A recent report, titled “The War for Talent” stated that over the next 20 years, employee talent will be what differentiates successful companies from those going bust. The late 90’s gave us a glimpse of the talent war, but was nothing compared to what’s ahead. Here are five ways to bulletproof your company before the battle begins.
Practice What You Preach
Recent studies of America’s largest companies show that a strong reputation for moral and ethical conduct performed better financially in terms of their returns on investment and equity, and their sales and profit growth. How do you begin applying this in your company? At PrideStaff, every time an employee is hired, the owner takes them into his office and goes over the 10 standards of ethical conduct that the company was founded on. We also review these standards several times a year to encourage their daily application in the company.
Why is it so important to employees that they work for a company with strong ethics and values? Because your personal identity is strongly tied to your corporation. People often make assumptions about others based upon where they work. I know it sounds shallow, but what’s the first question you’re often asked after meeting someone? “So…what do you do?” Employees want to be proud when they answer that question.
Make Every Employee a Cheerleader
Employees are the first direct contact between a corporation and its customers. They are also the single most important source of word-of-mouth advertising that attracts other talented employees.
So how do you start making cheerleaders? You can start by buying everyone pom-poms. I’m not kidding! You need to make your company a fun place to work, a place that encourages employees to build relationships. An employee is much more likely to look forward to coming to work if they have a best friend there. I recommend you check out the motivational program called FISH!, based on the world famous Pike Place fish market in Seattle. It provides a step by step guide to building an amazing corporate culture.
Create and Convey a Strong Corporate Vision
Ultimately, your vision tells your employees and the rest of the world what you do and why you’re doing it. But just hanging up a poster with your corporate vision isn’t enough to build your brand as an employer of choice. Your vision should weave through every employee interaction. From your newsletter to your new hire orientation, your vision should serve as a constant reminder of where you’re going and provide the motivation to get you there.
I think it’s important to point out the difference between a vision and a mission statement. Your vision should provide a higher calling to a greater good while your mission statement should provide a framework for your existence in relation to your clients. The former speaks to the heart while the latter speaks to the mind. Your vision answers the question, “what really matters in this world ” and your mission statement answers the question, “what really matters in my clients world.”
Build Partnerships with Other Companies with Great Brands
In every industry, you can point to one or two companies that stand out from the rest of the crowd in terms of their reputation. Your goal is to find those companies with excellent reputations, who don’t compete with your company, and develop strategic alliances with those companies. Online, this strategy is known as affiliate marketing. I’ve heard other companies calling it a formal referral network. Whatever you call your partnerships with other companies, make sure you leverage those relationships with non-competing businesses that sell to your demographic.
There’s a saying that goes, “Birds of the same feather flock together.” When two or more corporations enter into a partnership or work together; their reputations may be attributed to each other. Keep this in mind as your think about other businesses to form partnerships with.
Become World Famous
Becoming world famous should be one of your major objectives in your long term business strategy. Why? Because building a business that draws the best of the best requires a brand that is known around the globe. How many people do you know that want to work at Microsoft just because it’s Microsoft? Building a world famous brand should be your ultimate goal in the visibility of your business. How do you get world famous? You start working on it today. Remember, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
About the author
Mike Nacke is a speaker, author, and consultant to business owners, managers, and recruiters. He has helped companies save millions of dollars by developing unique hiring processes that turn hiring into a measurable science. His clients range from fortune 500 companies to small businesses. Visit www.mikenacke.com for more information on reducing labor costs and increasing workforce productivity. Mike is currently the Director of Development for PrideStaff, a national staffing and recruiting firm.