Lots of people seem to think that price or convenience are what grab someone’s attention, so they price things cheaply and do what they think makes them convenient. Then there’s Apple.
Ever been in an Apple store? It’s filled with energetic, helpful, knowledgeable people…both the employees and the customers. And it’s filled with products selling at full price. Each and every one of the customers can get exactly the same products for less money at Walmart, Target, or even without the addition of sales tax through Amazon. And yet they flock to the Apple store and leave not only with something in their hands but with stories of joy they share with everyone they know.
It’s the experince they seek as well as the products.
It’s hard to understand why so many companies don’t seem to get this, especially today when they are confronted with the internet taking so much business away from their stores. Relationships and connection are built by excited and engaged employees working in a stimulating environment for a company that really believes each and every employee is a full time ambassador.
This organization doesn’t just pop into existance or develop from training and financial incentives. It comes about when the leaders show the way by exhibiting the same behavior they expect in others. It’s a hard thing to do for most managers. It means trusting your employees, giving them freedom to act, accepting that they will question everything and expect you to be comfortable being asked these questions. It means being open and honest in all communications and always, always, always walking the talk. And it mean having full accountability so each and every person knows exactly what’s expected and how to measure it…and then leaving them alone to make it happen.
It’s not the way most managers are brought up. It’s not comfortable for most managers. It scares most managers.
It loosens control while expecting self motivation and trust to replace it.
And you have to keep it up all the time for there is no such thing as turning such a culture on and off depending on your mood of the day.
Then there is the horrible fact that it is requires constant change and evolution to keep it fresh and engaging so the emotional connection remains strong.
Now that I’ve written this, I take back my comment up there about not understanding “why so many companies don’t seem to get this”. It’s not that they don’t get it, it’s that it scares them to death. Loss of control, employees wandering around doing and saying who knows what, fear that they’ll be shown unable to answer the questions and show the way. Constant change.
Yet this is the world we face. Successful companies are going to embrace a culture of engagement and empowerment of employees. They are going to bring on board managers and executives who believe in operating a business that truly believes in people and creating an exceptional environment for them to thrive, be they employees or customers.
Prepare yourself for the future, for the future is here. Who knows, in addition to developing a more successful company you might just become one of those Favorite Places To Work. From a purely financial perspective…after all, we are talking about business…Favorite Places To Work tend to be among the most profitable companies.
Now that’s something that ought to get you working to develop a culture of engaged experience and emotional attachment.