Too many organizations are treating social media like a digital lottery ticket.
What does that mean?
Exactly what this picture says.
You are as likely to grow your business by random social media activity as you are to pick up a lottery ticket off the ground and walk away with millions.
So what is the answer?
Building a story that your current customers see as worth telling and sharing. I said it the other day on Twitter..."If it's not #sharable it's #forgettable." Try equipping those that already interact with your brand to be able to have an impact on those you'd like to be part of your brand.
When you are looking down in search of the digital lottery ticket,
you are ignoring your greatest asset.
Identify it. Tell it. Share it.
Build everything you do around it.
Equip others to brag about it.
Lottery tickets are transactions.
Stories are about relationships.
Guess which one matters more.
Yet...too many organizations still treat social media like digital lottery tickets.
So you might be thinking..."should I still use social media then?"
Replace random with relationships.
With intentional story.
Go have a conversation with a customer. Share your story with them.
And do the same thing in your social media posts.
Stop scanning the ground for luck, look up, and see that you have everything you need.
Story and relationships.
More on the images you see in a minute.
How does this word feel?
If you have ever tried to recruit anyone to anything, that word makes you cringe.
In four simple words, this is what it means.
Attrition is frustration that could be avoided.
Think buffet vs. steakhouse.
"Eyes too big for your stomach" is how most recruiting works. We pile on the plate, and toss out what we don't want later. Lots of waste involved in that process. Everything looks great at first, and then slowly we lose our appetite for it. Quantity rules the day, and waste is considered a necessary evil.
Be specific, clear, and say no to most options so that you can get the best fit for you. Be patient...it takes longer to prepare a better product. Time, seasoning, careful attention to detail. Quality is what we are after. Quality food. Quality fit for our taste buds. Waste is considered insane. It's too good to leave anything on the plate.
When we recruit like a buffet we end up losing people because "they can't cut it". The real truth? Them not cutting it later says more about the recruitment process than it does about the person leaving. When we recruit like a steakhouse we end up building an amazing culture that attracts the very best. The right fit means the best experience.
So the million dollar question...
HOW DO WE FIX IT?
Here are 5 things to get us thinking
about how to fix the process,
and recruit like a steakhouse.
1. Culture - Is there one where you are? If you don't have a clearly articulated vision and core set of values that EVERY SINGLE DECISION is based on, you don't. A culture is a group of people with a common set of beliefs, expressed through a common language. BOTH. Not one part. BOTH. And if you do have a culture now...who buys in? Who doesn't? Separating those two camps will tell you what your organization has to build on, and what it needs to politely excuse itself from. (P.S. That's not a bad thing. Holding on to staff that doesn't buy in not only hurts your progress, it robs them of the opportunity to link up with a team somewhere that they are sold out to. Life's too short. Help them find their team...and yes, that means some will have to be let go from yours).
2. Themes - Look at both ends of the spectrum. Those that are clicking on all cylinders within your team. What drew them to you? What drew you to them? Those that are constantly in a state of friction within your team. What changed for them since they started with you? How have you changed since they came on board? Find the themes...and you start to find a path to repeat. One for people who love who you are and why you exist and want to sell out to your vision. One to be able to refer people away from your team as early as possible. It's important for you, so that your team stays on point. And it's equally important for them, so that they can keep moving to find the team they were called to join.
3. Scarcity - If you aren't willing to be exclusive, you are leaving value on the table. And let me be VERY clear about this. This is not being exclusive at the cost of inclusive. It's a "both-and" posture. Very simply put...you need to be exclusive first, so that you can be inclusive later. If you let every person join your team...regardless of their vision, you'll have a massive disaster in short order. If you are diligent about selecting those that believe what you believe, care about what breaks your heart, and are willing to go all in for your values...the conversations later can be 100% inclusive of every person's opinion in the room. Why? Because you will have already separated personal opinion and preference from the process. Why is that important? Because the vision leads, and every idea tossed on the table goes through that filter. Without that filter, you have a mess on your hands. Think back to the buffet example at the beginning. Lots of waste. Translated to what you do? Waste of time, energy, and resources. And bluntly...A TON OF MONEY! According to the people at SHRM (really, super-smart HR professionals)...It costs about $3,500 per year to recruit, hire, train and retain an $8.00 per hour wage employee. And those numbers are from 2006! So that figure has to be conservative. Still don't think it's important to get it right up front?
4. Invites - Start life earlier in the process with your potential new recruits, and you do a few things really well. You start to develop a relationship with those you want on your team. You honor the time of those who won't ever be a fit on your team. And the third reason is HUGE. You begin to create a culture of brand ambassadors that will cast your vision as well. It's like having a seas of sales reps on the road. You won't be the only ones telling your story. It will reach more. When it reaches more, the quality goes up. More people fight for the top spots. It gets harder to get in. It becomes a little more exclusive. And when you reach that tipping point? You'll have a dream team that is explosive for all the right reasons. Momentum and progress unlike anything you've ever seen.
5. Net Casting - This will allow you to go further than ever before, differently than ever before. Think digital. Virtual. Instead of waiting to get a sense of who someone is when they meet you in person, you'll have already begun to develop a relationship from a distance. That allows a free-agent to sign on the dotted line on a first visit. It implores a college student to make their deposit on the day they meet you in person, on your campus. You won't lose that rock-star employee to your competition, because their first in person visit with your team confirms they are "home". Skype, text, email, and video vs. job and career fairs, table set up in HS hallways with free pens (because that's unique), etc... When you cast your net(s) intentionally where the fish you want are you stop dropping a net for sheer volume not knowing what fish are even there.
Those 5 things start the conversation. The one thing that weaves them all together is the secret sauce that makes the meal undeniably created by you and your team.
Culture. Themes. Scarcity. Invites. New Casting.
Learn from those 5, and let them inform your story-telling process.
Every great book, movie and experience is re-told for one reason...
I hope this has jump-started some brain-storming juices for your team. If you are stuck, don't be a stranger. I'd love to hear from you. I'd be honored to work with you. It's why I do what I do. Your recruitment is a reflection of your commitment. I know your heart is in the right place. Sometimes it's just hard to get the story to match. I'd love to help.
I exist to help other people discover WHO they are, so that they will know WHAT to do.
And I'd love to help you articulate your story, so you can dominate your space.
Let's have one last look at the pictures we started with...
Is there really any doubt which experience you want your recruiting, hiring, training and retention process to resemble?
The "attrition special" on the left is cheaper. But something tells me the cost of the "choice culture cut" on the right is worth every penny you'll invest in the process.
So you have an idea.
How do you turn your idea into into something that actually changes your situation?
Know the difference between an idea and a decision.
Ideas, left to themselves, are based on feelings.
Decisions, inherently, are based on your vision.
One flows from a whim, the other from who you are and why you exist.
It's great to have ideas.
The way you turn them into an actual innovation in your industry?
Make the decision to implement the idea if it aligns with your vision.
Equally important is to make the decision not to, if it doesn't.
But this whole thing gets a lot harder if you haven't taken the time to articulate your vision. Spend a few moments today to start that process if you haven't already.
Fill in this sentence...
We exist to _________________________, so that _____________________________.
We all exist to do something, so that something else happens.
A legacy left.
Once you have a sense what that looks like,
you'll know how to turn your idea into an innovation.
If it fits, act on it. Be intentional. Don't be afraid to fail. It isn't failure if it doesn't work...it's only failure if you fail to learn from it.
if this big idea doesn't fit who you are and why you exist...
walk away from it.
You'll leave yourself the time you need,
to turn the ideas that do fit into the innovation you want.
And above all else...
ENJOY THE JOURNEY TODAY!
What if you let your team loose with their smart phones today?
Seeing yourself for the first time all over again.
It's likely something you've thought about. It's also likely that you dismissed that thought just as fast as it came, thinking it's not really possible.
If we are honest we just want the cash register to ring. We want to pick up a ringing phone and hear a donor on the other end pledging money to our cause. We want to check our online orders in the morning and see that "HUGE" order that happened over night from half way around the world.
That's all so very normal.
My encouragement to you today is to suspend the desire to see what we call "destination points" (transactions, donations and orders)…long enough to experience your brand for the first time all over again.
Look at the image in this post.
Slowly. Really take it in. How many people do you think actually line up two coffee mugs in a cafe and peer through them like they are a pair of retro frames of clarity? Probably not too many, right?
But the analogy hits home, doesn't it?
It's the perspective. It's seeing you, your organization, and your team through the lens of someone experiencing you for the first time.
Here are 5 ways you can do that right now…
1. Find one thing you've "meant to change" near your entrance and change it. Bring a visual appeal and experience that causes someone to pause, brings a smile to their face, and makes them want to reach for your door handle to see what else might be behind that one simple expression of joy.
2. Be intentional about affirming every team member you interact with. Don't mean to. Don't just think it. Don't wonder how they will respond to it. Be specific and intentional about letting them know how much they mean to your team. Say it!
3. Instead of asking someone "can I help you find something?" when they walk in, simply let them know how excited you are that they made the time to visit. They are after all a person, not a wallet. Treat them as such. Honor them for the relationship you hope to develop over time rather than just an order today.
4. Find a way to pick up some slack for a team member. Look early, often and consistently. It won't be hard to spot. Someone is likely having a hard day and you are the one that can relieve some of that pressure. You've got to fight to make sure your place of work is somewhere a team member WANTS to go to everyday…not HAS to go to.
5. As a leader it is going to be incredibly tempting to just "delegate" orders. Don't do it. Create opportunities that will be a reason to celebrate as a team when they are done. Be a leader of influence that excites and empowers, rather than a "boss" that tells them what to do.
If you'll embrace those 5 things,
you'll see your experience completely different than you ever have.
What happens if you don't?
If you ignore them? This is what you sound, look and feel like to your team and any customer/client that interacts with you…
You make excuses. I mean, you have the best of intentions…it's just stuff needed to get done because we needed more transactions, more orders. At the end of the day it's about you and your team knows it. They see you as an authoritative figure head that needs to tell others what to do.
It could look like this.
You are a decision maker. You are intentional about doing whatever you can to build relationships with your team and the potential customers/clients you have the honor of interacting with. Your efforts are outward facing because you'd sacrifice anything to make sure your team matters more than your personal preference. And as a result? Everyone sees you as a leader of influence that has created an incredible experience people want to be a part of.
It'll feel like the first day again. The joy. The butterflies. The expectation of incredible moments. Both for your team and for those coming to see you.
Every. Single. Day.
That is how you'll be able to…
see yourself for the first time again.
We've all been there before.
We were excited because we thought we were "in the lead".
And just when we were ready to raise our arms in victory,
it hits us.
We didn't win anything, our competition did.
Speaking from personal experience we tend to find ourselves here when we are preoccupied with beating someone else out rather than winning the race we were supposed to be running.
We become distracted, desensitized and otherwise numb to the realization that we didn't run OUR race.
We were running not to lose, rather than to win.
Losing a race the right way is more beneficial to winning it the wrong way.
It's in that moment that we have to step back and realize who we are, who the "almost client" was, and admit we let our obsession with beating the competition determine our approach to earning the business.
An obsession with beating your competition is about a transaction. A commitment to a mutually beneficial end with a client is about building a healthy relationship with them.
And if that client is simply lining you and every one of your competitors up like punching bags at a gym, you've got a decision to make.
Am I going to let them knock me around (on price, offerings, etc…) or will I simply step aside and remove myself from a game I'm not interested in being a part of anyway?
Here is the reality…
If they are going to beat on you today, they will continue to throughout your contract…and most especially when they feel they can get a better "deal" later.
You don't need that headache.
It's just a transaction. It will take twice as much time, energy and resources and earn you half as much satisfaction and revenue.
Stand firm on who you are, why you exist and what you bring to the table. That is the value that stands up under tough times. That is the value known as a relationship. Anything less is an auction for your services that they will happily dump if they think they can find the same thing…cheaper.
Run your race today.
Not your competitors. Not someone else's version of yours.
Be sure you are looking at the right screen so you can see where you really are.
And if you find yourself in a race you don't belong in?
Graciously step aside and go win the one you were called to run.
When you reached up to turn on your "open" sign, why did you do it? What was the motivation behind your action(s).
What are you "open" for, today?
Open to simply going through the motions of another day?
Open to hoping a customer will walk through the door?
Open to turning on the "Open" sign and, well…that's it.
When we fall into the routine of seeing our day as a string of transactions, we miss our greatest opportunity to make a difference in the world we've been blessed to live in.
Wherever you are today, whatever it is that you do…I would challenge you to think about your day from a different perspective.
Rather than transactions needed to stay in business, keep your eyes open for opportunities to honor the relationships around you.
It's the difference between going to work because you "have to" and because you "get to". The "have to" mentality counts dollars, hours and minutes. The "get to" side values relationships, a customer's experience and honoring them for who they are, not what they mean to your bottom line.
If you stay open to the latter, you'd be surprised how differently you see that "open" sign in the morning when you get to work.
Before you spend another penny on "advertising", go watch this BRILLIANT clip of the video, "The Naked Brand",
From the desk of our founder, Brett W. Gould.