The best way to grow your business

67596466 So you want more customers?  Happier customers?  Customers who rave about you to others?

How about bigger sales per transaction?  More repeat business?  Fewer complaints?  Less down time?

The answer to all of those desires…happy employees.

Workplace attitude, employee engagement, taking good care of your people, creating a positive and fun work atmosphere…call it what you want.  But it’s not HR mumbo jumbo, it’s not new age hoopla and it’s not the employees angling for more perks.

It’s smart business and any manager or business owner who doesn’t truly understand and believe that – should listen up.

If you don’t instinctively understand the connection between employees who like their work, co-workers and managers and how that ties to happy and prosperous customers…check out these numbers.

  • A recent study by Harvard Business School found that every 1% increase in staff loyalty resulted in a half percent increase in customer loyalty.
  • Gallop’s 2006 research to better understand the linkage between employee satisfaction and return on investment (ROI) found that companies with higher levels of employee engagement enjoyed higher ROI.
  • A recent survey conducted by Maritz found that 43% of customers who stopped doing business with a company made their decision based on poor customer service.  Engaged employees are the key to excellent customer service. Engaged employees are employees that feel as though they are truly valued at work; that their efforts directly contribute towards the mission and success of the company.
  • 48% of executives cited that better communication was the best remedy for low employee spirits, according to a new Accountemps report that surveyed 150 executives from the nation’s top 1,000 companies.

The bottom line is this – your employees make or break your bottom line. 

It’s your job as a manager or owner to inspire them to help you create a workplace where everyone feels valued, appreciated, noticed and safe.  Add in some fun and you have a place that no employee will want to leave.

So how do you do that?

Get it.  I mean really get it.  Take some time to reflect on all of this and allow yourself to see the value in happy employees.  Put aside your pre-conceived notions or age-old biases and understand the new work place.

Invest in it.  Both in terms of time and money.  Spend some time getting to know your employees and what matters to them.  Create a small fund and let them plan quarterly events (within company walls or an outing during the workday)

Learn more about it.  Read books (see the list at the bottom of the post), read blogs, subscribe to newsletters.  Or here’s a crazy idea – ask your employees.  Be honest with them.  Tell them this is something you’d like to get better at and you need their help.

Involve the employees.  Help them help you.  Get their ideas.  Let them recognize each other.  (check out how we do that at MMG) Have them work with you to create a whole new strategy for attracting and retaining good employees.  Find out what matters to them and let them take the lead – but with your 110% support.

Still not convinced?  Unless you can run the whole place by yourself – you actually need the employees more than they need you.  Wouldn’t you rather invest in the ones you already have, rather than going through the pain of finding and training new ones?

Here are some resources worth your time.

BOOKS:

Radical Leap
FISH: A Remarkable to Boost Morale and Improve Results
Fired Up or Burnt Out: How to re-ignite your team’s passion, creativity and productivity

BLOGS/WEBSITES:

Become a better leader
Training and Development Blog
All Things Workplace

Okay, brilliant readers — time for you to add to the discussion.  What are the most effective ways you’ve experienced (from other side of the table) to engage, excite and motivate employees to deliver your brand promise and make the customers hungry for more?

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Comments

  1. says

    Great post, Drew! As I always remind our own staff, our company and its successes are a reflection of *them* – something sadly not recognized enough in typical corporate culture of today. I sense you obviously share this sentiment within your own shop, as well.

    -Steve

  2. says

    Steve,

    I’m with you all the way. My team knows that everything we’ve built is because they gave their all.

    I’m fortunate — my staff rocks! Talent, passion and an owner’s mindset. I couldn’t ask for more than that.

    Drew

  3. says

    OK, top of my list would be empowerment. Real empowerment where employees are given real responsibility. The key is when something goes wrong to share the problem and put it right, no blame attached. So often companies think they are empowering but they are really giving the employee just enough rope to hang themselves on.

  4. says

    Hi Drew

    Turning employees into raving ambassadors of your business will make them feel as if it’s their business.

    So, not just make them feel appreciated and needed – everyone of them including the janitor – but make sure your product/service is worth raving about.

    Karin H. (Keep It Simple Sweetheart, specially in business)

  5. says

    More than a decade ago Collins and Porras in “Built to Last” told us great companies are built on values and their culture. Brands are built from the inside/out, not from the outside/in. Thanks for the reminder, Drew.

  6. says

    Speaking the truth. It was interesting to see the particular numbers and percentages that actually affect you.

    I have always believed in treating employees like members of a family. Work is so much smoother when everyone feels like their work is appreciated.

  7. Nigel Dean says

    Excellent post Drew,

    I have printed a copy and left it on my bosses desk. This is something I have been talking to him about for ages. We don’t recognise when staff go the extra mile, we don’t communicate in a meaningful way, we don’t have a coherent ‘team’ at all. But it has been largely ignored.

    Until now. We have reduced staffing levels by 25% which has been a bitter pill for us (especially them!) to swallow. Now, it has been recognised we need to work as a team, communicate and build on our successes, learn from any mistakes and make sure that we all go that extra mile. Things could have been very different if we had taken this on board before. But it’s important to remember that changes cannot happen overnight and we now need to make improvements for the future.

    Thanks again Drew

  8. says

    David,

    Thanks for adding to the resource list. You’re an expert on this topic — so how does someone go from giving empowerment lip service to actually doing it?

    I think a lot of companies like the idea until they actually try to implement it.

    Drew

  9. says

    Michael,

    Do you believe in 100% open books? Are there some things that you keep from the employees?

    I share a similar philosophy. I wonder, do you think this is scalable? Could the same ideals work for a company of 100 or 10,000 employees?

    Drew

  10. says

    Nigel,

    Glad you found the post of value. You’re very right — change will not happen overnight. And many of the employees will be a little skeptical for awhile. After all, they aren’t going to understand why they should buy the sudden change.

    Drew

  11. says

    Starting new business is cool for sure, but I’m not sure that the crisis we have is the best time for it… I wonder have you ever crossed the opinion of some well-know economists on the point of starting business in this period?

  12. says

    Hi, Drew! All I wanted to say is that your blog is a near-perfect example of what companies should be doing, but rarely do, to engage and inform the public that takes an interest in a particular line of business and a set of products. For every sort of industry there are thousands of well-informed observers and consumers whose intelligence and loyalty can be a decisive help in seeing that the work is done right, and that the news from both sides moves fast. Of course, there has to be a blogger who really wants an exchange among equals. That’s where this blog works and so many others don’t. Keep it going – you’re becoming an example far outside marketing space.

  13. says

    Yes, happy employees are important. I just read a blog post about the death of customer service. I think this could be related because if you have happy employees, they will project that happiness towards customers.

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  16. says

    A restaurateur offered existing customers 20 percent off for parties of 4 during lunch and early dinner. The idea was to add value to his existing clients by providing them with a benefit they could share. Result: His lunch business went up by 88% in one month and by 53% over the campaign. On the frequency side, he experienced 71% retention of his customers when he dropped the campaign after 3 months.

  17. says

    “The tips seem to focus on employees. Unfortunately, I just established my own business, so I’ll not have any employee for a while. Thanks anyway.” Focus on your customers/clients for now and before you know it you will have employees. I don’t care if you opened a shoe shining shop or a website, there’s going to come a time you need to have some others on your team to help grow your business.

  18. says

    Staff loyalty is a great thing. As you point out 1percent increase in staff loyalty will definitely increase customer loyalty by half a percent. Most business owners defy and ignore this point when they build their business.
    Employee participation is a great stimuli that could help your business grow. Allow them to have a say in their departments and also allow them to take decisions or participate in decision making.
    Always remember we must have a fine balance here. Over liberty to the employees will also hurt the business.

  19. says

    I agree to the post. employee satisfaction and participation is the most important requirement to grow your business. Without your employee participation we cannot aspire to grow. It does increase the customer loyalty if you have loyal employees.

  20. says

    More than a decade ago Collins and Porras in “Built to Last” told us great companies are built on values and their culture. Brands are built from the inside/out, not from the outside/in. Thanks for the reminder, Drew.

  21. says

    t is so important to keep your staff motivated at all times and many managers in the workplace lack the required skills and knowledge to perform effectively in this area. Let’s examine the key points of motivation that have been utilized effectively by many of the top leaders of the world.

    1. Be assertive, not aggressive or passive.

    It is vital that a manager understands who he or she is and as a consequence can deal with other people effectively. Don’t change who you are, but do change the way you respect yourself and respect the other people around you. This is what assertive managers do well.

    2. Use all of your leadership skills effectively.

    Know your strengths and areas for improvement. Understand the principles of leadership underlying the five modern leadership styles which are namely:

    Participative style.
    Delegating style.
    Negotiative style.
    Directive style.
    Consulting style.

    If you can use all of these effectively then your staff will be happier and far more motivated.

    3. Enrich your staff with new knowledge.

    Teach your staff new things, whether it be a new training course or a workshop. If staff continue to learn then they are constantly motivated.

    4. Enlarge staff responsibilities.

    Give those staff that deserve it added responsibilities and you will reap the benefits of having satisfied staff members. Remember that not all staff enjoy added duties so you have to choose wisely.

    5. Rotate staff duties.

    Get your staff to rotate the jobs they do in the workplace and watch the motivation levels increase.

    6. Have some fun in the workplace.

    This does not mean to be ridiculous or too silly, it simply means to have a positive attitude and to not be so serious in the workplace all the time.

    7. Set the boundaries and rules.

    Staff like to know what they can and can’t do in the workplace.
    Have simple rules that everyone knows and understands.

    8. Use and understand all of the management skills.

    These are planning, organizing, leading and controlling skills. If you use all of these effectively as a manager then your staff will trust and respect you.

    9. Provide specific feedback.

    Give both positive and constructive feedback at all times. This can be done through performance appraisals or through one on one direct feedback given on a regular basis. Do not provide negative feedback. Instead, provide constructive feedback, which is in effect telling staff negative things in a positive way.

    10. Increase your own knowledge base.

    The more you learn as a manager, the wiser you become and thus the more effective you should be as a motivator and leader.

    11. Be available to all staff members.

    If staff need help then help them and do not ignore them. If you listen to your staff, then they will listen to you.

    12 Be empathetic.

    Show that you are human and are compassionate towards your staff members.

    If you do all of these things then I sincerely believe that your staff will be far more motivated and happier in the workplace.

  22. says

    Drew,

    Great post! I think many people forget to think about how critical employee morale can be in the success of a business. When your employees are motivated and share in the common goal, there is a genuine desire to work hard. That can only happen if you recognize them as an asset and appreciate their contributions.

  23. says

    Thanks for this nice information. I am learning the different marketing strategy by reading article from different blog. When I was new on the field of internet marketing I did not know how to implement the marketing strategy. But now my knowledge and experience is better than before.

  24. says

    hi Drew

    I worked as the director for the personnel and i can say what 90% all employees – is stupid and lazy people. Nothing necessary to them. To wait the end of the working day and to escape home. And then to come and recieve salary

    all imho

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