The Right Employees

I read a book a number of years ago "The Loyalty Effect" by Frederick F. Reichheld. I regard it as one of the best in my collection and one which I often refer back to for extra learning! For those of you who are not aware of Frederick F. Reichheld, he is well know for his publications based on the 'Loyalty Business Model' and his authoring of many articles in the 'Harvard Business Review'. He is someone I personally regard very highly. In short though, this blog is going to be based around many of his theories and ideas - many of which I believe combine beautifully with our own. One chapter I really took an interest in was - "Chapter 4: The Right Employees".

Hello All!

I would like to start by welcoming you to the first (of many!) blog posts that I have planned over the next few months.

I will quickly take the opportunity to introduce myself, my name is Michael Kirby and I am the Co-Founder and Sales Director at 3 Spires Learning.

Now, swiftly moving on from the introductions...

I read a book a number of years ago "The Loyalty Effect" by Frederick F. Reichheld. I regard it as one of the best in my collection and one which I often refer back to for extra learning!

For those of you who are not aware of Frederick F. Reichheld, he is  well know for his publications based on the 'Loyalty Business Model' and his authoring of many articles in the 'Harvard Business Review'. He is someone I personally regard very highly.

In short though, this blog is going to be based around many of his theories and ideas - many of which I believe combine beautifully with our own. One chapter I really took an interest in was - "Chapter 4: The Right Employees".

As with the majority of the book, the chapter is based on his Loyalty Business Model - in particular the loyalty of our employees. In my experience this is something that is far too often overlooked; I have worked with (and for) many companies that operate in cultures that are extremely customer focused, but are almost blinded when the term "employee focus" is mentioned - looking in as an outsider, there is little evidence to suggest there is any strategy or significant investments being made for there employees (and no, paying a wage is not the only investment to be made!).

Don't get me wrong, operating in a highly customer focused culture is far from a negative thing, in fact it is an extremely positive culture to employ and it can generate tremendous results for a business. However without a clear balance between the two, these results can, and will, only be a short term gain.

I am sure you often hear these types of phrases -

"Customers keep us going"

"Customers are king"

"Without customers we would not be here"

Yes, all of this is very true - but think about...

Who gets these customers to do business with you?

Who provides the services that keep them coming back?

How does your business continue operationally on a daily basis?

Do we do it all...?

Of course we don't... Many organisations know this, but unfortunately do not truely understand why employee retention is so vitally important to business growth and what needs to be done about it. Due to this lack of understanding, and lack of real awareness, there is nearly never a defined strategy that addresses the issue - and so, no plan (which usually means no action!) to spend the 'time, effort and money' to earn that loyalty.

Just as we define a strategy to retain customers (through time, effort and money), we need to be defining a strategy to retain employees (through time, effort and money).

I quote from the above mentioned book:

"employees who are scared and bitter, working increasingly for only one thing - a pay check. More and more, says Audrey Freedman, an economist and President of Manpower Plus in New York, the relationship between workers and employers is exploitative on both sides. "Employees are saying, 'All right, you use me, I'll use you'"

So many people have the above attitude towards the employers they work for. I don't know how it makes you feel, but it scares me! Think about it for a second...

How productive can an individual really be when they are 'scared and bitter' and working for only a 'pay check'?

How productive can an individual really be when the only thing on there mind is vengeance towards the people they are working for?

They very well may 'get the job done', but will they ever truly excel, will they ever truly 'perform' - and by perform I quote a definition of 'Performance' from 'Coaching for Performance' by John Whitmore:

"Real performance is going beyond what is expected; it is setting one's own highest standards, invariably standards that surpass what others demand or expect. It is of course an expression of one's potential."

Remember - it is our responsibility as the leader to extract the best out of an individual. Until we can safely say we have done everything within our power to bring the best out of this individual - we have no right to just dismiss them.

Assess potential, not performance. After all, there was a reason we decided to give them the job! Through inspirational leadership and great coaching, this can be achieved.

Building a loyal workforce not only saves time & money on recruitment costs, there are many other substantial benefits.

We invest in our employees like we invest in anything - to get a return.

In my next blog I will be exploring how we can invest in our employees to get the best out of them, and why we should be (what is the "return on investment" to our business).

Thanks For Reading - Speak To You Soon!

 

Michael Kirby,

Co-Founder & Sales Director

3 Spires Learning

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