Employees are taking it on the chin lately. They are subjected to longer hours, more responsibilities, less security―and all for reduced compensation. It’s a sad sign of the times. Employers are struggling as well. They must function with less revenue, increased expenses and more demanding consumers than ever before. What gives? Usually, it’s the employee. A common answer to an employer’s financial woes is to cut employee-related expenses in an effort to prop up the bottom line. This weak solution is like putting a Band-Aid on a wound that requires stitches. In the long run, you will be left with an ugly scar.
The most successful companies in the world treat employees better than customers. This may seem to contradict the old adage that the customer is the most important element of any business. Wrong, employees are. Often times, people don’t quit jobs, they quit managers. So, why not demonstrate as much respect for employees as customers? Take employees to lunch or for coffee. Entice the staff with incentives. Cash is not always king; It’s proven that appreciation, spontaneous time off, recognition and genuine care are often better motivators than money. Happy employees make happy customers.
HP founder David Packard once said, “Marketing is too important to be left to the marketing department.” Everyone in the company has a critical role in marketing. Disgruntled employees release tension by complaining about their employers to anyone who will listen. Each employee needs to buyin to its company’s goal and mission. Passionate employees naturally promulgate a business’s vision. Treat employees poorly, and the risk of extinguishing their desire to go above and beyond is rife.
When I first moved to Anthem, I needed new tires for my car. I went to Discount Tire and experienced terrible service from a miserable employee. I swore I would never spend my money there again. Four years later, I met Ben, another employee of Discount Tire at a barbecue. I shared my horror story with him. He appeared genuinely shocked. He apologized on behalf of the company and went on to tell me how he is treated like one of the family at Discount Tire. He was emphatic that the company values its customers and employees. Ben volunteered this information; he had nothing to gain by spending 30 minutes praising his employer. This is an example of employee marketing at its best. I’ve been loyal customer of Discount Tire ever since I spoke with Ben at that barbecue.
Trust employees; They internalize practical knowledge by performing the day-to-day operations. Sam Walton is credited for jumping on his trucks and picking the brains of his drivers. He understood that his employees acquired the knowledge needed to improve business. His actions demonstrated a trust and regard for employee input. Truly caring for and treating employees with respect, regardless of their position on the corporate ladder, is an integral part of a smart business plan. Employees understand that times are tough, but implementing positive energy and working together will help a company persevere and knockout the competition.
Keep Your Crew Happy
• Work From Home Days Employees can skip the commute hassle and work in the comfort of their own home.
• Family Days Employees get bitter when they have to use a vacation day to stay with a sick child.
• Exercise Programs Arrange for a group session twice per week. You’ll get the group discount and they’ll
lose the stress and gain energy.
• Pizza Fridays Provide your group with lunch once a week. Whether its a catered affair from Our Kitchen to
Yours or a couple large pizzas, free lunch is always welcome. Or, make it a bagel breakfast to start the day right.
• Share Your Discounts Buying in bulk typically allows a business to get good prices on computers and
• Discounts on What You Do: Give them a discount on your company’s goods services.
• Fun and Games A dart board or a putting green in the office can help balance the stressful moments.
• Free Seminars Professionals will often speak for free (to promote themselves) on topics such as investment
planning or ways to relieve stress.
• Socialize: Holiday parties, family picnics, movie night. These are all ways to promote company unity.