The leaders I talk with, from all types of organizations, comment on the problems they have with employee engagement. The latest research I’ve seen shows as many as 60% of employees are disengaged or actually hate their jobs.
That’s. Not. Good.
That leads to high employee and customer turnover, lower productivity, lower quality of work and creativity, higher error rates, and more sick days taken. And the most important driver of employee and customer engagement is the desire for “purpose,” the “why” of what you do.
No matter what business you’re in, it’s easier (and more fun) to become world class at it, and give incredible service, if you’re doing business on purpose.
If you, your team members, and customers all believe in and rally around the same purpose, you’ve got a great start.
Everything you do should line up with your purpose. If it doesn’t why are you doing it?
When you have a strong purpose in your business, you don’t get lost, you don’t drift. If you don’t have a strong purpose, it’s easy to get sidetracked for things that sound like good ideas – or just for some quick money. Stay true to your purpose and it will serve you well.
Chick-fil-A has a strong purpose: “To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us. To have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.” The company strives to align everything it does with that purpose:
- It’s always been closed on Sundays so all of its employees could spend time with their families and go to church, or have a day of rest. It gives up a lot of money every Sunday be being closed, but it stays true to its purpose.
- It’s why they do so much volunteering.
- It’s why they give free sandwiches to first responders in times of crisis.
- It’s why they created the Winshape foundation to strengthen families and bring people closer to God and each other.
When you mean it, your company purpose will help you hire and keep the best people. Share it with the people you are interviewing. Most millenials say they don’t want to work anywhere without a purpose they believe in. And older generations might not say so, but everyone wants to be part of something with a great purpose that makes a difference.
“People want to work with a person, not for a company. Most (Operators) feel that this is more than just a job. They feel either a divine call or the satisfaction of a desire to make a difference in the world.”
— S. Truett Cathy
Founder of Chick-fil-A
I just started reading, It’s My Pleasure, by Dee Ann Turner. She worked for Chick-fil-A corporate for 30 years. When she applied there, the interview process was four months long. That’s a testament to how much Chick-fil-A believes that the business is all about the people. They look for great character and people who believe in their purpose.
My 17-year-old daughter, Faith, noticed this at one of our visits to the restaurant. She happened to walk buy a manager interviewing a young teen for an entry level job. When Faith returned to our table she said, “Dad, guess what I heard the manager ask that young man…’Who are your heroes?'”
Do you think they’re asking that question during the interviews at McDonald’s? Right.
I also love the focus Chick-fil-A puts on super serving the customers. Every time I go into the restaurant I find happy employees who seem to really want to serve me. They do everything they can to help me and always say, “it’s my pleasure.”
It’s part of how they create raving fans and evangelical customers. Hey, it led me to blog about it, didn’t it?
“If we get better, our customers will demand we get bigger.”
–S. Truett Cathy
Does your business have a purpose everyone can rally around? If not, can you create one? If not, do you need to find a company in whose purpose you share?
Can you use that purpose to help drive your success?
What ways can you come up with to super serve your clients beyond their expectations so they just have to tell everyone they know about you?
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