Let’s call this article the It’s a Wonderful Life test.
Imagine if the employees who work in your company had a dream last night in which they saw what the marketplace would be like if your company had never existed. What story did these employees create in their minds?
Did their dreams describe a world that is essentially no different than the one we live in now, or did your employees conjure a nightmare where customers, who never had a chance to do business with you, were much worse off, and suppliers, who never had a chance to sell to you, were much worse off.
Did this nightmare include a marketplace where quality, innovation, service and trust were the same as they are now, with no contribution from your company, or was there less quality, innovation, service and trust in the world without your company?
If the employees in your company believe that your company truly matters to its customers, suppliers and the marketplace at large, they will be much more committed to helping your company be the powerful contributor it can be.
If they don’t believe that you matter … well, you can imagine how that can affect their commitment.
A Shared Belief of Why We Matter
Let’s think what happens if you can cultivate a shared belief of why we matter throughout your entire employee base.
Employees will be much more likely to go above and beyond to create a company and a customer experience that will create preference, loyalty and ongoing business from your customers.
It will be easier to attract and retain talent, as prospective and current employees feel the power of an integrated, inspired culture and feel like they are part of a team doing something important.
Suppliers and partners will be more likely to put more focus on their work with your company, giving you better service, pricing, access to products, partnership and support than you would have received otherwise.
Ask the Team Why We Matter
One of the best ways to create a shared belief of why we matter is to create a company discussion around this incredibly important topic.
Ask employees to imagine they overhear a few of your customers talking about your company, describing the powerful and positive impacts you have on them. What are these customers saying?
Next, have them imagine overhearing the same conversation, only in a world where your company never existed. Are the customers saying something different, or are they describing how they receive the same powerful and positive impacts from other companies?
It’s possible that your employees may not be able to immediately identify the unique, proprietary impacts your company has on its customers. But I believe that every company who makes a profit and survives from year to year provides its customers with something special; the challenges are to identify what this is, to have your entire team believe in it, and to have your entire team oriented around delivering it.
A shared belief of why we matter. A critical factor in your success.