Posted by: joannabrandi | January 4, 2008

Ain’t it the truth?

When someone new finds my website (www.customercarecoach.com) and signs up for my “tip” list they get an email from me asking for a little information – who they are, what their job is, what challenges them and what they’d like to learn.  10 – 20 % of the people that subscribe take the time to write to me and that makes me very happy.

It’s a way for me to “stay tuned” to what my tip readers want and helps me stay relevant.  When I went into my mailbox today there were a few responses that accumulated over the holidays. I make it my business to write a personal message to everyone who has taken the time to share their situation with me. One of those emails was from Kathy who works at Cargill.  

She recently took a new position and was looking for some information on keeping employees engaged and satisfied and found me (YAY – the key words are working.) Like many people today she is smart enough to know that good people are hard to find and sometimes even harder to keep. (She’s also smart enough to know that the first step to engaging customers is engaging employees.) 

She said something that stopped me in my tracks and is food for thought for all of us. She said,  “Good, honest and happy employees are precious and need to be keep engaged if they’re going to be kept on board.”  

Yeah, read it again. Precious.  According to dictionary.com that means “of high price or great value; very valuable or costly.” Ain’t it the truth?

She commented that it was harder to keep them engaged and I wrote back that I agreed. I commented that  Engagement – especially for the younger generations –  has a lot to do with allowing people flexibility, choice, and the opportunity to work from their strengths. And that is hard for many managers – it involves letting go of their own egos (ouch!) and really listening to what people have to say, and the willingness to be wrong (ouch again). Great leadership today looks different than leadership in the old “command and control” days. (And if you think those days are gone, don’t kid yourself, there’s lots of what I call “legacy leadership” styles still out there.)

 Kathy loves working at Cargill there because she thinks it’s a fabulous place to work. When people have a great place to come to work, they are more likely to do great things.  

We all need to ask ourselves the question, ”What am I doing to make this place a great place to work?”

I believe you can’t add really add sustainable value in the marketplace until you add value in the workplace.

Thanks, Kathy for getting me started… let’s all gnaw on that thought for a while.

Happy New Year! Peace and Prosperity    

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Responses

  1. Thanks for your tips and comments. They have been very inspirational especially on days like today where half of the employees of our organisation did not show up for work because of civil unrest in areas of our country. You hjave inspired me to find some strength to send out and inspirational emails to my colleagues all over our country in the form of what used to be a monthly comment from customer relations to a weeklycomment from the customer relations desk

  2. Hi Emily, I’m sure that lots of people reading your comments will suddenly be grateful for a staff that does show up. I’m very impressed with your determination and resolve to keep people’s spirits up. Keep up the good work – I’m glad that I am helpful in some way.
    JoAnna


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