Your staff have to come first. Now it's common to hear business leaders talk about customer first, but less common even today to hear leaders talk about the concept of their staff coming before customers. Richard Branson has famously talked about this, and really successful leaders know that their people come first and having an engaged, happy and motivated workforce is worth its weight in gold, whether it be in productivity, profitability, and of course sustainability.
Now what do we do when we love an experience? We rave about it, right?
Often it's not the big ticket items, but these really small things that make us feel special and that we remember. This experience mindset is something that's very familiar to those, for example, working in hospitality. They know that the thrilling little things are what keeps their customers coming back time after time and turns them into raving fans.
Whilst this concept is also very familiar in terms of the customer experience, how can we delight our customers is a common refrain. It's still not as common to hear leaders talk about turning their staff into raving fans, which is kind of crazy, right?
Because when your staff members are raving fans, that enthusiasm, that energy, that passion spills over into everything they do, including how they talk about your organisation to their own tribe and community and how they interact with your customers.
Here are my top tips:
Firstly, think about the employee experience from when they first interview with you, right through the onboarding into your business and beyond. If you think of your employees as your most valuable customers, how would you treat them? Guaranteed you will look at some of what you currently put your staff through and probably cringe once you look at it from a customer experience perspective.
Secondly, get them excited about the vision and make sure that your values, your actions and priorities align to that vision. We all want to be part of something bigger than ourselves, and this is a powerful way to engage the right people in your vision.
Thirdly, think of small ways you can make your staff feel like they're valued. These don't always need to be big ticket items. It could be an investment in their development or maybe even taking their birthday off. It doesn't always have to be monetary. One of the most simple ways to show appreciation is to give your team members valuable and authentic feedback. Saying thank you is powerful, especially when it's heartfelt.
Spotify have an incredible focus on their employee experience from a progressive parental leave policy to being able to choose your own public holiday that is meaningful to you. They invest a lot of thought into their employee experience and have incredible loyalty and engagement as a result and oh yeah, they don't pay bonuses. So once again proving that it isn't all monetary incentives. Remember your employees are your most valuable resource!
Not only are they your primary brand ambassadors, but the cost of having disengaged staff and the resulting turnover is going to be high and have a big knock on effect. Engaged and happy staff will result in such a great experience for your customers because your customers will feel it. So have a think about how you can wow your staff with an incredible employment experience.
Maybe it's time to give this a bit more thought?