How many times have you felt powerless and hopeless when it comes to getting your employees to think more like stakeholders – people who have a vested interest in the health and well-being of the company and so become engaged and loyal to the business (not just the paycheck, and make decisions that are in the best interest of the company, even if it's not always comfortable or most convenient for themselves.
How many times have you wondered why you aren’t converting more search engine results, blog post links and other web site visitors into online sales and in-store visits.
Here’s the secret.
People don’t buy from companies, they buy from people.
People don’t develop loyalty to companies, they become loyal – and sometimes addicted – to the things that companies do for them or how they make them feel.
Getting found by search engines, having your blog posts read and getting people to your website is a preliminary step; only what happens after that point – the engagement and emotional connection built into the online experience – produces sales, booked appointments and in-store visits.
Only what occurs after someone walks into your store in terms of engagement and emotional connection produces desired results at the cash register, repeat visits and referrals.
Employees don’t think like stakeholders when they’re treated like tools. (Take that any way you like.) And all if it can be attributed to what I call the ‘Law of Reflection.’
And here is its shortest, sweetest version:
no one is going to put more into a relationship than you.
Employees won’t invest themselves personally in the well-being of your company until they feel that you are invested in them. Clocking in does not produce engagement. If you want them to act like a stakeholder, you’ve got to give them reasons to feel like one, first.
Customers don’t become loyal to you until you become loyal to them, making them #1 in your focus and thinking, and making it your goal to benefit them and improve their lives. (Notice how “sell stuff to them” is nowhere to be found in that statement.)
The relationship and loyalties that customers develop toward you and your business is a direct reflection of your commitment to and interest in them. Likewise, the loyalty and engagement that employees demonstrate toward your business is a direct reflection of not only your policies and employee culture but also of how much (or little) you take the time to educate and train them and of how important you make them feel that they are to you, and to your business.
Understanding the Law of Reflection is the first step on the road to loyalty and engagement, changing the way that you think about your business and set goals and priorities must follow.
Remember, just like with a pool of water or even a mirror, the reflection (the way customers or employees feel about you and your business) is never going to be clearer or stronger than the original, and you are responsible for creating the original side of those relationships.