HOW TO MAKING YOUR EMPLOYEES PROUD
A company with a positive self-image and sense of pride will be more unified and efficient, with a stronger “employer brand.” When employees respect and appreciate the organization they work for, then their productivity, quality of work, and job satisfaction increase.
Are your employees proud of working for your business? This sense of pride may result from the organization’s purpose, success, ethics, the quality of its leadership, or the quality and impact of its products. An example of this is a leading market
information company, with over 14,000 full-time employees across the world. It collects, analyzes, and interprets information for clients, provides research on business and market issues, and
conducts social and political polling.
The firm’s network spans 70 countries, and has been largely assembled through acquisition. Consequently, employees were often more loyal to their local “in-country” TNS business than to
the group, which seemed remote or foreign. However, when one of its executives was caught in the tsunami in South Asia in December 2004, TNS donated $250,000 to UNICEF to aid relief operations. This altruism brought the company together, as employees were pleased to be working for an organization with values that they respected.
As TNS illustrates, simple and positive gestures can achieve impressive results in terms of employee satisfaction, pride, and motivation. In practice
• Carry out acts of corporate social responsibility—such as donation, fundraising, or simply enacting more compassionate business practices. These all serve to make current and potential
employees feel proud to work with your organization.
• Ask employees what they value—what would they like their employer to do?
• Provide opportunities for employees to engage in fundraising and volunteering activities.
• Avoid negative business practices. Employees will be less motivated to work within an organization that is viewed negatively
• Remind employees of the ways their services benefit society; how the everyday tasks they perform make a positive difference
USING CUSTOMER INFORMATION
Seamlessly gathered information can be used to save costs, to provide a tailor-made service to individual clients, and to sell more—often using the internet.
The idea The American online retailer Amazon.com has redefined bookselling. Its culture appreciates the potential of technology, with the company using information in four key ways:
1. To minimize risks by analyzing information from millions
of customers to see how and when they purchase, enabling
Amazon.com to reduce the level of risk.
2. To reduce costs by using technology to control the way it manages
its inventory and suppliers.
3. To add value and help customers by offering reviews of books and free downloadable information, and by treating its home page as an individual storefront for each customer—for example by tailoring lists of suggested titles that the customer may enjoy based on previous purchases.4. To innovate. Amazon believes that, to rival its competitors, an innovative approach is essential in order to improve the value and service offered to consumers.
What matters is not simply what information exists, but how that
information is used to build competitive advantage. Interestingly,
many other retailing companies have now followed Amazon’s
lead. For example, Apple’s iTunes and iStore have done for music retailing what Amazon did for bookselling, using many of the same principles.
• Treat each customer as an individual. For example, music retailer iTunes tracks the purchases of individual clients and provides a customized webpage designed to introduce a client to new buying opportunities that appeal to his/her personal taste.
• Use the internet to provide information for the individual—evenif your business does not carry out its primary operations online. By collecting customers’ email addresses, a business can develop
a highly valuable and intimate marketing strategy.
• Smaller businesses and freelance workers may be able to research more in-depth information on each client. This can then be organized into an accessible database, with subheadings for each client covering all areas of relevant information.
• If your organization is unable to seamlessly track consumer trends, use incentives such as free products for customers who volunteer their information. Similarly, you should also provide rewards for customers who agree to receive information on your organization—the marketing should be entertaining, lively,
appropriate, and relevant.