Irene was a 74 year old lady who had lived through hardships, economic downfall and worked hard all her life. She was a business woman who knew how to make opportunities for herself.
Whilst sitting out the front of her hotel, which she built from scratch, a young girl (no older than 16 years of age) approached her. She reached out her hand and asked Irene for 50 cents.
Irene’s response was; ‘Young lady, what are you going to do with 50 cents?”. The girl replied; “I will buy a yoghurt to eat’.
Irene’s frustration erupted from her mouth with gusto and determination to teach the young girl a lesson. “Why do you ask me for 50 cents? Why don’t you ask me for a job instead? Here, take this $2 and leave”.
This true story reminds me how powerful it is to have purpose in your days. Imagine what a job would give the young girl, the richness she would receive and how it would change her life and improve her wellbeing overnight.
Money is required and it is what makes the world go round, however using money as motivator runs shallow and is not sustaining when it comes to fulfilling humans. A sense of tribalism where people feel that they are part of something bigger themselves is what purpose looks like in work life and this is a pretty important element of human nature.
People do not need to be paid to be motivated. We all have a need inherently to be part of a tribe. For example; a sports team, a religious group, a local club. So why not an organisation?
Growing and developing the leadership talent in your organisation and reinforcing how everyone contributes to the greater success and purpose of the business pays back ten times in motivation – more than money ever will. When we invest in our people, we are telling them that we value them as humans and we are committed to developing them with skills for life, not just for the immediate needs of the organization.
It’s like the old proverb “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime”
So how does all this relate to inspiring customers and increasing their lifetime value?
When people feel that the organisation they work for takes interest in their development, they immediately appreciate and respect the business, which on the shop floor looks like happy employees. This of course rubs off on to the customer in an authentic and human way that runs much deeper than money ever will.
“Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first” – Simon Sinek
‘Why serve when you can inspire’