Being a member of Executives Forum you would know employee job satisfaction is one of the key goals of all successful companies. Happy employees are more loyal to the company and its vision. They go the extra mile to achieve company goals.
Dissatisfied workers experience lower productivity in the workplace, poorer performance, more job stress, and higher turnover rates. Moreover, low job satisfaction can result in low morale and low loyalty to the company itself and to any outside Executives Forum.
Job satisfaction is defined as the extent to which employees feel self-motivated and satisfied with their job. Employee satisfaction covers the basic concerns and needs of employees, and is essential to the success of any business. Job satisfaction is a combination of intrinsic (kind of work) and extrinsic (working condition) factors. Salary, promotion, work-life balance, recognition and appraisals are important factors to be considered in employee satisfaction.
Make strategic decisions to create a culture of engagement and satisfaction. Engaged employees have a strong sense of purpose and leadership. They add value by pushing limits, driving growth and innovation. Employee satisfaction is one of the key metric that can help determine overall health of an organization, which is why many organizations employ regular surveys to measure and track employee satisfaction over time. As a Executives Forum you would understand that this is one way to assess whether your team is happy and engaged at work. It is critical for employee retention. Sadly, CulturalManagement has observed that this has decreased significantly over the past twenty years.
At CulturalManagement we guide you on how to easily collect and understand employee feedback to create an action plan that works. Few ways a company can improve employee job satisfaction:
- Provide a positive working environment.
- Rewards and recognition.
- Make work-life balance a priority.
- Develop skills and potential of workforce.
- Create open and honest communication channels.
One of the basics of all marketing and advertising training is a teaching of "Maslow's needs pyramid". This pyramid shows the different motivators and needs in a person's life and how they are built one upon the other. Supposedly this is presented to help the marketing student understand consumer motivation and thinking. The problem is I've never seen it applied, in the text books. It's presented as the foundation of human motivation and then it's dropped.
I'd like to present to you a way to use Maslow's needs pyramid so that you can get inside the consumer's mind and develop an understanding of what's truly motivating them as they consider purchasing your product or service.
Maslow's needs pyramid present human needs such that each need is pursued and met before the next level of needs can be considered; they build upon one another. The needs from most basic to most complex are:
- physiological needs: food, shelter, sex
- safety needs: clothing, weapons, defense of self
- social needs: social acceptance
- esteem needs: acceptance of self by self
- fulfillment needs: a feeling of having and fulfilling a purpose
So the question is, "How do we use this paradigm to get inside the consumer's head?"
Let's consider a personal fitness training service. Here's how it works at the most basic level. Place yourself in the position of the consumer and think as if you are considering hiring a personal fitness trainer.
1. How will personal fitness training impact my acquisition and use of food? Of shelter? Of sexual behavior? (Now you see why sex is used in marketing so many products - we react to it instinctually)
2. How will personal fitness training impact my personal safety?
- you'll be in better shape and can run faster from a mugger, perhaps.
3. How will personal fitness training positively impact my standing in society? In my social circle? Access to different social circles?
4. How will personal fitness training positively impact how I think about myself?
5. Will personal fitness training have an impact on my personal sense of fulfillment?
I understand that most consumers, will ask themselves these types of questions without really thinking about them. The answers you develop as you purposely ask yourselves these types of questions will give you insight in the processes a consumer may consider or be susceptible to as they are considering purchasing personal fitness training services.
This process will also help you define ways to market that will get consumers to consider your personal fitness training service if they are not. Using Maslow's needs pyramid helps you target your marketing. It is the foundation of:
Motivating to Action
If you can use Maslow's needs pyramid to get inside the head of the consumer by running it through a filter of questions like the one's I've presented above you'll have a tangible marketing advantage because you now can respond to your consumer's internal dialogue.
Using this type of filtering process can also help you create need in those that have not yet developed an interest in your product or service. Simply put yourself in the consumer's place and present you're marketing to them in such a way as to answer or resolve each need in the hierarchy.
Maslow's needs pyramid is a powerful tool that is taught to every marketing and advertising student in the world but it must be understood and applied if it's to actually be useful. Try using Maslow's marketing filter the next time you are considering a marketing campaign. It'll help you get a better grip on what the consumer is thinking and feeling.
What Does it Mean to be Customer-centric?
To have the customer's best interests as the focus of your attention - not to be pre-occupied in your own interests at the customer's expense.
To do this, you need to:
(1) Really know the customer in order to anticipate their best interests.
(2) Differentiate between primary and secondary motives.
Customer-Centric Primary Motives:
Making it easier and nicer for the customer to get and use solutions.
Self-Centric Secondary Motives:
Building revenue and profit through new product development, word-of-mouth, etc.
There's a myth that talking often to your customers (sales, service, surveys, etc.) means you're customer-focused. However, customer-focus goes beyond lip-service to the primary motives that drive your behaviors.
Gap in Desired Versus Actual Customer-Centricity
Half of companies say they're extremely customer-centric, but when customers of those companies were asked, only a tenth of them said those companies were extremely customer-centric. Why is there such a huge gap? When you think about who makes business processes and policies within a company, it's usually the workforce that doesn't interact directly with customers. Three-fourths of companies say that customer experience is not well defined and communicated within their company. Half of companies say they have fair or little knowledge of customer demographics, behaviors, psychographics, and transactional histories. Less than a tenth of companies say they have excellent knowledge of customers. Three-fourths of companies say their employees aren't well versed in how to delight customers.
Ways to Really Know the Customer
This represents an opportunity for those who work directly with customers to share valuable stories and facts with the rest of the company, to help the entire workforce live up to their brand promises. We usually think of marketing, sales, and customer service as outward-facing, with only outbound deliverables.
Yet, if a company is customer-centric, then concentric circles around the customer mean that marketing, service and sales are the natural conduit for helping the rest of the company - engineering, finance, human resources, production, operations, technology, safety, accounting, etc. - understand their impact on customer experience and customer profitability. Three-fourths of marketing groups say they don't influence the customer service function ... so you can imagine how much influence marketing has on the rest of the company!
Customer-facing professionals can sensitize the whole company toward the customer's plight and priorities:
(1) Make sure customer stories reflect the customer experience spectrum.
(2) Use creative ways to share customer stories:
- Internal newsletters
- Bulletin boards & posters
- Lobbies, break rooms, war rooms, conference rooms, cafeteria
- Staff meetings
(3) Involve organization in learning and adapting their mindsets - this is the organization-wide journey guiding everyone on managing their personal impact on customer experience, called internal branding
Return on Investment
Your company makes huge efforts and investments in communicating your value proposition, which is the brand promise that shapes customer expectations. A corresponding investment - at least in energy and scrutiny - makes sense for ensuring the brand promise is indeed delivered. Customer satisfaction occurs when the customer's experience meets or exceeds their expectations. Trust - being true to the brand promise - is biggest the biggest factor in building a customer-centric culture that maximizes customer profitability.
Note: statistics from CMO Council Customer Affinity study and Peppers & Rogers Customer Retention presentation.