Every manager or business owner will know how important it is to find the right team of staff.
And once they get great people on your team, the next challenge is to keep them.
Those who align perfectly with your brand and hold the same values as you. Your business runs efficiently and employee productivity is high. Not only this, but when your staff members fit well with your brand, they are more likely to feel satisfied in their roles and stay in the company for a while.
There’s also the other, not-so-positive side of the coin. When your employees are unfulfilled, they will be disengaged with their work and they will probably leave the company pretty quickly.
Mckinsey & Company noted that over 15 million US workers have left their jobs since April 2021. That was a mere six months ago, and this number is only set to increase! Similarly, Gallup People Management noted the same results, stating that 48% of employees have considered a change in career over the past 12 months.
This phenomenon has been aptly named ‘The Great Resignation’.
This is unlike anything we’ve seen before, and the recent pandemic might be to blame. It shook the world and made many people realize that they were being unfulfilled in their current roles. They started to wonder what else was out there for them. There’s also the fact that most employees have been working remotely for the past two years, and they’ve identified a need for a more flexible work life, something that their current employers don’t provide.
For CEO, HR staff, and managers in businesses across multiple industries, these statistics are concerning. Have you lost sleep lately, wondering if your people are at risk of leaving?
They are afraid of losing the people that they’ve spent a lot of time, energy, and resources training for several months or years. They’ve invested in their employees, who have become a key part of their team, and it’s devastating to lose them.
If you could find out the problem and fix it before your employees get up and leave, you can prevent this from happening. You can ensure that your employees are feeling fulfilled and engaged in their roles. The first step to preventing your employees from leaving is figuring out why they leave in the first place?
The most obvious guess is that they have found a better job. This isn’t always the case though. According to McKinsey, 36% of their survey respondents quit their jobs without first finding a new job.
Ultimately, this means that you can’t always blame the fact that your employees have found a better job elsewhere for the increasing number of employees that are leaving your company.
Most large company owners or business leaders think that they have to pay their employees more or provide a modernized workspace that is full of the latest gadgets to impress them. They consider adding extra benefits to their pay scheme or they purchase a brand-new ping pong table for the office.
But it’s not about the ping pong tables! Here’s why...
What is Going on with Your Employees?
A second guess as to why more of your employees might be leaving their current roles within your company is that they are burnt out.
This is a commonly used term nowadays. Everybody is burnt out. Everybody wants more time to rest and recover without taking a reduction in their wage. If you’re wondering how to retain employees even after a global pandemic, you need to look at the incidence of burn out in your employees.
If, as an employer, when you can cater to your employee’s needs to reduce their levels of burn out or fatigue, that’s when you hit the jackpot. Get this right and you will have a renewed sense of inspiration. You will become a customer-centric company that cares about its employees. You will retain your amazing employees and build a strong company culture.
The Devastating Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic
You may have thought COVID-19 was a sprint. Then it progressed to a marathon, then a triathlon, and now it’s more of an Ironman. This tiny virus that is only visible to the human eye through a strong microscope has caused havoc across the whole world.
Viruses work by waiting for a weak spot, then attacking. They wait until your immune system is compromised and work their way into your body. Once inside your body, they work to get inside your cells where they take over the replication machinery so they can produce hundreds of copies of themselves.
The way a virus works can be likened to your business. If your business was struggling financially prior to pandemic, COVID-19 was probably the most devastating possibility that could happen. There was a huge increase in the number of companies filing for bankruptcy in April and May of last year when the world was plunged into a number of strict lockdowns.
Similarly, if your marriage was already failing, being stuck indoors with your partner during the COVID-19 lockdowns was exactly what you didn’t need. Or maybe it was exactly what you did need, depending on which way you look at the situation. You finally decided to contact the divorce attorney, something that you’ve wanted to do for years, but it took a global pandemic to give you the final, much-needed push.
For those who were feeling stuck or lost, wondering about their purpose or meaning at work, COVID-19 was also a tough time.
The Problem with the Modern Day Work Life
Let’s run through some of the statistics surrounding modern-day work life. Most of us spend a third of our days at work (eight hours out of a 24-hour day) and we accumulate a total of around 60 years working at our jobs.
The problem is that just 20% of employees are actually engaged with their work. Two-thirds of American workers and eight out of 10 Canadians find themselves watching the clock from the moment they get to work and doing the bare minimum to get through the month until their paycheck arrives.
Less than half of all US employees, every four in 10 people to be exact, agree that the mission and purpose of their company make them feel that their job is important. So, that begs the question of whether or not employees are leaving because they feel misaligned with the company they work for. And all of them have had the last two years to think about this...
According to Gallup, low employee engagement costs the global economy an unbelievable $8.1 trillion USD! So, how can you ensure your business is not contributing to these huge global losses? In other words, how can you become a customer-centric company to focus your attention on improving your employee engagement and retention rates?
Asking Yourself Some Important Questions
In order to become a better employer for your team members, there are some important questions that you should be asking yourself regularly. Here are some of them.
- Do they know the role they play?
- Do they find meaning in what they do?
- Is there a story that each member of your team can play a role in
- If they embraced that role, would it make them work harder, stay longer, and be more engaged?
These questions can apply to a variety of your team members, regardless of the specific department they work in. Imagine how great it would be if you knew that everybody felt satisfied and engaged with their work. If they all felt aligned with the company values and aimed to stay at the company for years to come.
Customer Experience Meets Employee Experience
The best part of any story isn’t the beginning or the end. It’s the middle. The nitty-gritty where all of the action happens.
Storytelling has been used for thousands of years, and it forms the core of any marketing strategy. Ask any leader and they will tell you that you need to establish a strong story before anything else. When your people (your employees and customers) understand the story behind your company, it makes all the difference. When they feel like they can resonate with your company’s story, it helps you to form strong connections with them, which can do wonders for your business.
I’ve spent the last five years helping businesses to see the power of story so they can reach their customers on a deeper level. Yet, I’ve had to reiterate to many business owners that it’s not just their story that matters. It’s weaving that story into the rest of their business and ensuring that everybody is on the same page that matters just as much.
If you want to learn more about building a strong story, I recommend checking out a great book called Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller. This will be a game changer for you if you’re struggling with any of the above!
What Happens When You Build a Strong Story?
Quite simply, when you build a great story and you weave it into everything your business does, a number of amazing things happen.
Your people get information that is tailored to them
They resonate with your story and align their own values in this story
They can identify the intended outcomes
They can imagine how they are a character within this story
Being a Customer-Centric Company
To summarise the above, being a customer-centric company brings about several benefits that will accelerate your business.
- Customer-centric marketing creates a customer-centric culture
- Customer-centric cultures create happy customers
- Customer-centric cultures create engaged employees
Why does any of this matter?
Because people need purpose. We all have a need to find purpose in our lives. There is a great book by Simon Sinek that is hugely popular called Start With Why. This book grew in popularity because it spoke about finding purpose in everything you do.
You’ve been told your whole life that you are one in eight billion people that walk the Earth, a giant molten rock that is swirling around a dying star at an astronomical speed, and will either burn out or burn up at some point in the future...
So, you might find yourself asking the question ‘what’s my purpose?’
To find your life purpose, you find a satisfying relationship, you find a great job, you do the things you enjoy the most.
Employees find joy, meaning, and purpose in their interactions with people. Your customers are the very people that keep them hooked and engaged in their job. This is why focusing on becoming a customer-centric company is key to your employee retention.
This is why COVID-19 has been so tough. In my book, Now Start With Who, I spoke about how the lockdowns, restrictions, and cancellations were difficult for everybody. The main reason for this was not because we missed the events, games, parties, or church services themselves. It was because we missed the people with whom we usually interacted with at these events.
We lost our purpose because we could no longer see the people we loved.
This can be applied to your business. Your employees missed their colleagues and customers through the pandemic. They lacked the same human-to-human interactions that they were so used to.
Potential future lockdowns may not be in your control, but what is in your control is how you bring your people together. Unite them with your unique and compelling story so you get all the benefits of becoming a company where your employees and customers love interacting with each other.
For more help with becoming a successful customer-centric company, grab a copy of Now Start With Who or book a no-obligation consultation call to have me speak to your team to help them to find meaning and purpose at work.