Protection from Disruption
The world of work is melding with the rest of life – people are online and connected all the time – how we work has changed forever.
For small business owners’ life, has never been more challenging…customers seem more elusive and more expensive to find…the media is full of conversations about disruption. ‘Surely’ you ask yourself ‘my business won’t fall into that category?’. But you worry anyway. No business stays the same – and your offering, whatever it is, must stay relevant to survive (and thrive). And you know that you cannot do it on your own.
Nothing about business seems to be getting easier – the competition is greater, costs are going up, building and inspiring a team an ongoing requirement. Yet when things work it is wonderful.
Having the ‘right team’ in place is critical to growth and profitability. Yet the competition for those people (and their discretionary effort) has never been greater. Every employee has a choice; anyone can become a freelancer…as such, the small business employment offering cannot stay static.
There is no industry immune to disruption – the only possible way to protect one’s market position is through relentless customer experience (and innovation). Yet it is employees who create that customer experience.
The concept of ‘customer loyalty mirror’ is not new. Those businesses with highly engaged people are far more likely to have loyal customers.
To achieve great customer relationships employers of all sizes simply must seek to find ways to support employees. It is well documented that people are more productive when they have a sense of belonging and are part of something bigger than themselves – which ultimately delivers commercial success for any business.
About 5 years into my entrepreneurial journey at RedBalloon I found that the turnover of employees had reached 64%…and it seemed like people were always on ‘sick’ leave. It was frustrating for me (and those left in the office picking up the slack). I had to do something.
I knew there was no one other than myself, as the leader of the business, who could take responsibility for that. It was not ‘them’, it was ‘me’. I had to transform who I was as a leader of people. I had to realise that people were not there to work for me – I was there to support them. If I supported their well-being, then they could be there to support the well-being of our customers.
I also needed to create a system to support this… changing or creating a customer-focused culture is a journey and never ending. (Which is why we invented Redii.com)
Using the points-based recognition platform to inspire people, purpose, values and performance drove every conversation, it made us focus on the customer relentlessly – and we could see the results.
I’m known for my commitment to great workplaces and my passion for great employee experiences – I did it for two reasons:
- I wanted to inspire people to do their best work, and be proud of what they do – I wanted them to go home feeling like a winner (and they would most likely speak well of us)
- I knew that people would stay longer (retention), work harder (less absenteeism) and give more discretionary effort if they believed in their employer
I knew that my job as an employer was to serve the team – to provide them with the tools, and environment to get the job done.
I got real bottom line results… but it was a continual journey.