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Make Every Employee Part of “The Why”

BY KENNETH C. BATOR, MBA

There is a lot of talk about how consumers aren’t just looking for products and services these days. They’re looking for and expecting an experience. I continually have a number of conversations about this during pre-team building sessions with my clients. The first thing I explain to CEOs is it’s nearly impossible to consistently provide a positive member experience when the employee experience is poor.

For all of you “numbers people” out there, it’s a fairly simple equation. C’mon, you know who you are. You’re the ones that immediately ask “What’s the ROI?” when the VP of Marketing wants to begin a social media campaign or the VP of Human Resources wants to implement a new training program. The equation is simply Happy Employees = Happy Members.

I heard this first in the early 90s during a Baxter Credit Union (BCU) event. A video of BCU’s first CEO, Rex Johnson, was on the screen and he talked about his philosophy of creating happy members through happy employees. When BCU was started in the 80’s they had $0 assets. Today the credit union is just under $3 billion. Seems like a substantial ROI fromthe implementation of that equation to me.

Surprisingly even today with such a strong and proper movement towards improved employee engagement, there remains a lack of leadership at that level. Unfortunately, I see it and hear it on a regular basis. “We already do enough for employees.” “They should just be happy they have jobs.” Both statements I have heard within weeks of writing this article. This tends to lead to apathy at best and discontent at worst among employees.

Logically how does the equation of “employees that don’t want to be here = a positive member experience?” That can’t possibly compute…at least not in that form. You can add some variables to the equation to make it work such as this:


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