Oops, I Did It Again

How vulnerability, mastery and autonomy lead to a better employee experience, translating to a better customer experience.

September 08, 2021

Convenience Matters Episode 300 Podcast

By Sara Counihan

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—“I made a mistake.”

Those are hard words to utter, especially when you’re the boss admitting a wrongdoing to your employees. It takes a lot of vulnerability to admit a mistake, and since the pandemic, many leaders are embracing the uncomfortable feeling and admitting when they’re wrong. And employees are here for it.

“I had leaders admitting major mistakes that they would have always put a corporate spin on before. And quite frankly, it didn’t fall apart like they thought it would. In fact, they got greater levels of employee engagement when they were transparent and authentic,” said Joseph Michelli, an organizational consultant and CEO of the Michelli Experience, on the most recent episode of the Convenience Matters podcast.

Over the past year and a half, business leaders have learned that the experience they give their employees while on the job is critical to delivering a great customer experience, says Michelli, and if employees aren’t having a good work experience at your company, how can they deliver, in turn, a good experience to the customer?

Employees are looking for what Michelli calls a purpose reset. They’re looking for the reasons why they’re on their life path, especially amid turbulent times, and they’re expecting leaders to help guide them.

“It’s more important than ever for us to take time and say to our employees, ‘What is your purpose? … How do I help you find meaning? How do I help you find success as you determine success? And then is that aligned with what we’re trying to do organizationally?’” said Michelli.

Michelli also points out two additional areas that will help employers find and retain employees. The first is mastery. Business leaders must help their employees develop to become better than they were yesterday, whether career-wise, personally or both. Examples Michelli uses are mentoring programs, social support networks and creating career paths that allow employees to see a future in the organization.

“As long as [employees] feel they’re growing, and you’re capable of facilitating that growth, they’re going to want to stay with you and grow with you,” said Michelli.

The second is autonomy or giving people some control over their work environment. Employees may not be able to control the fact that they have to come to work physically during a pandemic, but there can be other aspects of their job that bring them more autonomy over their lives.

“What do you give people control over in the context of the workplace? Is it flexibility and scheduling? Is it when they get paid? Is it what broom they use to sweep the floor?” asked Michelli.

Listen to episode No. 300 “Delivering Human-Centric Experiences” now at www.conveniencematters.com to hear more from Michelli on attracting and retaining your workforce, including a genius hiring tip from Michelli. Hint: It may involve visiting your nearest Chick-fil-A.

Subscribe to Convenience Matters on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play and other podcast apps and YouTube and at www.conveniencematters.com. Episodes have been downloaded more than a quarter million times by listeners around the world.

Sara Counihan is contributing editor of NACS Daily and NACS Magazine. Contact her at scounihan@convenience.org.