I don’t know if you have a 4 Rivers Smokehouse where you live, but we’ve got a few around here (Orlando, FL), and they are incredibly popular. How do I know this? Because I see one of these on about 1 out of every 5 cars driving around town.
As my wife and I started noticing how many people had affixed these to their cars, two questions emerged: When are we going to try it? And, how good must it be for ALL these people to put a bumper sticker on their car?
It wasn’t until we asked a friend (who had on of these on her car) what the deal was. It was all then very clear.
It’s a magnet.
So while you might really like 4 Rivers, you can express it without the long-term commitment and potential paint damage that a bumper sticker provides. They made it easy to like them (and share that with others). That’s smart!
How can we apply that same notion to our work environments? How can we make it easy for our employees to like us and recommend us? Unfortunately, I don’t think it is as easy as a bumper magnet, but maybe it’s not that tough, either.
Everyday your employees are making decisions about their experience with you. Is it good, is it bad, what do they like, what do they not like? Then, their actions show how they feel. They like more stuff, they perform better. They don’t like stuff, they become a pain in the rump.
We often talk about looking at things from our guests perspective to make sure we are meeting their needs… how often do we do that with employees? How often do we put ourselves in a position to experience what they experience, to go through what they go through, to deal with US when we are at our best and our worst?
If we did, we might find what I like to call “emotional pinch points”. We all know what a physical pinch point is and why it’s good to avoid it, but how many of us pay attention to the things impact the emotional well being of our employees? It could be a small thing… maybe some illogical process that’s been in place for many years regarding how employees get paid. You don’t even notice it now, it’s just a part of the process. To an employee, looking at it from another angle, it’s a weekly frustration that slowly builds up and accumulates with any other pinch points they may experience.
It may take some time, but these pinches add up, and could eventually outweigh any of the good deeds you are doing.
Your challenge is to look at things from your employees’ perspective. Get into their routine, experience what they experience. If you find something that bugs you, immediately multiply that by 250 (average number of days a typical full time employee works; 2000 hours x 8 hours/day). You may experience it once and think it’s not a big deal. Now do it 250 times and see how you feel about it.
Thanks for reading!
Also from the author: The Myth of Employee Burnout outlines Matt’s quest to get to the bottom of why some employees start off strong but then eventually fizzle out. As one reader said, “This [book] is a must have for any leader that cares about the development of their team. You will not be disappointed.” Can’t argue with that! Available through Amazon or www.performanceoptimist.com.