Thursday, March 31, 2005

Being a More Complete Person

Christopher Bailey posts some more great thoughts today:

"I honestly believe that our customers want to know who we are as people. They want to know that actual human beings with minds and hearts exist behind that corporate name."

"I encourage folks to live full lives that are not one-dimensional, but integrate work, personal time, community service, passionate hobbies, and anything else that adds to the complete experience that is life. This is the wellspring of creativity and spirit that drives our existence."

Powerful words, and he gives a business case to defend them. He challenges managers out there to encourage employees to develop full lives as well. Then he tells us how having a workforce of interesting complete people will attract more customers than having a workforce of "worker bees, or robot drones"

I think in our current culture of consistent branding, the unspoken message is that to keep customer loyalty accross many branches of the same company everything has to be the same. It's called "creating a unified brand experience" and invariably it results in lack or personality in your workforce. People in uniform that look the same, stick to a customer service script and work in offices that have few, if any personal effects. If that is the only way to build your brand, then what IS the difference between your employees as robots, and real robots. Why not just mechanize everything?

Because customers don't like that. They PREFER to be served by REAL PEOPLE. In fact, if I am understanding Christopher's post correctly, he takes it one step further by saying that you can create MORE customer loyalty through soulful workplaces than through consistently branded ones. I hope that Executives out there are paying attention.


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