This article was originally published on The WorkForce Blog.
“Excuse me, sir,” said LaShawna, a silver-haired woman in her seventies, “are you a manager?”
Adam looked up from his company iPad with a friendly, how-can-I-help-you expression.
“Sure am,” he said. “I’m actually the GM. What can I do you for you, ma’am?”
“Nothing at all,” said LaShawna, her lips curling into a smile as she motioned toward her cart. “As you can see, Ken’s already helped me!”
Adam scanned her shopping cart, which was full of gloves and bats and baseballs, all from the Junior Champs collection on display in aisle five. It was good equipment; expensive equipment.
“Kenny helped you select all of this?”
“He absolutely did! My four grandkids love baseball, but I don’t know anything about it,” said LaShawna. “Ken saw me, overwhelmed, and the rest is history. I wanted to let you know he’s a very, very good egg.”
Ken is clearly a great employee … but why?
What has made Ken—a millennial, full-time retail worker—so exceptional at his job?
Is it simply in his makeup to be attentive and focused, driven and proactive at work? Sure, that’s part of the equation. But there’s another variable that’s contributing to Ken’s success: his Worker Experience.
What is the Worker Experience?
If the “Customer Experience” is how patrons feel after interacting with your business, then the “Worker Experience” is how employees feel before, during and after the job.
Why talk about it? Why care? Because the Worker Experience trickles down, affecting your customers and, ultimately, your bottom line. In other words, delighted customers start with happy, high-performing employees.
And how do you get those? Leaders around the world are using a formula…
The Formula That Breeds High-Performing Employees
Happy employees care more, connect better with customers, and drive higher sales—the way Ken did. Of course, every manager wants a Ken: an engaged, passionate, intrinsically motivated worker, but few employers realize their role in developing that type of standout high-performer.
In the modern workforce landscape, employers need to put as much weight behind the Worker Experience as they do the Customer Experience—and they can do so by applying the Triple-T Formula:
Treatment + Tools + Transparency = Exceptional Worker Experience
Nail each variable and you’ll be setting your employees (and your business) up for success.
Now, let’s take a closer look at each one:
This one’s easy, fundamental: treat your employees like you’d treat your customers.
Respect, dignity, and social awareness, for example, mean something to customers, who seek out these values, consciously or otherwise. Adam, our manager, knows this, which is why he lives by these principles, following them when interacting with customers and employees alike.
Ken notices this, appreciates it, and carries that energy into his interactions with shoppers, like LaShawna.
Modern tools also help companies address serious issues like employee fatigue, driving profound improvements in worker safety around the world.
Providing a customer-grade experience for your employees is a potent catalyst for high performance, but it’s not enough. You also have to enable your people to help themselves, to control their own fate within your organization.
Ken, for example, has an app that enables him to swap shifts and request time-off in seconds. The same technology, then, gives Adam real-time workforce visibility, helping him reduce payroll errors and save money.
“Nice job today, Kenny,” said Adam. “I know that Junior Champs collection doesn’t sell itself.”
“Oh, thanks,” said Ken, smiling as he shook Adam’s outstretched hand.
“That was a hefty sale, Ken. It netted the business just over $800. One cart! Tremendous work.”
Every time an employee does a standout job, Adam makes it a point to validate their performance, putting a transparent number behind their effort. He also puts figures behind his employees’ mistakes, making their presence in the organization as tangible as the products they sell.
And that level of honesty motivates and spurs engagement like few other methods can.
Behind every satisfied customer, there’s an engaged employee. An employee who feels respected, empowered and informed at work. An employee who understands the consequences of their effort …or lack thereof.
It’s important to remember that these people are on the front lines of customer service, support, and satisfaction. They’re at the helm, dictating whether or not a one-time shopper will become a lifetime patron.
It’s an awesome responsibility, which is propelled by a thoughtful, calculated employer approach—a formula.
Now, if you manage others, the ball’s in your court…