The Silent “Screamers”

Posted by: in Corporate and Strategy on March 23, 2012

Whenever we experience a special behavior by an employee of a brand or organization we do business with – something that enhances or improves the relationship – we take notice.

A comforting word, a helpful tip, a pleasant demeanor, or an extra step taken on our behalf are all actions that we notice and appreciate as customers.

In the end, such behaviors “scream” out the values of the brand and project a positive corporate character that is meaningful to both employees and customers.

At the heart of this dynamic are the employees who are responsible for such acts.

As one CEO recently said to an industry group, “you can’t regulate or legislate” this kind of behavior in an employee manual.

The sad truth is that the real “screamers”, those that inherently behave in a manner that exudes confidence and reflects all that is right about the business, are often silent inside their organizations. They eschew superficial recognition efforts.  They don’t typically play corporate politics and are not interested in artificial forms of recognition.

Unfortunately, an enormous amount of time and resources (read: slogans, themes, campaigns, recognition programs) are still being expended on employees who make alot of noise internally but neither have a customer interface role nor the interest in projecting the brand’s ideals.

So how can a leader reinforce, perpetuate and possibly expand behaviors that “scream” the organizational values?

In a word, analytics.

Using data and analysis to better comprehend who and how Silent Screamers view their tenure at the organization as a means to ensure the future is meaningful and productive.  Basically, getting smarter about individual growth and development, which is often more important to this group.

Also, harnessing data from customers on employee behavior and building such recognition into bonus programs and other forms of reinforcement more appropriate to this group.

Further, having Silent Screamers share their experiences in a manner that is not cumbersome or promotional but instructive via social channels internally.

This is only a start for sure.   The real lesson for leaders is that “living one’s brand” is done a thousand times a day in a thousand different ways.  Discerning who is “screaming” those brand ideals among your workforce and perpetuating such behavior in a manner respectful to those employees is trully the Holy Grail.

Analytics get you there!

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