The new economy is here, and it’s causing businesses all over the world to reinvent or die. What does this new way of doing business look like? Here’s a short list:
1. Your competition is now in 24 different time zones.
2. Anything that can be digitalized will be digitized.
3. If you don’t have a clear competitive advantage, don’t compete (because you won’t be able to compete on price).
4. The fight is not for customers but for employees.
Number four above is the key difference. Today’s winning organizations are the ones that recognize that engaged employees are more important than customers. It’s your employees that make customer into apostles or one-time-wonders.
Employees are very different than ever before. They are higher educated. They are more choosey about who they work for. They are looking for a place where their values and purpose are aligned and their skills are recognized and appreciated. They want friends at work. They want to feel like they are making a difference.
Engaged employees have proven through multiple studies—by organizations such as Gallup, Harvard, Kotter and Heskett, Keller and Price, etc.—to have significant impact on revenue, productivity, customer satisfaction, profit and share price.
We are all living on a rock spinning around the sun with 7-billion other people on it. Because we all have instant access to communication, information and education, there is an emerging human need to seek out some form of significance. Some are finding their own version of significance through social programs. Some through their immediate circle of influence. Most everyone though, is searching for significance through making a difference in their professional lives.
Customers are also looking for significance through ‘Value Experiences.’ Value Experiences are not defined purely by price. They can also be defined by innovation, quality, intimacy, service, convenience and trust. Quite simply, engaged team members take better care of customers by building trust bonds with customers and clients that make people feel appreciated, respected, safe and connected (and by ‘connected’ I am not referring to technology).
If you don’t have an engaged team, you will have an incredibly hard time finding good employees, loyal customers and profitable growth. In short, you should be regularly asking yourself, “Why is employee engagement important?” and “What am I doing to keep my employees engaged?” If not, you will be left behind.