At Engagement Multiplier, one of the things we are proud of and passionate about is the type of client we choose to work with. If you are a business owner reading this, you’ll appreciate this: in any business, it’s good to be intentional about choosing whom you serve – your ideal type of customer. When you know who your ideal customer is, you can align your communications, improvements and support in ways that identify with those individuals.
Early on, we deliberately made the decision to only work with brave, caring, identifiable owners. Without having these three characteristics, business owners just won’t see the level of results we want to deliver.
What I’d like to do in this post is talk a little about what being a “caring” owner really means as opposed to being an engaged owner.
What “caring” owners care about
When we listed “caring” as a prerequisite for Engagement Multiplier clients, we meant that we only want to work with business owners who genuinely care about their team members.
That may seem like an odd thing to say, since – if you’re reading this – you probably already have a close team. Why would you not care about them?
But the sad reality is that there are a lot of businesses out there that are happy having a revolving door, losing people regularly. Too many businesses don’t have a strong, cohesive, caring feel about them.
Whereas, in all the businesses I’ve been involved in over the years, I’ve always had the mindset that my team is an extension of my family. It’s a different family than my wife and kids, but still a family I spend a lot of time with.
Speaking from personal experience, when you have that mindset of thinking of your team members as family, you can’t help but adopt the ‘caring’ mindset – even if it’s subconscious.
How does caring manifest itself?
For us, being a caring business owner means that you take a genuine interest in your employees’ well-being, and that you’re engaged in what they want to achieve personally, not just professionally. You look for ways to align their personal goals with your business goals, so you can benefit each other as much as possible.
And you spend time with them.
Twenty years ago, my dear friend and fabulous business mentor, Mike Wilson, founded a financial services business that went on to become one of the top 100 companies by size in the UK, but he started with just two staff – his personal assistant and his chauffeur.
In my early days of working with Mike, when his company was in its early growth stages, he showed me this card he had in his pocket. Written at the top were the words “walk the floor.”
I asked him,”What does that mean?”
He said, “I’m so busy, I could easily come into work, sit in my office, take phone calls and have meetings all day. But I get this card out to remind me to walk the floor. I’ve made it a habit to go around and I sit and talk to the people in my business.”
Now, if you know Mike Wilson, you know what an inspirational and caring person (and business owner) he is, and how highly thought of he is by anyone who has ever worked with him. He really understands the importance of being caring.
“Being caring isn’t something you should do with the expectation of getting something back. But when you do it, it’s an investment, not a cost, and it will repay itself multiple times over.”
If you’re a business owner reading this, you’re probably very busy, and there are probably people in your business you haven’t spoken with in quite some time. Write down two or three names and make a point, over the next week or two, to go see them. Sit down for a few minutes and ask them how they’re doing.
In smaller organizations, you should organize things so you have touchpoints with each member of your team over a period of time.
In larger organizations, you might not be able to speak with everybody, but you might do like Mike did and walk the floor.
Either way, as you do this, make notes about the experience afterwards, and watch what happens within your business as a result.