Happy team, Happy Extreme. Want the best from your staff? Be the best for them!
“Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.”
The value of good customer service as a differentiator and customer retention strategy is widespread; yet its link to employee engagement is relatively new, despite the seemingly obvious link.
Businesses heavily invest in developing an understanding of customers, aiming to build long lasting relationships based on trust. This level of investment and understanding is rarely applied to relationships with employees, despite multiple positive benefits, including increased output and high staff retention rates, not to mention the fact they play a vital role in bridging the gap between you and the consumer.
Just like with needs-based customer segmentation, employees have different expectations and preferences for working styles, communication, rewards and development opportunities; so employers must consider individual needs if they want to get the best out of their staff.
The principles of customer journey mapping should be applied when looking at employee engagement, ensuring a good understanding of their values and drivers. Proactively working with staff to develop a positive environment and culture where they feel supported, valued and listened to creates a space where they’re more likely to contribute their ideas, tolerate stresses and go that extra mile for you; meaning higher quality work is produced and ultimately the best service is delivered to your customers.
Making a conscious effort
Here at Extreme we make a conscious effort to accommodate the differing needs of our staff, tailoring their relationships with the business around an aligned set of values to ensure we’re all on the same page. This is more important than ever, especially with millennials and Generation Z taking a much more mobile approach to work than previous generations who used to be in a job for life.
Bethany Webb, Senior Social Media Executive, says: “As a young person in the early years of my career, it’s great to be in an environment where you’re encouraged to progress and grow. I started at Extreme only a year ago, and was immediately given opportunities to develop my skill set, enough so that I have now been promoted to a senior position where I’m responsible for leading client social accounts and meetings, and developing social media campaigns and strategies. I couldn't have progressed to where I am now, both professionally and personally, without the people and the opportunities at Extreme, and after an amazing first year, I'm beyond excited to see what's to come in my second.”
We offer part time work, opportunities to work from home and flexi-time to make sure staff can tailor their time to fit their lives. Shaun Molloy, Web Developer, regularly works from home because, “there's less interruption, leaving me to focus on tasks. My time is more flexible, since I'm able to cut out the 3-hour round trip commute, I can have a longer lie-in or lunch!”
Amy Keen, Head of PR and Content, says: “As a creative person balancing my desire to work with a young family, Extreme is the perfect place for me. I honestly thought I would have to change direction in my career to find somewhere that could accommodate me this way. Finding the level of fun, creativity, professionalism and flexibility on offer at Extreme is a big ask of any business, but the Directors have created an environment which plays to everyone's strengths and nurtures individual talent even as the business grows. It's a special place to work and I feel very lucky.”
In the warmer months we also offer Summer Fridays where staff can work half an hour extra each day throughout the week so they can have Friday afternoon off to enjoy the rather hit and miss British sunshine, on rotation so our clients still get the very best from us.
Regular one-to-ones take place where each staff member can discuss their work load, any concerns they have or questions with their line manager. This is also a space where praise is passed on personally, whether it’s positive feedback from another team or directly from your manager. This is also carried out on our internal messenger platform, Slack, where Shout Outs are given to individuals or teams and are celebrated by the whole office.
“Prioritising staff well being and job satisfaction ensures our employees feel valued, heard and appreciated”
Work anniversaries are celebrated and duvet days granted for birthdays, not to mention the range of Christmas activities that go on in and out of the office. Last year’s festivities included a giant advent calendar where each staff member received a personal gift, departmental Christmas lunches, the office wide Christmas do, a tree decorating afternoon, a desk decorating competition and a collection of donations for the Harrogate Homeless.
The office space was heavily invested in recently, with stylish meeting rooms and comfortable breakout spaces designed for teams to come together and brainstorm or individuals to be able to take themselves off as a change of scene from their desk.
Food plays a significant role in Team Extreme’s culture, with departmental lunches throughout the year, regular bacon and sausage sandwiches on a Friday morning, food huddles for holidays like Halloween and the annual Summer party.
Managing Director, Antony Prince commented: “These efforts aren’t just investments in to Extreme’s office culture, they’re paramount to our overall success. Prioritising staff well being and job satisfaction ensures our employees feel valued, heard and appreciated. Every one of Team Extreme work incredibly hard to deliver above and beyond for our clients, they deserve nothing less than a culture that celebrates their year-round excellence.”
Employee engagement and wellbeing should be at the forefront of all organisations’ strategic planning due to its positive influence on business performance. For maximum impact, they must implement the changes so deeply that it becomes embedded in their culture. This will not only improve employee output and staff retention but will also build a reputation for the brand that attracts high-quality workers.
It’s pretty simple really, if you want the best from your staff, be the best for them!
Fancy a good ol' chat about the values of marketing to your business?
Whether she's creating some incredible blog content or identifying another awesome PR opportunity, Nuala is always looking for ways to grow our clients' brand awareness. With a degree in marketing from Sheffield Hallam, Nuala joined team Extreme as a Marketing Executive, then making her home in the PR and Content team.