Many of us like to talk about the customer journey – or maybe we use the term "sales funnel." However we describe it, we think a great deal about the process through which a customer moves as she first begins considering a mortgage all the way through closing. We invest a great deal of time and money into making this process more effective, and that's not a bad idea. But we must also realize that, just like there is a customer journey that is important to the outcome of our business, there is also an employee journey that is important to the outcome of our business.
When employees begin looking for work with a new company, they're looking for a need of theirs to be satisfied. When we hire employees, they're still at the beginning of their journey. Organizations that invest in employee development – from providing the appropriate incentives to strengthening employee knowledge and skill – are encouraging employees to become committed to the organization. When that happens, we will have brought employees through to "closing" just like we do customers. And a committed employee is quite literally worth a thousand customers. Good organizations focus on the customer journey. Great organizations focus on the employee journey.
On the August 17 episode of my radio show, we had the opportunity to interview Donna Peeples on the effect of innovation in turning a business around. According to Donna, one of the most important variables in bringing about success within a company that is struggling has to do with the way managers treat employees. Our employees, we must realize, are our greatest assets.