Investing in Your People
Investing in Your People
For the past few months I’ve been coaching a newly promoted territory manager. He works for a very successful distribution company. He’s eager to learn and it seems that everyone in the company is rooting for him to be successful. Nick, his boss, told me that this attitude comes from the top. The owner of the company believes strongly in investing in his people. Nick shares this philosophy. He told me that he credits his personal success to the help that he got from his mentors over the years.
Richard Branson believes that companies should put employees first. Branson is the guy who built Virgin into a global powerhouse by focusing on customer service. Interesting enough, Virgin’s superior customer service is a result of its employee-centric management strategy. Quoted in an article in Inc. magazine by Oscar Raymundo (http://www.inc.com/oscar-raymundo/richard-branson-companies-should-put-employees-first.html) Branson states, It should go without saying, if the person who works at your company is 100 percent proud of the brand and you give them the tools to do a good job and they are treated well, they’re going to be happy.
Years ago, when I first became a road warrior I flew Eastern Airlines extensively. Then they began screwing over their employees. As a result customer service was horrible. I, and I suspect countless other frequent flyers, switched carriers. Over the years I accumulated almost 5 million frequent flyer miles on Delta, United and American. In those days the only way to earn miles was to put your butt in the seat. For the most part travel was a pleasure. The airlines took care of their customers and were rewarded with loyalty. It’s a different story today. With rare exceptions customer service at the major carriers is non-existent. So is customer loyalty. These days I look for the easiest and cheapest way to get from A to B.
Happy employees equate to happy customers according to Branson and unhappy employees can cost the company numerous customers. JK Hussa of Airefco understands this. He recognizes the importance of having people who will go the extra mile for his customers. He doesn’t just do it because it makes good business sense. He does it because he believes it’s the right thing to do. Regardless, it works. Perhaps the airline industry could learn something from JK.
Oliver Connolly coaches and mentors sales managers and vice presidents of sales. For more information please go to http://www.clevelstrategic.com