Retention of Employees and Customers Key as we Face Headwinds

I am grateful to you, my clients, colleagues, and readers. I appreciate you beyond the business and the referrals that you give me.  I appreciate your insights, you sharing your challenges and opportunities with me and your friendship.  

Over the last few weeks, I’ve spoken to dozens of business owners and leaders. They are concerned with the economic uncertainty and the impending headwinds . At the end of the day, the success of every company, comes down to employees and customers. With so much out of our control, we need to focus on what we can control - relationships and experiences.   

The focus for 2023 should be Retaining and Engaging Employees and Retaining and  Customers.

Employees are a company’s hidden asset. 

  • The employee landscape is challenging.
  • There are far more job openings, than people to fill them. (10.9 million openings in US and unemployment rates are all time lows). 
    Employee expectations have changed. Increasingly, employees want to work for companies that serve a meaningful purpose, companies that are ethical and trustworthy. There is an increased scrutiny into whether or not a company is acting in the best interests of its employees, customers, and stakeholders.
  • 86% of employees say they would change jobs if a new company offered them more opportunities for professional development. Learning and development opportunities are critical to employee retention and engagement.
  • Hybrid work or some form of it is here to stay. Although hybrid can boost short term productively, a study of 61,182 employees conducted by Microsoft, found hybrid can also dimmish a long term sense of belonging to the organization. This study also found hybrid diminishes communication, collaboration, innovation, learning and development.

A few years ago, Google studied 180 teams to determine how to build the perfect team. The research called, Project Aristotle, found the key ingredient and the strongest predictor of high performing teams is built on a culture of trust.

In 2023, the leader is key to building a sense of belonging and a culture of trust in the team. When we trust our leader, the likelihood of staying is higher.  When people feel they have a manager they can trust, they feel appreciated, respected, and valued for their contributions. This leads to a stronger sense of belonging, increased engagement, productivity and loyalty. 

Going forward Leaders will be need to be intentional to cultivate trusted workplace cultures. Specifically, leaders that champion empathy, compassion, integrity, inclusion, diversity, and those that are socially and environmentally responsible will be rewarded.  

Building a culture of trust in your team is a strong retention strategy. 

Retaining and Engaging Customers

As you’ve no doubt heard me say in a workshop, we are all here to serve customers.  With the impending economic recession, whether short lived or not, retaining customers is paramount in 2023.  

Ten years ago, in 2013, when I founded Success Through Trust, business was largely perceived as profit seeking.  Today, the best companies want to be considered social enterprises and customers want to buy from and partner with companies they trust.  

Like employees, customer expectations have changed too.  Building and protecting customer Trust Equity is critical to a company’s success and foundational to retaining and engaging customers.  My research has found there is a statistically significant, positive correlation between Trust Equity™ and customer loyalty.  And for companies, who weren’t there of their customers in 2022, I’d recommend focusing on rebuilding the trust and reengaging with them.   

  • 92% of Canadians buy from companies they trust
  • 82%  Canadians pay more for products and services they trust.
  • 87% say business leaders and consumers worldwide say ethical and trusted reputation is nearly as important as price and delivery time in their buying decision (McKinsey, September 2022)

Learning how to develop and cultivate trust in your teams and trust customer relationships is moving from being a competitive advantage to requirement. 

Moving the needle in this area will change your outcomes in 2023.

Happy Holidays to you and yours and all the best in 2023.