How Your Employees can become a Competitive Advantage
“Our employees are our most valued asset”…We’ve all heard it said a million times but some cases, the companies that are saying it are doing just that—saying it.
Instead of valuing their employees, they place their value on products…but employees build, market, and sell those products. They trust clever marketing and promotion campaigns to drive their growth but miss out on the fact that it’s going to take a staff to pull those campaigns off.
Only when a company begins to understand the value of its employees and invest in them—will a significant competitive advantage can be gained. Before this can happen, employers must consistently communicate the value of their employees to them in a few simple, yet powerful steps including the following:
- Be sure they know they matter: Making sure they know they matter is the first step in this process. Employees are always looking for cues as to where they stand with their employers. They want to know they’re appreciated and valued on a consistent basis.
- Build with them…not for them: Get their input when it comes to building things that concern them. For example, if a new breakroom is being designed, ask for their input since they will be using it. At every step along the way, if you build with them and not for them, trust which translates into value will follow.
- Tear down those cubicles: A prime example of building with them and not for them can be found in cubicles. Sometimes, you’ve just got to remove them and do a total reconstruction of the office environment for employees to get the feeling that they matter. Research shows that employees actually hate cubicles and would like nothing more than to do away with them – for good. If you choose to move away from the cubicle model, be sure to include your staff rebuild; find out what they need in the environment that they are being asked to perform in.
- Choose leaders wisely: When choosing a leader among your staff, make sure that person is balanced, understands the power of communication. Most importantly, find a leader who understands the culture that’s been created and how to champion that throughout their day. This way he can help you build the type of employee base that you’ll need to succeed and the leadership base they need to do the same.
- They’re more than just a resume: Your employees want to be seen as more than a resume. That’s why it’s important to take time getting to know them, conversing, showing care and compassion. These things are building blocks to a better environment and a competitive advantage.
Once these things have been done, your staff will cease in being employees and become brand ambassadors, armed with your message. Most important of all, they will feel valued and own the brand that you have created and as a result, your business will be able to realize a true competitive advantage.
Stahl, Ashley (2016 Juley 28) Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/ashleystahl/2016/07/28/new-study-reveals-that-cubicle-farms-are-ruining-employee-morale-and-output/#7b9fb0583ee2
Tredgold, Gordon (2016 August 26) Retrieved from https://www.inc.com/gordon-tredgold/3-reasons-why-poor-leadership-is-costing-you-more-than-you-think.html