We’re driven to chase our values; that’s what it means to be human. You can talk to experts in any field of behavioral science and they’ll concur that what we value is who we are.
CX leaders are waking up to the importance of values for attracting, retaining, engaging and motivating employees. If you understand what people care about most — what their values are — you have the secret recipe to form long-lasting, engaging bonds.
COVID-19 taught us a lot about our values. We’ve been sitting at home for the past two years, thinking about our lives, what’s important to us and what we value most. Leaders who can connect with employees’ personal values will have a significant competitive advantage over those who can’t.
Blind spots in values could be killing your culture
Top performers are attracted to organizations that are aligned to their values. In today’s competitive market for talent, it surprises me that we don’t take the time to understand what those powerful values are. For example, a global survey of high-performing contact center employees found that personal responsibility is their leading value. That means they’re self-motivated to achieve on a daily basis and appreciate autonomy and empowerment. Yet, the efficiency-driven operating environments of many contact centers might stifle the sense of personal responsibility that employees want in their work.
High performers also are uniquely connected by how highly they value balance (e.g., work-life balance), loyalty (earned or habitual) and tolerance of differences. Understanding these broader values, as well as those specific to your own agents, enables you to apply values-thinking as a design principle for creating a winning culture. Simply put: You need to know what your employees value so you can build a culture that attracts, motivates and retains the best staff.
In today’s competitive market for talent, it surprises me that we don’t take the time to understand what those powerful values are.
Forget demographics — values unite us
When you look at a group of employees based on traditional demographics, the best you can hope for, on average, is about 10% agreement for any kind of message, initiative or strategy. But if you use values — the basis of all our behaviors, decisions and emotions — it’s as much as eight times more effective.
When you engage your staff based on what they care about, not what you care about, you’ll see significant improvements in productivity, motivation and retention. And those happy, productive employees will improve your customers’ experiences, too. They’ll infuse every customer interaction with patience and positivity. If we just change the way we look at the people in our industry, we can change the industry.