Your worth is what your worth is to your customer

Your worth to the company is equal to your worth to the customers. It took me years as an entrepreneur to figure this out.

I worked in HR for years before I started my first business. I cannot believe I did not understand this until years as an entrepreneur. A person’s salary – including mine – should be aligned with their worth to the customer.

A lot of people think about their salary independent from the value they deliver to the company. Over the years in HR, there were countless salary discussions during which the employee asking for a raise was not able to justify the request in any accountable manner. Usually the requests were initially justified with very personal reasons such as “I just bought a flat and my monthly payments are way up, so I need more salary.” We feel we are entitled to get more, because of the years in the company, or because we put in more hours than others or things like that.

It is very important to feel your work and talent are appreciated and salary is a huge factor in showing that appreciation. I understand it. I’m personally no different. I feel that way too.

Your worth is what your worth is to your customer

My mistake – I can see that now – was that I worked internally as an HR, I looked at things too much with the internal eyes. I was not able to drop all noise from the big picture and follow the red line between where the money comes from and where it goes. As an entrepreneur, I can see that, I can feel that every month!

It’s very simple really: the customers pay my company what they see the worth in our services. We can only raise that worth by giving the customers the kind of value they cannot get from anywhere else including themselves. For the business to be and stay profitable, the income must always exceed what’s going out. The entire team is unfortunately worth only as much as what the customers think we are worth. That is the only reasonable measure.

How to pump up the worthiness

As a business owner I’m constantly thinking how to deliver more value for our customers. For us this is part of strategic thinking. For this new year, 2017, we are going to make a lot of changes in our business and ways of communication in order to pump up the value of our business for our customers. But that’s not all. The entire team, all of it’s particles, all members of the team must personally do the same. We all must take personal action in order to be more valuable in the eyes of the customer.

My plan on increasing the worthiness

Business

  • We’ve  specified our target audience into different groups with different needs from us
  • We will start to tailor our free offering for our different target groups in the form of content we create and share
  • We are further developing our service offering and add new or redesigned elements to our service portfolio
  • We continue to develop more services putting us in a long term relationship with customers. This is a fairly new area in HR services, but we already have successful experiences in this area
  • We drop services or customers that cost us more than give us – we simply cannot afford that

People

  • I will help each of my team member to grow professionally in one specific area of their wish (connected to our business) in order to help them to grow they worth in the eyes of the customers

My discovery

I strongly feel now that this is the key as a leader: to help your employees to continuously grow their personal professional worth in the eyes of the customers.

Succeeding in this will be a win-win for everyone.

  • Your employees will gain professional value for their career that lasts beyond the employment with you.
  • You continuously increase the value offer to your customers.
  • Your employees will be able to see the link between their actions and customer satisfaction. This in turn should help them to better understand how they should invest their time at work. Sometimes it’s so easy to think you are doing a good deed when in fact you are spending time on something that is of no value to anyone. And at the end of the day, if it’s no value for the business it will not deliver value to you either – no matter how well you do it or how much you love it. It will make a great hobby though, so stick to it on your personal time!
  • Your business will be able to thrive and you are able to reward your employees for the value they contribute to your customers.

This is something I will pay special attention to this year and develop my personal leadership abilities in this area in order to help our customers and my employees.

How come I never saw that when I worked in HR? Probably because I was too far away – all HR are – from what really matters: the customers.

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