In today’s business world, it can seem like the most valuable asset you have as an entrepreneur is your product or service, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. The one true advantage you can give yourself over your competitors is an engaged team of employees who believe in your business mission and are willing to go above and beyond to support it. This will put you ahead of other businesses on two key fronts: employee care, which increases productivity and boosts retention rates, and an enthusiastic customer base, which draws in new revenue faster than any other marketing strategy.
Twitter sets a prime example of the role of employees in the overall business. Elon Musk fired around 3,700 employees at Twitter overnight without any warning. The majority of roles were IT technicians and engineers, which triggered a mass exodus from the platform. Thousands of IT experts deactivated their Twitter accounts and moved to the next platform, Mastodon. Overall, 875,000 users deactivated their accounts between October 27 and November 1, and many more are set to follow as a result of learning how IT employees were treated by the company. From impossible deadlines to being let go with no warning, Twitter employees have earned the support of professionals in the IT sector. While there is no clear comment on whether the workforce reduction and professional challenges were truly necessary, the audience speaks clearly and loudly: If you can’t treat your employees with the respect they deserve, we are not staying with the platform.
When it comes to putting employees first, there are countless strategies that need to combine health and wellness programs to drive EE employee benefits, professional development programs for expertise and skills acquisition, and a generally positive and trusting atmosphere in the workplace for empowering communication. But before employers get to design the right employee care strategy for their business, they need to fully appreciate the role employees play in the success of the company.
Employee engagement refers to how employees feel about the business and their role in it. This can translate into excitement to work for the company, a thorough understanding of how their role and skills contribute to the business, and appreciation of the overall goals and missions of the business. Additionally, employee engagement also includes an element of satisfaction, but when the team is engaged, they are not just satisfied with their jobs. They’re also supportive of what the business is trying to achieve.
As a result, prioritizing employee engagement helps maximize the overall impact of business operations. Indeed, the team can combine forces to support activities, creating a more productive and positive environment for all.
Supporting Customer Values
Your customers are the lifeblood of your business. When you take care of them, they take care of you, and your company grows stronger. A way to show how much you appreciate and value them is by meeting their needs—both what they need from you as a company and what they need as individuals. By taking the time to get to know them, learning what they want, and providing it on a consistent basis, you’ll be able to grow in tandem with the people that matter most.
Employees play a central role in building and respecting customer values. Indeed, they convey the values and beliefs of the brand through online content, campaigns, advertising, and any other interactions with the customers. Whether it is on a landing page or a phone call, employees can protect the very values your customers seek. Failure to bring those values to life can put your business at risk of losing its market position.
Yet, there is more to customer values than meets the eye. Ultimately, the customer can only be kind if the employee is treated fairly. Employees who feel that customers receive higher respect and compassion than they get from the employer are likely to become resentful.
Bringing Creative Solutions
Creativity isn’t just the role of creative professionals. Creativity can be part of daily tasks in the workplace, regardless of the type of career. So, what does creativity look like in the workplace? Essentially, a creative employee is someone who’s able to think outside the box to solve a problem with their existing resources. This could include combining resources in an unusual way or simply coming up with a new idea that can deliver value.
Employees can help tackle challenges through their creative responses. Yet, creativity requires a supportive environment. Being creative implies that employees are allowed to take ownership of their work without worrying about facing questioning or criticism for doing things differently. Typically, a workplace that prioritizes micromanagement struggles to maintain a creative edge.
Another big obstacle to creativity is the office design itself. To put it simply, creativity requires the mental space to explore new ideas. Yet, in a loud working environment or a cluttered office, the mental space may be filled with stress and intellectual fatigue.
The bottom line: Employee creativity can move mountains. Yet, they can only be as creative as you allow them to be.
Bringing New Skills
Businesses need to bounce back to the pre-pandemic success levels. However, the pandemic has transformed the business sector, introducing new soft and hard skills. As a result, nowadays, employees need to bring new essential skills to keep the business competitive.
Working from home and relying on digital technologies has changed the focus in the business world. More and more companies now seek digital skills for growth, including cloud computing, and UX design. Additionally, they need to update their customer engagement strategy to face the needs of a post-pandemic audience:
- Engaging digital content
- Cross-channel engagement
- Customer service support at any time of the day and night
As a result, the talent pool must evolve to include a variety of new roles and skills best-suited for the new customer profiles.
Besides, some sectors also drive further professional development through innovative technologies that require new expertise.
The bottom line: Recruiting, training, and supporting employees is the sole strategy for companies to remain meaningful.
Advocating for the Brand
Employees are the best brand advocates, and their voices should be heard. If they don’t feel engaged in the company, they won’t have a vested interest in the company’s success. People who work at a company are often the first to see when something is wrong with it, but they can also be the ones to fix it. If you want to hold on to your employees for as long as possible and keep your customers happy all at once, then you need to listen to what your employees have to say about how you can improve. When employees believe in the brand’s message, values, and products, they can have an influential role in the market:
- Encouraging friends and relatives to buy your products
- Being to answer customer queries clearly
- Share their experience of the products on social media
Building the Brand Reputation
It’s hard to argue with the fact that people buy from people. This is especially true for millennials, who are twice as likely to do business with a company whose employees share their values. When employees believe in the company they work for, they’re more likely to put in the extra hours, suggest new ideas, and provide support to other team members. And when customers see these qualities in your employees, you’ll build your brand reputation and customer loyalty. Ultimately, customers can tell when the person they talk to doesn’t care about the business. Yet, more often than not, employees are not to blame. They lose faith in a business that:
- Puts their needs last
- Fails to invest in their development
- Fails to protect them
In other words, put your employees first for brand growth.
Employees may seem like easily replaceable assets, but you’d be wrong to think so. Like with every asset, you need to invest in and care for them if you want to enjoy the benefits of their engagement, skills, creativity, brand advocacy, and customer interactions.
Image Credits: Campaign Creators