Strategy

13th April 2017

I wish I worked somewhere like that

We are very often extremely aware of the need, perhaps the obvious need, to be the supplier of choice. In other words to be the one supplier out of all potential suppliers that will be at the top of our clients lists; the number one choice, the first choice. We work very hard to get to a position where customers are saying ‘I would be crazy to go to anyone other than ….insert your company name here.. to supply me with …. insert your product or service here.’ The logic is obvious and compelling and over the years I am proud to have witnessed a number of clients saying such things about companies I have been involved with.

But supplier of choice is only one of the three bottom lines we should be focussed on. Employer of choice is another equally important bottom line and you could argue that it is even more important than supplier of choice.

What would be the value in people being able to say about your organisation, ‘I wish I worked somewhere like that’?

What would it take to cause people to say ‘I wish I worked somewhere like that’?

I suggest that to be the employer of choice in your particular industry, town or region would be better than money in the bank because it would mean that you would have the pick of all of the available talent. The very best people would queue up to make themselves available to join your organisation and no longer would you be scraping the bottom of the metaphorical barrel but you would be able to skim the cream off the top. The chances of you then being able to be the supplier of choice and the investment of choice suddenly get so much greater.

But what would it take? Of course, you would need to pay people the right amount, that goes almost without saying, but it isn’t as simple as that. You can buy a workforce, perhaps, but you can’t buy commitment and a team of committed people will out-perform a bunch of uncommitted individuals every day of the week.

I suggest that to be the employer of choice you would need to provide your team with the emotional satisfaction they need. They would have to be in a position of feeling that yours was the company to be a part of. So, what would that take? Basically, people would need to feel trusted, involved, valued, worthy and respected as a minimum.

Do they? How does your organisation stack up against those requirements? Are you capable of providing the environment that would lead to those kind of feelings and not just at the top of the hierarchy but all the way through? Do you provide an environment where people know what is expected of them and are trusted to deliver, or do you check people in and out with timeclocks and trackers? Do you consult with people or simply tell them what to do and how to think? How often does every member of your team get to discuss their contribution, their progress and their successes with their senior and how often does anyone get recognition for a job well done? And before you are tempted to say something like “they know they are valued when their pay cheque arrives” you know that doesn’t wash.

Is yours an environment where people go home feeling that nobody has noticed the 10 things they have gotten right, but knowing they have been chewed out about the one thing they got wrong?

How can you create the high challenge and high support environment that will cause each and every member of your team to not only perform at their best but also to feel like a valued member of a winning team on an inspiring mission?

Someone once said that the purpose of a business is to create raving fans. They weren’t simply referring to customers. Our team, partners and associates need to be raving fans too. When they are, they will talk about the joy of being a part of the organisation with such enthusiasm that others will inevitably say ‘I wish I worked somewhere like that’?