Corporations spend over 100 billion dollars developing “relationships” with consumers. Corporations leverage every communication platform out there from Facebook to Super Bowl ads to keep their brand top of mind and the conversation going.
So I wonder . . .
Why do they spend so much more time, calories and money on connecting to customers and consumers compared to co-workers?
Like millions of consumers that choose to stroll into a Starbucks every morning and order their favorite double tall non-fat latte, co-workers also make highly personal choices every day. Every morning they make a professional and personal choice that they buy into whether it be the current corporate business objectives, polices, culture or wandering off to Monster.com. The professional choices and commitments they make this morning will have a dramatic impact on their professional success, their fellow co-workers attitudes, and customer’s relationships ultimately impacting the corporation’s bottom line.
FLIRT believes corporations need to do more and start to explore a new methodology. We believe corporations need to make a renewed commitment to co-worker Communications well beyond annual sales meetings, virtual town-hall meetings and random newsletters. Making and sustaining that personal connection is a full-time job! Yes, it’s always on and it’s always open, like the Apple Store in NYC!
Starbucks earns consumer confidence every single time they serve a cup of coffee (over 9 million cups a day). One slip up out of 9 million and the customer is “disconnected” and off to Dunkin Donuts and then bashing the Starbucks brand on Facebook and telling all their friends at the bar about how horrible Starbucks was today. Now that’s pressure!
FLIRT believes co-workers are the corporations most valuable assets so why not try to begin to think of them like Harley thinks of its riders, Apple thinks of its advocates and Starbucks thinks of its guest? Why not think of them as consumers? Consider if you’re communicating enough plus ask, is it effective enough? Does it feel personal and do you allow it to get a little emotional sometimes? Do we know enough about them, their needs, wants and desires?
How does your corporation earn and maintain Co-worker Confidence?
Co-worker Connection Methodology
1- Communicate More Often – Create an atmosphere for peer to peer connections, plus more communications with senior leadership. Leverage social media platforms, but ensure an always on and always open minded conversation. Elevate honesty, confidence and respect. Most co-workers “just want to be heard” so sit back and listen. They will tell you what’s working, it’s really that simple.
2- Reward Personal Effort – Craft reward and loyalty programs that are for pure personal effort not bottom line monetary results. Everyone knows who is hitting the “financial numbers” every year, but who is just bust’n it with effort and needs a lift of encouragement? Think more of becoming an inspiring “personal trainer” rather than boss!
3- Make it and Take it Personally –The more personal you make the conversation the more meaningful the relationship. When it’s personal our co-worker feels more “invested in” and “committed to”, they take ownership of the corporate mission. Take time to “know them” and get even closer, it’s well worth it.
4- Humor – Exhale once in a while! Why save all the JOY and FUN for the consumer side of things. We believe laughter as a cure for almost anything. Our business climate is very results driven with a nerve racking focus on the bottom line, so why not occasionally come up for air and leverage FUN and some unexpected experiences. Give your co-worker a reason to smile.
5- Turn Corporate Culture into a VIP Club – Like Harley, give co-workers more reasons to “believe passionately about the corporate culture.” Go beyond the stock price, salary or the annual bonus to inspire the “emotional feeling” of becoming a devoted member of an exclusive club. Push pride, push social good, push joy and push fun! Support and elevate personal passions outside of work, encourage and bring personal passion to work. Think family!