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Monday, November 22, 2010

Treat employees like customers and build long-term relationships

Take the time to secure long-term and strategic relationships with your current employees, both average and high performers. Successful employee relationships mean strong retention. This will save your organizations thousands if not millions of dollars by reducing attrition.

If you are able to retain top performers, this transforms what some employees may consider a short-term opportunity into a long-term and genuine partnership. As companies endeavor to secure both share of market and share of mind from customers and prospects, apply the same concept to your employees.

Given the high cost of recruiting, training, and retention, it will invariably cost your company more if you are continually seeking new external talent. Using a long-term and strategic approach and – i.e., growing from within – offers numerous benefits: a sustained organizational culture, evolving institutional knowledge, strong and enduring customer relationships, and a pipeline of internal talent to support and accelerate succession planning.

Engage your employees. Share with them your vision and strategic plan. Ask your employees to review and validate the marketing strategy and tactics used with customers. If employees see sickly quality control practices, poor customer service, and lack of sales and marketing integration, this wil make it impossible to convert high-performing employees into long-term organizational assets. Effective leaders do not micromanage. They recognize, for example, that requiring their team to check in every day and report on their progress is demeaning and not motivating. Instead, build personal and trusting relationships and create win-win solutions.

An organization's marketing and PR activities attempt to build and secure long-term customer relationships. Apply this same concept to your employees. It is far more cost effective and organizationally beneficial to respect and treat your employee well. If employees feel genuine emotional engagement they will be are inspired and commit their full energy, loyalty – and future – to the company.

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