When your clients talk to others about the what they buy from you, it’s likely not about the products or services. When I think about the favorite places I’ve worked, I seldom think about what I sold, or the marketing I did.
Fortunes 2013 Best Companies to Work For list companies like Google, SAS, USAA, and Wegmans.
Google is a cool place to work, I’ve visited their offices. They make the Internet easier for us to use and that’s important. USAA is also listed. I’ve been a USAA member for 25 years now and I can’t imagine doing business with another financial institution. For U.S. Military families they make managing financial and life decisions easier.
But I bet if I interviewed employees from any of the 100 companies listed and asked what they enjoy most about their work it would not be what they do. No it would be who they do it with.
Why We Eat At Carrabba’s
My family eats at our local Springfield, PA Carrabbas a couple of times each month. It’s not because the Chicken Bryan is the best chicken we’ve ever had. It’s because of the connection to the people who work there that has been cultivated. The Manager Kevin knows us by name, and takes a few minutes to talk to us when we visit. When my sister was ill he treated her to dinner. Last week there was a long wait, the owner noticed us and seated us himself.
All mammals, and we humans are mammals, seek connection. Genuine connection is the hard thing to build into any business. To really connect. To really care.
I can get chicken anywhere, but not connection.
My Favorite Job
One more example. The place where I enjoyed my work the most was a company called Great American Opportunities. It’s not the place where I earned the most money, or did my best selling. It’s where I did my best and favorite connecting.
I got to speak with and motivate thousands of young students. Tom Cochran, my Manager, and I pounded the pavements together, ate lots of Mexican and Italian, worked out together, visited each others homes and families, and shared countless laughs. We’re still friends today. See some the pictures below.
How To Create Connection In the Workplace
Strong, lasting relationships can’t be built over a computer network. It takes face to face human interaction. I find that relationships work best when they are transparent, tap into a variety of emotions, and are unscripted. Real human connections are the ties that bind.