Friday, 16 September 2011

The Loyalty Effect - a further interview with Sampson Hall

Following my interview with Phil Sampson of Sampson Hall, I met up yesterday with Phil and his co-founder Dave Hall.

The Sampson Hall team brings plenty of leadership experience to bear for clients, but there is nothing rigid about their approach - in fact they highlight that success is most likely for those who can adapt most rapidly to the ever-changing environment. They present against a backdrop of contours, the lines on a map that indicate the shape of the ground which every traveller must adjust to.

Empowerment

Phil points out that empowerment is the best possible response to this dynamic environment - delegating responsibility to the lowest level at which it can be exercised. Whereas hierarchical organisations struggle to adapt, those that empower their members harvest the full potential of their teams.

Phil provides an exceptional example of empowerment - the NASA cleaner who when asked what his role was as he swept the floor replied "to help put a man on the moon".

Expectations and Boundaries

Sampson Hall helps teams to improve communication. Phil points out that many problems arise when team members do not share a common understanding of their expectations and boundaries.

Dave recounts how providing free tea and coffee can mean much more than a pay rise in motivating and engaging some employees - often disjointed expectations between different strata within a business can end up costing more and achieving less.

The Loyalty Effect

With proper empowerment and clear expectations and boundaries, the scene is set for a fulfilling relationship between employees and their employers. Phil underlines the value of this for everyone involved by citing a PwC report that the total cost of replacing a typical employee is approximately the same as one year's salary.

In fact, I believe that the value of cultivating loyalty extends beyond employees to every kind of stakeholder, including customers and investors. For a very good analysis of the value of loyalty, I recommend The Loyalty Effect, by Frederick Reichheld

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