We have talked in depth about how to engage your team and how to foster a great work environment. But now it’s time to talk about how employees actually control the fate of your company. Sometimes, we like to think that the sharks at the top of the food chain are in charge, but in reality it’s the fish that feed the shark that control the fate of the shark. Without those fish, they go hungry and suffer. Businesses are just like this. What your employees do (or don’t do) can make (or break) your company.
Okay, so now that we’ve torn down the illusion of control, what do we do next?
We have to realize that those who work for the business are the ones who drive customers to the point of purchase.
Ken Cook with Denver Business Journal wrote three things that leaders can do in order to focus in on the strategic intent of customer interaction.
- “Actively engage employees in terms of what’s working and what’s not working, as the customer sees it.”
- “With employees leading the way, understand the activities involved with delivery of products and services.”
- “Again with employees leading the way, align activities and delivery system with brand promises and strategic intent.”
We have to think about two important things, and that is engaging our employees and establish alignment.
Ultimately, by giving your employees a safe space to register their opinion, you are allowing them to engage fully and thus increase their productivity. People give you what you give them. Trust them and they will trust you, respect them and they will respect you. It is a cycle that must not be ignored. Engaging your team is not only a way to increase efficiency, but investment on future success. True leaders know that this is a way of life.
It is vital to have our activities align with our strategic intent. At the base level, you want the activities to align with your strategy. At the next level, you see that activities must further and strengthen the strategy. Think about how being a part of a business means being a part of something larger than yourself. What is that quote about the whole being greater than the sum of its parts? The last level (the highest one) brings the activities into all aspects of the company. We want to make sure we are providing solutions and value to the customer. When you realize that mixing the activities in and creating something superior than the individual aspects, you have made your strategy into a reality.