The concept of amazement is when you have happy employees who are willing to work hard and better … [+]
Last week I wrote about the secret to happy customers. It turns out that the secret isn’t really a secret. It’s about happy employees. My weekly article prior to that one was focused on the five phases—or cults as I like to refer to them—that customers go through from the time they start doing business with you to when they ideally become loyal customers. The concept of these cults comes from my book, The Cult of the Customer, which is being re-released on March 17. Although these five cults focus on the customer, they are just as appropriate for employees, which makes this a perfect follow-up to last week’s article.
Let’s take a look at the five cults, keeping in mind that what is good for the customer is also good for the employee.
The Cult of Uncertainty: This is the beginning of the employee’s career at the company. From the application and interview up until the first day on the job, new employees have a feeling of uncertainty as they don’t know exactly what to expect. They may be excited about the new job, but can only hope it’s going to be a great experience. The goal is to get the employee out of this feeling of uncertainty as quickly as possible.
The Cult of Alignment: Some of this occurs before the first day of the job, but once new employees begin working, they learn about the mission and vision of the company as well as the culture. They start to align with the values and behaviors.
The Cult of Experience: This is where employees begin to feel comfortable. It’s still new, but they are adjusting to the new job, their fellow employees, and the management and leadership they report to. They are moving away from uncertainty as they find some stability in their job. They are starting to get comfortable, which leads us to the next cult …
The Cult of Ownership: At this point, employees now feel very comfortable with their roles and responsibilities in the company. They feel as if they are part of the overall organization. They are entrenched in the culture. They fit in. They know what to expect. They understand the different personality types of the people they work with. They own their experience.
The Cult of Amazement: This is where you want your employees to be—and the sooner they get there the better. When employees are in the Cult of Ownership and can describe their job using the word always followed by something positive, they are in the cult that you want them to be in.
Let’s expand on the concept of amazement. This is when you have happy employees who are willing to work hard and better engage with customers as well as fellow employees. Who doesn’t want that? But, keep in mind that in certain situations, the employee could move from amazement right back to uncertainty. This could happen when they encounter a difficult boss, a co-worker leaving, a downturn in sales, a change in leadership, a potential merger, buyout of another company and more. You get the idea. If any of these confidence-breaking issues come up, the employee will move back into uncertainty, where they become concerned about their future. This is where you potentially lose your best employees.
The goal is to get all employees to reside in the Cult of Amazement. Prove to them that even if there is a change such as one of the issues mentioned above (and more), that their job is secure. As the old saying goes, “The only thing that is constant is change.” When you prove that employees are valued and that changes are just little bumps in the road, they will stay in the Cult of Amazement. It is there you will see the best employee performance. And, when employees are in the Cult of Amazement, it’s more likely that your customers will be, too.