If we were to ask you what’s the most important priority to focus on in your business right now, what would your answer be? In all likelihood you’d probably say something like “driving conversions” or “increasing market share” or “generating more leads”, right?
In general terms, we’d agree with you – all of those things are important to the bottom line. But our most recent conversation with our good friend Janet Fouts might leave you thinking differently about how you drive those metrics most effectively. (And it’s not going to be with a cool marketing trick or sales tactic.)
Janet Fouts, CEO of Tatu Digital Media and a mindfulness and emotional intelligence coach, agrees the idea of incorporating mindfulness into a company culture isn’t necessarily new or groundbreaking. But Janet’s take on it, and specifically how leaders like us can incorporate it into our management style, is quite remarkable, and worth paying closer attention to.
Team member experience directly impacts the customer experience – and the bottom line
Janet knows that mindfulness may seem like fluff and nonsense. It could certainly be argued that a focus on mindfulness is less important than the other more traditional priorities to a business, like sales and being driven to achieve, but in actuality, it’s critical to the bottom line. Gallup happens to agree. According to their Q12 employee assessment report, companies with higher team member engagement scores outperformed companies with lower metrics by 10% in customer satisfaction and a whopping 22% in profitability. Those are some pretty powerful numbers, if you ask us.
Mindfulness can be referred to as a lot of different things, like consciousness, self-awareness, and the like. But according to Janet, in its simplest terms, being mindful is really just about paying attention. And as a leader, this is especially relevant in the ways you’re paying attention to your internal team members as humans you care about.
So what does this look like in the real world of your day-to-day business? As a mindful leader, team member engagement comes from helping your people feel valued, and helping them understand that they’re a part of something bigger than the singular role they’re playing in the company.
What’s so funny ‘bout peace, love, and understanding?
Janet says that it’s really easy for individual teams and team members to end up being siloed in a business, only focused on their own responsibilities and drivers. This silo effect can create an unintended disconnect from the bigger picture, which can lead to team member dissatisfaction and disengagement. It also can lead to miscommunications and discord between departments. When the marketing team doesn’t understand the limitations of the engineering team, and the engineering team doesn’t see why the sales team keeps asking for more updates that make no sense, things can go awry.
To avoid – or fix – this, Janet recommends talking to your team members about the importance of their individual role in the company and how it fits into the bigger picture. Even if it feels like they’re just pushing a broom, their role matters immensely to the overall vision and mission. Janet also suggests interdepartmental meetings and brainstorming sessions to encourage a deeper level of understanding across departments. When marketing can create a compelling campaign about a new product by capitalizing on the passion the engineers have for it having built it, that’s where the magic lies, says Janet.