I attended the SMPS (Society for Marketing Professional Services) National Conference this past week in Chicago and there was a common theme running throughout the conference:
It’s all about your people.
This goes for both internal and external customers. This concept may seem trite and redundant and many of you will say, “Duh!” But I think it bears repeating because during these stressful times, we tend to forget that. Even if it is unintentional, many companies neglect to truly take care of their people and their external clients. They are in survival mode, and they buckle down. The focus is internal, and we forget the people sitting across from us. Keep in mind that, as a business owner, your people are scared, unsure, and likely approaching burning out with the amount of stress involved in trying to get new work. This goes for clients as well. Get up right now and go talk to someone near you. Ask them how they are doing, and perhaps more importantly, how they are feeling.
During these stressful times, we crave connection with others, so do everything within your power to create those connections. The golden rule says to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. We talk about the platinum rule which says, “Treat others the way that they want to be treated.” Remember, others may want to be treated differently than you would want to be treated. The platinum rule honors that difference.
Both individuals and companies can focus on ways to create more connections with others both internally and externally. Increase the social activities during work hours and after work hours. Involve the families. Let people know you care. Celebrate the wins. Celebrate the personal milestones of births, anniversaries, birthdays, weddings, and graduations. Mourn the losses personally and professionally with your people. Let them know that you not only know about their life, but you care about what happens to them. If you don’t take these steps, be prepared for a mass exodus when the economy turns. People will go where they feel cared about and nurtured. Period. And if you have leaders in the company who don’t subscribe to this notion of taking care of your people, remember that the number one reason people leave their jobs is because they don’t like their boss.
This isn’t hard to do, but it takes effort and focus. And the payback can be tremendous! If you have any success stories with this people approach, please share them. I would love to post it on the BDI Blog!