It’s pretty difficult to get customers to be loyal if the people serving them are not loyal. Those people would be your employees. Employee loyalty and customer loyalty go hand-in-hand. And the catalyst is your signature.
Harvard Business Review journalist Tammy Erickson authored an article a few years back called What it Means to Work Here (PDF for purchase), which she discussed in this HBR podcast: What it Means to Work Here
She contends that businesses need to develop a signature experience, but not just to wow the customer, rather something that makes the company stand out in the minds of both current and prospective employees. A signature experience benefit turns out to be employee loyalty. Erickson says that;
“The companies that had employees who really loved working at that particular place, tended to be a little bit odd… They tended to do things that were unusual. That were unique to them.”
As you look to find the best possible employees, you try to strike a balance between employee capability and salary. You want to get the best employee possible, but at the same time, you don’t want to have to pay more than you should. Potential employees are also playing a balancing game. They want the best possible paycheck they can find, but they also don’t want to work at a place they don’t like. If they do end up in a place where they don’t like working, they will always be looking for their next job, while at the same time delivering less than average customer service.
Signature experiences help potential employees select the company that is right for them. It helps them choose a workplace that excites them. A Signature experience is those things that make you special as an employer, that really make working for you a unique experience for employees. So what’s your signature? What do you have to offer that would excite and attract the best possible employees for your business?
Developing the Signature Experience:
You can develop your signature experience if you start thinking like a signature business:
- Start by examining what you do well. It can be difficult to pinpoint your signature move if haven’t thought about it before. So identify what you do that’s superior, then magnify that strength.
- Plan what you will say to people who join your team. What is your argument as to why they should join your company. This is the value proposition you’re offering to employees and it should be based on your signature move.
- Get everyone on the team saying the same thing. Everyone already on board should agree on the value proposition.
- Make your signature move more vivid through processes. Plan and design processes that show your value proposition is what you’re all about as a company.
- Align Human Resources with your signature experience. If you have an HR department, script what they say so that it matches your signature move. Be honest and don’t bait and switch new employees.
Businesses with superior experiences, experience several benefits, including low employee turnover. They also develop an emotional excitement in their workforce. Employees become highly engaged and more productive.
Erickson focuses on the employee experience in the article, but I would suggest that it’s difficult to have a signature employee experience, without a signature customer experience. The same thing that inspires employee loyalty also inspires customer loyalty.
Do you have signature move? Curious to hear if you do.