3 Win Principle - Customer, Owner & Employees
We have all heard in our business travels of the win/win scenario or the win/win box. You win and I win and we all win, right? Wrong! The win-win formulation is missing a key dimension, which are the employees, who are key to facilitating the mutual win between ownership and the customer. Further, the more we increase winning for the employees, the more motivated and powerful their contribution to the success of ownership and customers.
Welcome to the 3Win Principle. This paradigm allows us an opportunity to bring our most important business asset into the mainstream of our business strategy; our Employees.
This new standard embraces the Employee as the difference-maker in helping you to distinguish your business against your competition. The “art” of adding this weapon to your arsenal takes skill, commitment, delegation, and trust.
The impact on your business will be transformative. It will enable your business to thrive without you having to be the key driver of execution. Embracing the 3Win Principle can grow your business beyond the sum of its parts.
Business owners and leaders should better understand the impact their Employee brings to the business success equation. Creating a 3Win Principle delivers exponential upside potential to the key impact areas of your business. These aspects include:
Customer Repeat Sales
Jorge Paulo Lemann stated that "The greatest asset of a company is its people." Perhaps just as importantly, we need to recognize that people are the only self-improving asset in our company. Employees, through access to information, autonomy, training, and education, gain new knowledge that unleashes improvements and innovations. Innovations create breakthroughs and further the overall results of the organization.
To bring this powerful new model to life we must first start by understanding the touch points our Employees have with our customers. Any time an employee interacts directly or indirectly with the customer, there is a touch point. Touch points are an opportunity to provide excellent customer service, gather feedback, resolve pain points and convey to the customer our level of care and empathy for their needs.
Examples of touch points are many and can include face-to-face interactions, phone calls, website visits, mobile apps, product deliveries, packaging (yes, packaging), voice energy, voice tone, email responses, follow-up response times, postcards, video conferences, web chats/bots, surveys, etc. Each interaction impacts how customers feel about your company. In the age of social media, it is crucial these experiences are positive, helpful, supportive and caring. Good customer reviews are a great referral source to bring in new customers.
Embracing the 3Win Principle forces us to consider what it means for an employee to “win”? The answer to this question is different in every company. For some, it may mean flex-time, for others a clear path for professional development. Others may seek an education benefit or to work from home 50% of the time tending an aging parent or a toddler.
According to TTI Success Insights in a 2019 study, stated: “...thriving, happy employees are better employees — they are more engaged in their work, are more loyal to their employers, and more meaningfully contribute to their organizations’ goals.” Don’t you want happy employees interacting with your customers?
The article further states that:
Employees who feel a strong sense of purpose when working are more….
Satisfied with their job 88%
Hiring employees aligned with your core values and purpose goes a long way toward ensuring a good fit. Asking Employees directly about what they perceive as “wins” has many benefits: Management gains direct feedback on the ideas and aspirations of Employees, and dialogue with Employees conveys a genuine sense of concern about what Employees feel and want - It is insufficient to “guess” at what Employees seek.
Employees winning as part of the overall business experience are infused into the overall success equation. This important trifecta leaves all constituents walking away feeling good about their experience. Win / Win / Win.
As leaders, it is essential to cultivate an environment fostering active employee engagement. Engaged employees make the difference in the lives of customers and fellow employees. An engaged employee experiences fulfillment and an enriched sense of purpose on the job. This equates to a huge win for the employee and all those aligned with them; customers, vendors, management, fellow employees, and their families.
Engaged minds and energy focused on your company’s goals and objectives ideally posture your business to thrive. Recognizing employees for their unique contributions to your business further reinforces this mindset across the organization.
The “inclusion” process ensures we achieve the 3Win Principle. Engage employees in strategic and operational dialogues with your management team; ask employees questions about their opinion on how to make things better in the organization. You will be pleasantly surprised by new insights, varied perspectives, and the understanding your employees have about your business, your customers, and your potential.
This open dialogue will further develop “wins” for your employees. This in turn conveys a strong message of loyalty and commitment to the most important people in your organization: your Employees.
The final component of instilling the 3Win Principle ensures balance and accountability are part of the equation. Adding employees to the once Win/Win box is not simply a hand-out of benefits and other niceties. It is more than offering inclusion into company direction and getting opinions. It must be aligned with action and results.
The 3Win Principle therefore is a three-way street. As such, Employees must also understand and embrace company goals and objectives. These goals should include revenue and profitability growth, increased market share, higher rankings on customer surveys, identifying solutions to problems, introducing new ways to conduct business, and myriad other priorities and possibilities.
Employees will gain many benefits by being part of an organization that embraces the continuous improvement ideology. For their part, Employees must hold themselves accountable and recognize that enhanced exposure to company strategy and inclusion in the success equation comes with an obligation to work hard and deliver results.
Progressive owners grasp that engaged employees bring upside opportunity to the business equation.
Thus, the new axiom: the 3Win Principle.
In business today, Employees must win too. Employees are the closest touchpoint to the customer. Consequently they often possess the most knowledge of what customers feel, need and experience. As such, Employees hold in their hands the power to satisfy or disappoint your most precious revenue source - your customers.
Engagement, Transparency and Accountability are all necessary ingredients in structuring the 3Win Principle. Infuse this powerful new model into your business strategy and move your business forward as a thriving organization.
About The Author
David DiPerri, CPA is a thought-provocateur and is the founder of ProsperCI, a business advisory firm dedicated to helping businesses thrive and CI4Biz, an educational resource for business owners and leaders. You can connect with David on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram and review his blog on Medium.