Is your staff loyal to you?

 

Your company has a mission. You need to provide a stellar product or service to your customers in a timely manner and with little to no error. Additionally, you need to meet certain revenue goals in order to successfully remain in business. Business owners and executives understand and appreciate this type of focus when it comes to the daily operation of an organization. But what about employees? How often is a regular employee excited to help its employer excel?
When it gets down to it, most employees remain loyal to a company because their livelihood is attached to it. Quite frankly, steady paychecks may make up for the fulfillment they lack in their regular job duties. And yes, there are plenty of examples of employees who are committed to their job because they genuinely like what they do. However, neither of these instances relate to their commitment to your organization. If they could earn money or have their dream career elsewhere, there’s a good chance they could jump ship on your company at any time.
Building employee loyalty takes the right consistency  of effort from an organization’s leaders. Here are a few tips you can use on a regular basis to incite loyalty from your employees:

1) Incorporate their passion into their job duties: Your employees are multi-talented. Their professional capabilities extend beyond what they were hired to do. Take time to learn about what your staff’s’ hobbies are and come up with creative (and meaningful) ways to bring their true passion to their job or workplace in general. For instance, if your Administrative Assistant is  very passionate about baking, perhaps you can ask her to bake something for the next departmental meeting. The compliments and conversations she’ll get from her peers will add more pep to her step and get her more excited about preparing for and attending the next meeting.
2) Regularly provide development opportunities: An employee who feels he/she can’t grow is most likely wasting their time and yours. Most people thrive from knowing there are possibilities to advance.  You can provide these possibilities by adding courses, events and activities to an employee’s core requirements in their job description. Employees can participate in mentoring or shadowing programs, learn a new software or sit in on meetings to provide input or valuable information. Challenge your employees to better themselves. Your company will reap the benefits.
3) Recharge them during the day: 8 hours sitting in front of a computer or performing the same task repeatedly is enough to make anyone sluggish or lackadaisical. Offer recharging “stations” throughout the office filled with healthy snacks, fun but challenging toys (rubik’s cube anyone?), magazines or even a laptop full of music that they can download to their iPods. These quick breaks can revitalize your staff and also provide them with an opportunity to mingle with their peers, productively let off some steam and get geared to face the rest of their day.
4) Ask for their input and actually do something with it: When you ask an employee’s opinion, you shouldn’t do it out of obligation. You should genuinely care about what they’re saying about your business, products and workplace. Engage in an informal conversation about their opinions on the happenings and practices within the organization and follow-up with them to let them know you’re considering what they’ve said. You never know, their opinion could be your next million-dollar strategy. You don’t have to be have an MBA to have a great sense of business.
5) Interview them…again: Things and people change frequently. Some of your employees may be rapidly outgrowing their positions, while others are struggling to keep up. Make it a point to re-interview your employees to evaluate their satisfaction and adjustments within their current role. Don’t be too formal because it can come across as an employee having to compete to keep their job. Simply talk with them using some of the questions you may have asked during their initial interview. Note their comfort with their role, concerns they may have and accomplishment’s they’ve made. This will help you determine any necessary changes you may need to make to improve the chances of retaining a good employee.

These are just a few tips on how to create a loyal relationship with your employees. For more tips on this topic, please contact me. Do you have tips of your own? Share them! I’d like to have your feedback.

Reuniting with “The Ghost of Customers Past”

Returning customers are always a plus. You know their history and they appreciate the way you conduct business. And although all customers should create revenue for your company, returning customers fair better with spending more money more frequently.  After all, they trust you and your service and they know that you provide great results.
Returning customers deserve special attention so that no matter how or when their needs change, they continue to seek you out and rely on your company to provide solutions.  Here are some quick tips on gaining from the relationship between your company and a returning customer:
1) Make sure to play catch up. Learn how their needs have changed since you last worked with each other. Talk about their successes and failures, trials with other vendors and progress as a company.
2) Be appreciative and be careful not to gloat. Perhaps you knew all along you were the best provider for your customer’s needs, but maybe they wanted to check out the green grass on the other side. Understand their reasoning and thank them for returning to you.
3) Talk long-term strategies with them. Conjure up a feasible plan that creates a long-standing relationship with the customer.  If they’re comfortable with a contract, have them sign one that secures priority space, rates or service.  Now that the customer has returned, your goal is to keep them with you.

4) Make the customer a brand ambassador. The notion behind this strategy is to turn your customer into a lead   generator. They will provide the best word-of-mouth advertising and share their positive personal experiences with anyone who can benefit from the service you provide. Discuss referral fees or kickbacks for their loyalty to your business.
5) Reward their return. Any customer– new or returning– deserves to be rewarded. Show them you value their commitment to your business with something like a free upgrade to a better service/product, a coupon for a discount, a promotional item– or even get social media savvy and tag them on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or on your blog.

These are just a few tips on how to build from a relationship with a returning client. For more tips, please contact me.
Do you have strategies of your own? Share them! I’d like to hear what works for you.