We’re all familiar with the phrase, “the customer is always right.” Even though customers may not be right, they should be treated as such, regardless of the issue.
Moments of outstanding customer service stick with us and turn us into lifelong customers. This is why the smartest companies treat their employees as their first customer and provide a competitive employee experience to create loyal employees. And, since employees are accountable for providing customer value, it’s the loyal employees that create loyal customers.
We’ve said it once, and we’ll say it again: inspiring employees to do their best work is essential to driving successful business results. It’s all about your people, and one big way to inspire your people is through your company culture. Lloyd’s Risk Index 2011 recently polled more than 500 C-suite executives and determined that talent/skills shortages is the number two business risk facing global organizations today. The war-for-talent is more apparent than ever, so keeping the talent you have is far more cost effective than having to tap into shrinking, expensive and less skilled talent pools.
According to Achievers Intelligence: Insight Into Today’s Workforce, a one-of-a-kind study revealing what employees want in the workplace, there is a clear need to inspire employees to do their best work every day. However, only 18% of surveyed employees strongly agree that their company culture is positive, strong and motivating.
Strong cultures inspire greater discretionary effort and provide a platform for inspiring the hearts and minds of employees. In the recent Inc.com article, 5 Keys to a Killer Company Culture, contributor Langley Steinert reveals five ways to provide a unique company culture, “the employee benefit that keeps on giving:”
- Empower Employees
Top employees are intrinsically motivated by their inherent need to perform and achieve. Create a Culture of Recognition to empower these employees, which includes frequent feedback, and recognize them for achieving objectives that drive business results.
- Beware of the Meeting
The best meetings happen in real-time, at the spur of the moment or when decisions must be made. Encourage frequent, open discussions so that feedback is solicited in real-time and immediate action can occur to drive results. Hold more formal meetings to discuss company objectives so that your workforce understands how their individual contributions affect the bottom line.
- Keep the Workplace Comfortable
The location, functionality and feel of your office space are all critical drivers to recruit, retain and inspire top talent. If your employees are unhappy with your workplace, it’s unlikely they will wait around for improvements. Take immediate action to ensure employees have a comfortable space to create value and drive results geared towards business success.
- Have Fun
While company culture should inspire employees to do their best work, it should also evoke a fun atmosphere. How do you celebrate company wins? It’s important to celebrate both individual and company successes, so that positive behaviors are reinforced with positive praise.
- Stay Picky
Maintain high standards when recruiting new talent, because on-boarding, training, relocating, developing and inspiring your workforce is an expensive proposition. This is why employers are spending critical resources – time, money and mind share – on establishing and cultivating strong employee value propositions in order to attract the right talent to their organizations. It’s clear that to be successful, employees need not just any talent, they need the right talent. Hiring the wrong talent is costly and will set your culture back to ground zero.
Just because you’ve always done something one way, doesn’t mean it’s working. It’s important to evaluate and continuously improve your company culture in order to recruit, retain and inspire top talent. If your current employees aren’t happy, they will look elsewhere. Business is competitive and talent is the competitive advantage, so it’s critical to create a culture that continually strives to create happy employees.