC: And the payoff in that
for the business is?
Sanchez-Burruss: Well, it's a huge payoff because 1+1= 3. You know,
you will only be as good as the combination of all your people. I have a
small staff, but we will work on a project and before we go live with it,
we will go to our advisory board and ask them for input. You are going to
get a diverse group of people and a diverse group of ideas, but when we
are done we have such a better product than we would have had, had we just
thought of it as one team and put it out to the organization.
NFC: Well I think you make
a good point that diversity goes beyond ethnicity. It really becomes a value
of being able to embrace all kinds differences.
Sanchez-Burruss: It really has to become a value. The managers that
value diversity in the long run, win!
NFC: In terms of customer loyalty,
what's the one thing you would say, Don't take your eye off of this?
Sanchez-Burruss: I would say the number one thing that I would advocate
to any company is to train every employee on what you expect from them in
working with customers. Our Customer First strategy was communicated
to every employee.
So the number one thing I would say to another company
is: Communicate your strategy to every employee, establish a common language
and a common level of expectations around your customer first strategy.
Everyone needs to see themselves and understand their role in delivering
the Customer First Strategy.
NFC: What do you use for inspiration?
What are you reading?
Sanchez-Burruss: Oh, I read all the time. I just finished reading
"Conversations with God" which has had a major impact on my life
and I just loved it. I know it's a little controversial because I know some
people either love it or hate it.
And I'm listening to a business book on tape called Customer
Intimacy: Pick Your Partner, Shape Your Culture, Win Together, by
Im always reading something to ensure I stay positive
and focused so that I can maximize this lifetime.