I know we live in the tech world, in the tech industry, in a space where technology is constantly moving. I believe it, embrace it and in fact I think it is an extraordinarily exciting time.
With all of this tech we are automating business processes, implementing new digital tools and of course selling some of the coolest high tech gear of all time. However, we are also in a time where customers are more focused ever before on customer experience. They are inspired by companies with great stories and they want to work with organizations who truly put the customer first.
Sure, tech can help all of those things, in a way, but great organizations aren’t inspired by great technology, instead they are driven by great people. People who are passionately behind the vision of the organization. Begging the questions, where do employees fit in your business and how are we making them the champions of our brands?
There are many ways to bring your employees to the front of the organization, but here are four ways that all business leaders can turn their employees into powerful brand evangelists.
1. Educate Them. Business and the tools it takes to do our jobs are constantly changing. We as business leaders often forget that keeping up with this is our responsibility. Finding the time to train, educate and make sure our employees are best set up to succeed is up to us, not them.
2. Mentor Them. Think back to the early days in your career. Who helped you, listened to you and guided you in your career. For all of you that may say nobody, most of you had a mentor. If you put the time into people and listen to them, not only will they become better employees, but you may wind up learning something yourself.
3. Empower Them. Too often we hire people and put them in a box. We tell them exactly what they can and cannot do. The more entry level the more this is. Sometimes this is because we are hiring at a low level and we want to give specific guidance to our employees. Other times this is just micromanagement at its worst.
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Giving employees a voice in marketing the company, sharing their wins and of course delivering customer service are just a few ways to make your employees feel a part of something.
4. Believe in Them. When is the last time you made a point to tell your employees that you think they are doing a great job? Perhaps one on one or perhaps in a group setting? More importantly, when is the last time you did this and truly meant it?
People are driven by a desire to belong to something and to feel a part of it. When we hire, we should seek to hire employees who are more than capable, then we should educate, mentor, empower and believe in them. If we don’t, then we are hiring the wrong people and that isn’t their fault, it is ours.
For most businesses there isn’t a greater monthly expense then your employees. Often times this has business owners looking sideways at the numbers as they are constantly looking for the return on those investments. But remember, employees are also our front line. They answer our phones, talk to our customers, work on our projects and if they feel important to the organization they do all of these things with a little more “hutzpah.”
We hired them because we needed their help. So let’s remember to invest in them constantly so they continue to carry the torches of our businesses and lead us to meeting our business goals and objectives.