Pretty much everyone has to show up to work in order to get a paycheck. But getting them to perform optimally is another story. While most people would prefer to be considered great employees rather than just ordinary ones, they need the right environment to achieve that. Here’s how you can help. By creating a company culture in which you treat your talent like red carpet celebrities, those employees will perform at levels that will take your organization to new heights in progress and initiative, while advancing solutions and ultimately, improving the bottom line.
Quite simply, when executives and front-line leaders treat their talent like VIPs, the entire organization will take new shape, have elevated commitment and focus, and it will generate confidence across the entire business both internally and externally.
Driving your team to produce world-class results not only requires smart hiring, but creating and fostering a culture and leadership style that embraces employee enablement and empowerment.
Three key factors to enable your employees to create exceptional experiences for themselves and their customers include:
1. Authentically get to know and recognize your employees. It’s really important to take the time to build rapport with your employees – to learn about their families, hobbies, goals and ambitions beyond the job they do. This allows you to understand what motivates and drives them. When leaders prioritize this they are in effect treating employees like VIPs and their morale and energy will soar, which has measurable influence on customer loyalty. When employees are acknowledged and recognized in a personalized way, they will feel visible and valued. Recognition can be as simple as looking them in the eye, saying their name, and giving them an authentic, personalized “thank you.”
2. Remove obstacles that get in the way of employees’ success. See if there is an opportunity to better align your talent’s personal and professional lives by removing obstacles that contribute to their increased performance. For example, are there policies and practices established for your company that are no longer relevant to the workforce you have now? How strict is the dress code? Do you offer flex-time or comp-time or the option of some telecommute days? When you take the time to learn about your employees beyond the job they do (e.g., their caring for elderly parents, having a spouse or child with health issues, etc.), accommodations for them can suddenly become opportunities for you. Because when your employees feel valued and appreciated they will thank you with their accelerated effort, increased productivity, higher morale and positive behaviors that will improve employee-to-employee and employee-to-customer interactions.
3. Give your employees learning and development opportunities to grow their skills and competencies. Companies spend an extensive amount of time, energy and financial resources to recruit and hire the most talented candidates. But after they are hired, the next steps for them are not always considered. Your job as a leader is to not only make them feel like VIPs in the present, but also identify ways they can become even more valuable through increased responsibility or training for new skills. Learning opportunities can come in many forms, from shadowing positions above their pay grade, attending a top industry conference or event, certified skillset training, or giving them a goal or assignment that is rewarding and can lead to them expanding their knowledge and opportunities. Pay attention to who they are now and be prepared to help them grow.
Think about the exceptional experience that is created for celebrities when they enter a restaurant, store or board an airplane. They are authentically acknowledged, smiled at, greeted in a friendly manner, and treated with the utmost attention and care. The service they receive is always fast, fun, friendly and personalized. Your employees are the people fulfilling your vision through productivity, deliverables, idea execution and customer relationship management. When you treat them like the VIPs they actually are – for being the caretakers of your company objectives – the ROI will translate 10-fold in their productivity, initiative, and service to your customers.
Unless your business is made up exclusively of robots, apps and technology, then the only way you are going to be a winner with your customers is if you treat your talent like VIPs, so they can treat your customers the same way.
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