10 lessons I’ve learned at Hurtigruten
September, 2012 marks my third year at Hurtigruten, the longest tenure in my career. However, I will be leaving the company on 31st August to seek new ventures. Hurtigruten is an international brand with a multi-cultural workforce. Ive learned a lot, and this blog post will highlight the most important lessons I’ve learned.
1. Be Prepared
In October 2010 I was asked to present to our most important partners progress made at our reservation centre. Although I am not responsible for the operations at the reservation centre, it was a chance for me to meet our partners and present in front of more than 30 people, including management. I didn’t prepare and tried to read each point slide for slide. It was embarassing and I failed. From that point on, I always made sure that with each presentation I was fully prepared.
2. Know your data
Being E-commerce Manager, I’m expected to know the current online sales status. By reporting daily to myself on the previous days/ weeks sales, I was always up to date on how well we are performing online. Reporting to myself lead to my weekly report being distributed to senior management and the weekly report is now sent to more than 45 people each Monday. I became the online sales expert.
3. Stay consistent with meetings
When working internationally, people are always busy at different times of the day. Karl Philip Lund introduced bi-weekly global web meetings and for more than two years they became a priority for those working in the global web team. In these meetings, we shared updates and communicated with each other – Both important when we only meet in person once per year. Having consistency ensures it becomes prioritied and communication flows a lot easier.
4. Work hard – Always
There is no substitute for hard work and getting thing’s done. I’m fortunate as I enjoy my work but I made sure that I never became complacement. If someone wanted a job doing, I made myself available. Very few people actually do what they say they will, so it’s easy t become successful by doing what you say. Working hard helped me get to where I am today. I will continue working hard.
5. Respond to emails
A job description rarely includes „answering internal emails“, yet some of my colleagues at Hurtigruten receive more than 100 emails per day. This is roughly 40-50% of the work week reading and answering emails. My inbox is always at 0. I respond to emails immediately and add the task to my to-do list (to get done the same day). This could be due to my background as a customer service agent and response times but I try to answer emails within an 30 minutes, unless traveling. This improves communication and the sender knows they can reply on you. You don’t want to be the person „that never responds to emails“.
Being honest in work almost sounds like a given, yet it is surprising the amount of people who do things because they are told and do a poor job instead of being honest and being candid. A prime example is that I was not comfortable working with API. By being upfront, the role was give to a colleague who was interested in API. I am much more interested in online marketing and direct online sales. This is where I excel.
7. Let your team do what they want
I don’t mean let them run wild and abuse the freedom, but there are always 101 things to get done in anytime of department. By letting your team drive activities they are interested in, results will come. A good example if a former team member being interested in video editing. The end result was videos on the Hurtigruten websites, which when tested against pages that didn’t have video, we saw a 127% increase in initiated bookings. Another example is email marketing, which was lead by a former team member Nicole Simon implementing Silverpop, which is now being used two years later. Let them run full speed ahead and you will see great results.
8. Never stop learning
Each morning, I read the latest news and blog posts on online marketing and conversion rate optimization. I read monthly white papers on social media marketing, success stories written on SEOmoz and attend webinars from SeeWhy. You can succeed, your business can succeed, the stories and „how to“ guides are out there. I enjoy learning new things and try new tools. Learning is fun.
9. Implement like hell
Jack Welch’s quote „pick a general direction and implement like hell“ is now infamous at Hurtigruten. It has been the backbone of the online success and I will carry it on wherever I go. When people hear Implement like hell, it can appear stupid or silly. It’s works – and Hurtigruten online sales is proof of this.
10. Share success stories
Another famous quote Jack Welch has made is to share success stories and celebrate. When something good happens such as a record web visits day or a new high for open rates in email marketing, celebrate it and share the success. It boosts morale and is good for the team and company. Don’t be afraid to take credit for the success either. If you did something that you are proud of, celebrate it.
It’s been an amazing three years and a lot of fun learning and experiencing new things. I’ll continue blogging on a new blog platform, Tribes.no. Thanks for being part of the Hurtigruten’s success and hope that you continue to implement like hell!
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