I had a friend once who worked half of her time in the United States and the other half in Shanghai. At one point, she was managing a large staff in China and interestingly, as an American, she had the most loyal staff out of the entire company. Some of her employees had worked for her for more than 15 years. When I asked about her secret, she told me that she’d managed, rewarded and promoted her employees based on their Chinese horoscope signs. Why do you think this worked? One of the largest reasons is because people are motivated in different ways and by utilizing a sort of personality ‘compass,’ she was able to identify nuances about her staff that in most employment circles, goes completely unnoticed. Well, and let’s be honest…in many company cultures, ‘honor and appreciation’ merely comes in the form of a paycheck. It’s a bad economy, right? You should be glad you have a job…
I’m not proposing that Schwab send out a survey amongst its teams to find out how many dogs, rats and dragons they having working in their midst, but I do think it’s valuable to consider exactly what you’re doing to reward the people who, every day, roll out of bed to leave their families, pets and personal passions to dedicate hours to your inspiration.
Because, at the end of the day here’s how it relates to your public relations efforts and your bottom line: People talk about their work. Often, the first thing we do when we get home is we share with a spouse, roommate, or friend about how our day was, right? Taking that a step further, I’ll bet you could list a handful of individuals right now who hate where they work. Any time you speak with them, their story is some form of the one before.
Maybe your friend feels underappreciated…or, maybe the corporate culture is nonexistent…or, maybe your husband is amongst a group of people who are overworked and underappreciated. Now, think about each of their employers. How interested are you in patronizing their businesses? If your underappreciated friend works at Schwab (for the sake of conversation here, folks…I’m sure they’re amazing), would you be inspired to invest your money with them? Perhaps, but they might have to work a bit harder to win your trust and money.
Employees need to be the number one fans of their employers because they are the number one source for word-of-mouth marketing, as I noted in my previous post. If they’re not happy at work, guess what they’re saying when they go home? Come to think of it, what are YOU saying when you go home at the end of the day? Are your comments inspiring others to buy from you and are your employees enticing potential customers with their raving comments…or are they telling them to run the other way?