How often in business do you hear the word, engaged?
It’s a buzz word for all types of organisations who seek to develop internal and external relationships with stakeholders; be it suppliers, clients, or the team. Of course, in my role I am frequently asked about engaging with clients, but I have certainly noticed post pandemic that the word engaging, is being used in a much broader sense, it is applying to every aspect of an organisation.
The act of engaging or the state of being engaged is defined as emotional involvement or commitment. I think we’d all agree that this is fundamental for business success.
Is this emotional need for organisations a new thing, or has it been a constant requirement for success?
In my view there is a broader understanding now, that to want ‘more than a sale’ or more than an employer/employee contract, and instead have a wish for a relationship, does reap rewards. Positive experiences lead to referrals and repeat business, or a recommendation/wish to work for an organisation who engages with their teams. Emotional ties keep giving, if developed consistently well.
Connecting with a group of people and building relationships, helps to fulfil one another’s needs. That need could be a solution to a problem, granting a wish, promoting a product or cause, the list goes on. These are conscious or unconscious needs of humans that result in people ultimately getting what they want out of connections.
BUT we need to work at it, consistency is key, if you blow hot and cold in a relationship it is both confusing and damaging in the long-term. Teams have a need for affiliation, clients need to see appreciation, and suppliers value loyalty. All emotive words that deserve time and thought, if not success could be compromised.
Post pandemic, the relationship piece is increasingly crucial for getting the right people on the organisational bus, or the right client fit for your business. Clients are ever more price sensitive, and our suppliers and teams face increasing pressure with global challenges.
Perhaps you should ask yourself ‘Are you engaging all stakeholders?’ And could you do more to develop your business relationships or build engagement?
This subject is close to my heart and close to my role, something I am passionate about, look out for some case studies relating to this subject. In the meantime, here’s some recommendations:
- Prioritise your connections – who needs what and in what order?
- Communication – using varying platforms, connect regularly.
- Put yourself in ‘their’ shoes!
- How can you wow them?
- How can you create a sense of belonging?
- Show that you are interested..