Episode 1: A Sticky Introduction
Hello and welcome to “Sticky From The Inside”. The employee engagement podcast that looks at how to build stickier, competition-smashing, consistently successful organisations, from the inside out.
I’m your host, Andy Goram.
Research says that 65% of your employees give you their time, but not their best ideas or effort. The sad thing is that that number hasn’t changed in decades. So, what’s going wrong?
I’m on a mission to help businesses and their employees get much more out of their working relationship and create tonnes more mutual success.
This podcast is here for all those who believe and want that too, and for those who’d like a little help & guidance in achieveing that.
Each episode we’ll cover the topics that can help you create what i call a stickier business. The sort of business where people love to work. Where they not only say good things about you, but stay longer, work harder and absolutely thrive in the environment you create. And where more customers stay with you and recommend you to others, because they love what you do and why you do it.
Most of the time I’ll be joined by guests with varied backgrounds who’ll share their thoughts, stories and experiences as we chat through the issues and opportunities affecting employee engagement and other related topics. All whilst having some fun along the way.
Occasionally, it’ll be just me, serving up a few little nuggets in smaller, bite-sized episodes, that I like to call “sticky bits”.
So, if you fancy listening to a podcast that tries to take the tricky out of being sticky, that might just help you light the fires within your people and propel your business to untold success, then please download and subscribe to the Sticky From The Inside Podcast and join the stickiest conversation on the air today.
Here we are then. Epsiode 1 of my sticky from the inside podcast and I thought I’d start by giving you a bit of an overview and some insight into who I am, why should you listen to me,
and what you can expect from this podcast? All fair questions, I think, so let’s pick them off one-by-one.
So, who am I?
Don’t worry this is not a cue for some deep existential reflection, where I reference a myriad of obscure philosophers to try and explain my very being and existence before breaking down on air. No, quite simply, as I mentioned before, I’m Andy Goram.
A husband to an unbelievably supportive and patient wife, Heather and Dad to two wonderful and beautiful children, Megan & Max. Oh! And biscuit and stroke provider to a neurotic, little black dog called Mabel.
I’m a guy who over the years has developed a huge passion for understanding how to turn the lights on behind people’s eyes at work and lighting the fires within in them, which I think gives them and the businesses they work in, the best chance of realising their goals and dreams.
You can wrap it up in the words employee engagement or culture if you like, but I happen to think there’s far more to it than that, and that’s what we’ll seek to uncover in this podcast journey.
But I believe in this so much so that a couple of years ago I left corporate life behind and set-up my own business, Bizjuicer, to help businesses get to more of the good stuff that I think lies within their people, often dormant and untapped, and turn them into businesses that hold onto more of their top talent, are hugely attractive to new talent; where employees want to stay & thrive and who inspire great loyalty from their customers, and go on to smash the competition. Or as I call them “stickier businesses.”
So, why should you listen to me?
Well, I’m no scientist, or lecturer, or author (yet), but I’ve spent my work career in the trenches.
For 26 years or so I worked as a corporate marketer in various roles across hospitality. That’s hotels, restaurants, pubs & clubs, leisure retail, and gaming sectors. I guess if I’d worked in cigarettes & sex, I’d have most of the vices covered – but that never happened.
In the exec teams I’ve been fortunate enough to be part of I often felt like a little bit of an outsider. Not sad, just different. If you looked at our personality types, or Myers-Briggs coding and plotted them on a chart, I’d be the one on the other side of the grid to the rest of the team. The feeler, to their thinker, the intuit to their senser. The loudmouth to their cerebralness. You get the picture.
But I’ve always had a love of brands, storytelling and customer service. Like many people in their careers, the higher up I went, the further away I got from doing the thing I loved at the start and more focused on people management. Or at least that’s what I thought.
My job as a leader was to surround myself with brilliant people. People who were far better than me at a specific discipline and create an environment where they could be at their best and thrive. Generally, I’d like to think I was pretty good at that. But, I also found myself increasingly in the middle of HR, Marketing and Operations, trying to keep hold of and strengthen the link between Strategy, where we were going & why. Brand – the story we were telling and why that made us different. And the company values – guiding us to behave in a certain and consistent way. All with an eye on creating successful outcomes for customers.
I found that joining up the dots and pursuing alignment between strategy, purpose, values, behaviours, brand, employees & customers with the focus on my internal audience is what I really loved and to be honest, had a bit of a flair for. But the things I learned pretty early on, were that nothing happens if your people don’t get it and can’t see how they personally contribute & benefit. Adults don’t like being told how to behave. Never assume you know what people want or need, it’s always better to know. And, as simple as a construct is, and I know a few customer experience experts that would argue this point as too simplistic– happy employees generally equals happy customers which should lead to a profitable business, if you are doing the other things well too.
Now, based on that premise, I’ve found it interesting over the years to look at the disproportionate time, effort & resources that businesses in general (and marketers – ‘cos I did it too) give to engaging with their people and helping them understand why the business does what it does, and how they as individuals make a difference, when compared to the amount of money spent telling customers why they should choose you, buy from you and stay loyal to you. Billions and billions of pounds or dollars are spent doing that every year.
But compare that to how similar things are communicated to your people. I bet in the majority of cases there is no comparison.
There’s a famous, fairly recent piece of research from Gallup that showed that just 41% of employees surveyed, strongly agreed that they knew and understood what their company stood for and why it was different from the competition. That’s 2/3rds of your salesforce indifferent to why you do what you do and why it’s better than the competition.
How sad is that? And what a waste of people-power.
But the thing is, as I found out over the years when you do spend a bit more time, effort and yes, money, to think about how you can better engage with your people and turn the lights on behind the eyes. You can see amazing things happen. Things like recruitment costs and staff turnover go down. And productivity, innovation and profits go up. But it can also change careers, lives and cultures for the better too.
But as I said in the introduction, even knowing this stuff, engagement levels haven’t changed in decades. So what’s going wrong? Is it all guff? Is it too hard? Is there really nothing we can do? And the answer to the first two questions is “no”. I believe there are things we can do. Why? Because others have done it already, and they continue to do it and outperform their competitors.
And that’s why I started this podcast. To talk to people who can help us turn the tide of disengagement and of toxic work cultures. To listen to the lessons they’ve learned and the insights they can give us. To hear the stories of success and the roads travelled to get there
And discuss how others can tread the same path and start creating better places to work, where people love what they do, who they do it with and understand why they do it.
Ultimately turning on the lights, stoking up the passion, dialling up the engagement, getting to more of the good stuff and creating truly sticky businesses, from the inside.
So, what can you expect from this podcast?
This will be a fortnightly podcast, initially.
Most of the time I’ll be joined by guests with varied backgrounds who’ll share their thoughts, stories and experiences as we chat through the issues and opportunities affecting employee engagement, workplace culture and other related topics all whilst having a little bit of fun along the way, I hope.
Occasionally, a bit like this episode, it’ll be just me, serving up a few little nuggets in smaller, bite-sized episodes, that I like to call “sticky bits”.
I want the topics, discussions, insights and conclusions that we share to be thought-provoking, interesting, useful and practical, so you can take things back to the ranch and start getting stickier. And most of all I want the time you spend listening to the podcast to be enjoyable. And you’ll be the ultimate judges of that.
And I look forward, with a little bit of nervous excitement to see and hear your reaction to it.
So, that concludes today’s episode. I hope you’ve enjoyed it, found it interesting and heard something maybe that will help you become a stickier, more successful business from the inside. If you have, please like, comment and subscribe. It really helps.
I’m Andy Goram and you’ve been listening to the sticky from the inside podcast. Until next time, thanks for listening.