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May 29, 2018

I heard Ann Rhoades, former VP of People for Southwest and JetBlue speak at an Executive Forums meeting. When JetBlue surveyed their customers to find out what influences loyalty, the results were a bit surprising in that products/ services, operational performance (on-time arrival) and pricing weren’t critical (even though they are known as a low cost airline); instead, people were the key! People are the brand and created customer loyalty.

According to Fortune, the companies that perform best on inclusivity, trust, pride and camaraderie outperform the rest.  Companies that placed in the top 25% by this measure saw higher revenue growth than the ones in the bottom 25%.  In essence, people create the brand – and results.  It is logical but do we behave as though this is true?  Are you creating a place people want to work?

One tip to implement this week: 
In today’s Amazon impacted marketplace, customer expectations are high, pressure on costs is immense and it is quite difficult to find top talent.  Perhaps it is just the time to figure out how to create an attractive work environment to outperform your competition – and enjoy your day-to-day work life.

As Ann said, creating this culture starts with values.  What values do you stand for?  Do your employees know your values?  Are they apparent in how people behave or are they just on a piece of paper?  Are you willing to let your top performer go because he/she doesn’t live up to the values?  Perhaps take a step back and think about your values, talk with your executive team and think about how to “make them come alive”.  When I was a VP of Operations, we re-set values after barely escaping bankruptcy to set our path forward.  It was pivotal to the profitable growth that followed.