People are People First…and Always

Businesses rely on proven processes—performing steps in a proven manner that consistently results in successful outcomes. It’s a totally logical best practice for achieving goals. Yet the people who are trusted to execute those processes correctly with their discretion are critical. And while competency is fundamental, their willingness to exert discretionary effort is what separates the wheat from the chaff. Therefore, organizations that deeply connect with their people are most likely to shine.

The same is true of clients. It’s natural to lump them together as the people who buy from your company or the people you serve. Sales and marketing teams use many tactics and touch points to attract new clients. Depending on your industry the sales cycle can be short (immediate to 90 days) or it can be long (greater than 90 days sometimes a year or more). Once you have new clients, meaningful touch points are key to retaining and growing them.

In the frantic pace of business, it is easy to overlook or forget that your employees, clients, and all of the people that interface with your company have unique feelings, families and friends, trials and triumphs. In other words, they have a whole other life apart from the world you share with them.

So how do successful companies strengthen relationships with the people that matter most to them? The answer seems ridiculously simple: treat them like people first and employe, clients, supplier, etc., second. Yet why don’t more companies do that?

The truth is it can be quite difficult to remove our work masks and recalibrate our thinking about how we engage with these individuals. For instance, many organizations recognize employees’ significant work anniversaries, or the completion of a large project, all of which are company-focused and date-driven.

What happens when companies think strategically and challenge the status quo instead of going through the same old motion?

  • We’ve guided clients in the development of strategy and tactical implementation that shift or expand recognition to unscheduled (and unexpected) personal, event-driven milestones (new home, marriage, birth of a child, or loss of an immediate family member) and enhanced their engagement value. This kind of personal recognition says to the recipient, “This is a special time in your life (outside of work), and we want to congratulate/support you because you’re special to us as a whole person, not just an employee or client.”
  • We’ve guided clients in the development of strategy and tactical implementation that recognizes an employee’s family members for their understanding and sacrifices during a company’s crunch time. Think of the additional hours put in by people inside your organization when you launch new websites, bring large projects to completion or your facility moves or there is a company wide technology change. Recognizing family members who are pinch hitting at home doing double duty at home while their spouse/significant other is putting in those extra long hours at work goes a long way to demonstrate appreciation for their efforts, creating an indelible impression.
  • We’ve guided clients in the development of strategy and tactical implementation to authentically recognize their referral sources. Often a company’s strongest referral sources are not employees or clients, but others in your business sphere. Creating touch points that authentically thank and recognize them as individuals will help to keep your company top of mind with this influential group.

The difference in treating people like people is in the details that distinguish and reflect each individual beyond materials representation. 

Something as simple as a heartfelt message that accompanies each action has the power to boost the “wow” effect. Adding these small details takes time, but the payback is exponentially greater than the investment.

Don’t let the many strategic questions to consider deter you from creating a plan and fulfilling details. That’s where we can help. Break out of your comfort zone with a down-to-earth strategic approach that engages the people that matter most to your organization and is aligned with your company objectives, brand, message and voice. Call us we are here to help.

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