Listening to Robin Sharma is part of my morning routine. He was talking about building a global brand, one conversation at a time. He shared a sweet anecdote about a Starbucks manager’s care for a single customer. Then he went to offer the idea that we should deliver to customers ten times the value we promise.
I liked it. I liked how he prepped the audience, including me, by offering a simple story that illustrated and personalized the rule: deliver ten times the value to your customers. I liked the clarity and simplicity of deliver ten times the value to your customers. It quantifies the vagaries of under promise and over deliver. ( The cynic, ok smartass, in me always chuckled when I heard that tired cliche.’ I'd wonder 'What if we set our customer’s expectations so low then ... answering our phones is enough to surprise and delight them, which is where customer service is with most cell phone service providers but I digress. )
But as I listened to Robin I thought Well, who’s the most important customer? Who is the first customer to buy a brand’s promise?
Your employees. Without their buyin you have no execution.*
What if ... what if you offered your employees ten times the value of work, employment, career ... growth and opportunity as they could find with other companies? Those are the companies that on average inspire 70% of their employees to sleepwalk through their day, leaving their A and B games at home. Those are the companies who generate a negative ROA, return on assets. Again, what’s a company’s most important asset regardless of their corporate slogans or investment in that asset? Employees.
What if ... you offered ten times the training, inspiration, leadership, tools and resources, management training, listening, willingness to listen and coach and mentor and recognize?
You might reasonable expect to generate a positive ROA on your most important asset.
You might reasonably expect to inspire ... 70% of your employees to engage with their work, to leaving their B game behind and bringing only their A game to work each day.
Yeah, you’re right. That’s different. That's scary. That’s disruptive. You'd have to have budget meetings and decide why your employees are more important than your marketing agency's pretty colors and silly ads that went viral but generated no sales. That’s risky.
Best to just do an annual employee survey and give ‘em an award plaque after five years.
* I wrote a few months ago that you should treat your employees as your best customer because they are.