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Business Roundup: Employee Influence and Decision Simplicity

One of the benefits of working with NBRI is that we spend time researching new developments and innovations within various industries. We realized that we should share these items with you, along with our take on them. Going forward, we will occasionally review business articles here on the NBRI blog.

This week we’ve taken a look at two of the most popular business articles circulating the web, and tied them back to business, employees, and customers. Remember, not every solution will fit your company.

Measuring an Employee’s Worth? Consider Influence

Today, your performance review is based on things like sales numbers or number of goals met. Tomorrow, it could be based on organizational influence.

This article from Fast Company discusses a unique concept, measuring the reach of an employee within the company. Companies can easily track which employee’s ideas and thoughts are most often considered or used by using new tools. These employees can be fast-tracked and incubated.

We think this is a good idea that could be useful to top level managers. However, there could be a down side. Place yourself in your employees’ shoes. Many of your employees may be introverts who are not likely to measure as influential on social mediums, but they have great ideas and qualities that show up in other areas. While one employee may have many ideas that other employees applaud, another could have only one idea – but it could radically change the way you do business. It’s important to measure the value of employees in a number of ways, because individuals perform at their best in different situations. Find out how well your employees think you’re assessing their capabilities by deploying an employee engagement survey.

Marketers Have it Wrong: Forget Engagement, Consumers Want Simplicity

The IBM Institute for Business Value found that 60-65% of business leaders believe that consumers follow their brands on social media sites because they want to be a part of a community. Only 25-30% of consumers agree. The top reason consumers follow a brand? To get discounts – not exactly ideal for a company’s bottom line.

Forbes takes a look at what customers really want from a company’s web presence. Research cited in the article indicates that customers want a process that simplifies the purchase decision – clear and specific product information, helpful reviews, and comparative information. Termed as ‘engagement’ in the article, customers want less conversation with brands – because they see it as more marketing – and more specific information that helps them differentiate between products and decide to buy yours.

Given some of the bad websites we see every day and some of the terrible social media marketing, this is useful research for a lot of companies. We also know there are specific brands and product categories where customers want to have a relationship with the brand. Premium wine buyers, for instance, are loyal to their favorite wines. They want to know what is going on at the vineyard, interesting food pairings for their favorite wines, and they like to share their wine experiences with other aficionados. They should be marketed to differently than customers interested in buying a microwave. Beware any research that presents a one-size-fits-all solution to an issue. Customer satisfaction surveys allow you to uncover exactly how much information your customers want.

Do you have an article you’d like us to discuss? Let us know in the comments.

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