I love my Herringbone shirts. I love the quality of the fabric. I love the style and I love the fit. And I love the service experience when I go into my local Herringbone store. If you've been watching these videos from the beginning, you'll know that I have a number of these shirts in a variety of colors, and that's because when I put on my Herringbone shirts, I feel like a million dollars.
A brand like Herringbone is an implied promise of a consistent quality of product, service, or experience delivered over time. It's a differentiator that's not filled by technology or products alone because these can be so easily duplicated. Rather the brand promise is fulfilled by employees, employees who are more knowledgeable, more customer focused, and more engaged than the competitors. Brands live or die from within, because an organization's only competitive advantage these days is the commitment of its employees.
The best tool that I've found, that gives an understanding of employee communications best practices, is the service-profit chain. It was initially developed by Sears Roebuck, the giant American department chain. In 1992, Sears Roebuck was in deep trouble, and when the new CEO took the reigns, he very quickly implemented a number of organizational changes that succeeded in bringing about a remarkable turnaround of employee communications best practices. By the following year, Sears had had its best year ever. With Sears firmly back in the black, it became imperative that the medicine lasted for the long term.
So Sears developed a model around employee communications best practices and identified the relationship between happy, committed, or satisfied employees, happy or satisfied customers, and happy shareholders. Sears Roebuck's commitment to the model led them to develop statistical correlations between these 3 factors, and they showed that a 5 point improvement in employee commitment drives a 1.3 point in customer sat, which in turn will deliver a 0.5% improvement in revenue growth.
Now what drives these causal relationships? Well, the engine that drives momentum across happy employees, happy customers, and happy shareholders is what's called internal service quality. Two of the key components of internal service quality are management style and communication. One of the key initiatives to generating higher profits is to start from within, just as Sears Roebuck did. Taking an inside out approach by focusing first and foremost on the drivers of employee commitment, such as communication, helps drive an increase in customer sat, which in turn generates higher profits.
Well, that's my tactic for this Tuesday. Build a powerful brand from the inside out with effective employee communications best practices.
What do you think? Do you think organizations achieve greater profits by focusing their communications primarily on customers? Or does effective employee communications best practices help drive an improved customer experience and, therefore, generate higher profits?
I look forward to seeing you again soon. Until then, happy communicating.
Lorri Lennon is an award-winning advisor, trainer and author in leadership communication. She has 20 years’ experience managing communications for large global organisations.
Lorri conducts master classes to help participants maximise their communications ROI.
Mariska Mannes is an experienced communication consultant. She holds a Master of Management majoring in Communication, which allows her to bring a blend of qualification and practical experiences to her training programmes. Her expertise is in business and cross cultural communication and behaviour. For more information visit Mariska's LinkedIn profile.