“Take care of the employees and the guests. The money will take care of itself.”—Walt Disney
Walt’s right: We should say “thank you” to our clients, but we shouldn’t forget our employees.
No one has a greater influence on your organization’s success than your team members. They’re on the front lines—handling day-to-day responsibilities, taking care of clients and improving your credibility.
The way you treat your employees is a form of marketing. Appreciating the efforts of your staff shows them that you “get it” and acknowledges how vital they are to your business. The way employees are treated affects your customers and shapes your organization’s reputation and culture.
Let’s assume you give a holiday bonus or host regular company luncheons; what else can you do to show appreciation for your employees? Use your PR prowess, and treat them the way you’d treat a client.
Give them a voice: Employees often express interest in wanting to influence business. Not only does this make them feel like part of the solution, but in many cases they offer valuable insights, too. Whether you form an employee advisory committee or take an advice poll at your next team meeting, it’s wise to start using their feedback. This gives them a sense of contribution and improves your business.
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Don’t keep them in the dark: Before you start an initiative, clue all of your employees in. It’s far too common in marketing for employees to see one of their organization’s ads or promotions only when a customer brings it to their attention. It’s frustrating, embarrassing and annoying to your employees to be out of the loop.
To establish camaraderie, hold regular meetings to keep everyone on the same page, or distribute information about an important client to all of your organization’s departments.
Build a reward system tied to company goals: Rather than give bonus money, reward your employees based on key performance indicators. This gives them a personal reason for helping your organization move forward. Everyone will benefit if the entire organization is motivated to pull in the same direction.
Drew McLellan is an author and national speaker and has owned McLellan Marketing Group since 1995. A version of this article first appeared on his blog.