Guest post by Nick Deyong
In today’s world, everything happens at breakneck speed and, to offer a clumsy version of an often-used expression, “we’re too busy gazing off in to the distance to notice what’s right in front of us”. Or something to that effect.
The same can be said when considering the practice of marketing; amidst all the promotion to the wider world it is easy to overlook a key stakeholder group – internal colleagues and suppliers. A curious occurrence, when it is clear that without employees operations would grind to a halt.
Not just that, but without enthusiastic staff who are fully behind the task at hand, know exactly what their role is and how important they are to the business, all the clever marketing in the world would ultimately prove futile. You see, employees are a company’s greatest ambassadors – treat them well and they will pass on this positivity to future customers and staff in a way that is wholly more honest and authentic than any advertising campaign.
Then there’s other highly desirable by-products of a happy and focused workforce – better recruitment and retention, greater productivity, increased profits. All these are a CEO’s dream and can easily be achieved through moulding the manpower’s mindset.
So, how can an organisation instil such an attitude in its workforce? Firstly, there’s education – ensure that every employee knows what the business’s objectives are and how they can help to achieve them. Too often, staff simply clock-in, do their bit (and nothing more) and clock-out without ever having an idea of the bigger picture. Staff working in silos without consideration of what is happening around them or beyond their office door is potentially very harmful to a company as it breeds inefficiency, selfishness and a lack of co-operation amongst colleagues.
Secondly, there are incentives. If a rallying call to arms doesn’t motivate, then maybe a chance to win a luxury cruise will? Material, yes, but also highly effective as many a company will testify. But it shouldn’t just be all about sales – if someone’s contributed towards some form of success, whatever it may be, then even something as small as a gift voucher through the post can spur an employee on for months to come.
On a grander scale, motivation and incentive programmes can inspire staff; whether through once-in-a-lifetime experiences for teams or individual reward packages for high achievers. Even with such beneficial enterprises, however, there are pitfalls to look out for, namely, that staff forgets why the incentive is there in the first place – to achieve within their role. Instead, employees can become so pre-occupied with ‘winning’ the next prize that it’s to the detriment of other colleagues and morale begins to suffer – thus having the reverse effect of what was initially intended.
About the author
Nick Deyong is the managing director of NDL Group, a prize promotion agency that delivers incentive and motivation schemes for customers and employees, as well as events, partnerships and digital services. Nick set up NDL Group in 1997 with the goal of creating a great place to work that provides solutions to clients based on expert delivery and service.