Business leaders and marketing professionals have a much broader job to do than ever before if they want people to buy in… and buy. To achieve increased productivity, customer spending, and profitability, messaging must focus first within organizations and then be directed toward their targeted external audiences. Leaders need to connect in a meaningfully way, with their own people as well as with their customers, clients, influencers, and investors.
INSPIRING TEAM MEMBERS
Employee engagement is a hot topic these days, and should be viewed at not only as an internal concern, but as a key marketing challenge. Savvy leaders recognize the implications of an average employee turnover rate of 33% with 9 of 10 people separating because of attitude (Forbes) are foreboding. Savvy leaders also know they need to cultivate an engaged culture where their people are passionate about the company, fully engaged in the company, and are inspired to contribute to its vision. All leaders who want to achieve high-engagement cultures must appreciate this: In order to create stickiness – especially with their Gen X and Gen Y team members – they need to do three things: connect their employees to what the organization stands for, connect each team member to the value they bring to the organization, and connect their people to each other.
In essence, leaders must crystalize and communicate their personal WHY – i.e., how they are hardwired and what drives them, and learn/capitalize upon the WHY’s of their team members. With this intelligence, leaders can appreciate their employees’ gifts and place them in (or move them to) the “right seats” – in seats that will motivate them to excel.
When WHAT they do is aligned with WHY they do it, employees develop passion for their work and alignment with the organization’s cause. Per Gallup, companies in the top 25% in terms of engagement yield 22% higher profitability and 21% higher productivity. Imagine what that looks like at companies in the top 5 or 10% of the engagement scale.
Similarly, as we transition to a purpose-driven economy, organizations must connect authentically with their external audiences – with ideal clients, customers, stakeholders, and investors. Near-ubiquitous access to online information, primarily via mobile devices, enables buyers to compare features and benefits of alternative options with little or no effort, creating new marketing paradigms.