We all know that the key to a successful business is knowing your customers: it’s all about the customer journey, customer experience and customer relationship management. In fact, today’s businesses are so busy putting the customer first that they forget another vital group: their employees.
But why has this happened? Customer engagement has always been central to business strategy and is intrinsically linked to growth, thus businesses make it a core focus. However, talent management has been growing in significance in recent years, and winning and retaining talent is essential for gaining competitive advantage. It goes without saying that an unhappy workforce will almost certainly mean a poor customer experience. Knowing your customers is a big deal, but knowing your people is an even bigger deal: the two go hand-in-hand.
You want to get the best out of your employees and the most effective way to do this is by unlocking their potential. Here are four tips to help you do just that.
1 Find out what motivates them
What are the things that inspire your team and make them want to do their best? The interests and passions of each member of staff are what makes them tick. By showing genuine interest in your workforce as individuals you will make each person feel special and a valued member of the team. There is consistent evidence to suggest that the more you show your appreciation to staff, the more you get back in return. A classic case of win-win.
2 Give regular feedback
Everyone likes to be told they are getting things right, however some bosses are notoriously bad at dishing out the compliments. Giving staff constructive feedback on a regular basis helps them stay motivated and further develop their careers. But while we all appreciate feedback, it is the younger generation (Gen Y) who respond to it the best. Always give praise when praise is due and watch your staff shine.
3 Align work goals with individual goals
All employees have specific objectives they work towards. It is your role to make sure they understand how these goals fit within the wider business objectives. Your staff members want to feel like they are doing a job that means something, so showing them how they fit into the bigger picture will do wonders for morale. A shared vision is central to many a business success, so be sure you get the long-lasting benefits this can bring.
4 A new approach to collaboration and skill sharing
Mentoring is a tried and tested skill-sharing technique. And as we move into an increasingly digital age, with more multigenerational workforces, many businesses are finding that reverse-mentoring is the way forward. These are schemes through which younger employees teach new skills to older colleagues to ensure companies get the best out of everyone. Welcome to the new norm!
Did you know that your staff are your biggest advocates? Many are promoting your brand through social media on a daily basis. In fact, new research shows that 40-50% of employees promote the brand they work for on social media, often with their managers blissfully unaware.
Put simply, happy employees mean greater employee advocacy. Are you doing everything you can to put your employees first?
Image: support by vallgall available under (CC BY-SA 2.0) license