Today, a particular kind of leadership is redefining the service-profit chain. CEOs of high-service businesses place the utmost value on each employee and customer. This is not an empty promise or branded statement. It is based on a core understanding that people are the heart and soul of any company. So having employees who feel that important, can make all the difference to the success and sustainability of your company.
Why it matters
This service-profit chain understands the important relationship between profitability, customer loyalty, and employee satisfaction. Customer loyalty is a key link in the chain between profit and growth. In fact, loyalty and value is an express outcome of customer satisfaction. Satisfied, loyal, and productive employees create this value. So it stands to reason that employee satisfaction results from top-quality internal support structures and policies that empower staff to deliver results to their customers.
A fulfilled employee has a direct correlation to a company’s bottom line. A valued employee will always work harder, be more productive and advocate for the higher good of the company. This translates and travels right down the supply chain and will be felt by the customer in various ways.
So how can an employer build engaged employees?
Get them excited from Day 1
Many companies bring employees in and expect them to take on the entire onboarding process that will get them up and running. But is this really the best way to get them engaged and excited? Rather than giving them mountains of paperwork to fumble through, have someone else iron out the kinks before they arrive. This will make all the difference. Deliver the message that you anticipated and prepared for their arrival. A small step like having business cards printed on arrival communicates truck-loads in the loyalty department.
Implement a buddy system
Joining a new company is daunting. Being faced with a new team and unknown environment can feel perplexing. By pairing your new hire with a buddy in the company it is communicating that you care about how they feel. Similarly, you are providing a go-to Brand Ambassador who will show them the ropes and help them feel welcome. Most importantly this is a key driver in employee productivity.
You should never assume that mass communications are always understood. In fact, it is vital that new policies are clear and digestible. Encourage questions and make sure you communicate clearly. Besides, people like to know where they stand, and as a company leader, it is your job to make sure your people know exactly what is expected of them. But also that it’s ok to ask important ‘why’s’ and ‘whens’ in an open and honest way.
Practice what you preach
There is nothing more transparent than a Brand that professes to be one thing but then has a leader who does the exact opposite. A Brand is only as strong as the employees that live it. So if a company value is “openness”, then this needs to be demonstrated from the top down. At the end of the day, if the CEO doesn’t reflect this way, then nobody else is going to.
Cross-training to drive employee productivity
Open up their cubicles and expose your staff to a world beyond their own desktop. If an employee understands what goes on outside their corner of the office, they are more likely to appreciate the bigger picture. Not to mention value how hard their colleagues work as well.
Create a Brand Story
A Mission or Vision statement will be forgotten in five minutes. Rather consider a ‘Brand Story‘. This describes what the company is, where it wants to go, who it serves and what problems it solves. A ‘Brand Story’ is relatable and can be easily remembered and retold to new recruits.
Times have changed
Gone are the days when company leaders were squarely focussed on the bottom line and profit share. Most importantly, today’s savvy leaders understand that human capital is the game changer when it comes to sustainability and profitability. Investing in your people, revamping recruiting and performance compensation are the foundations of a successful business.
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