We all exercise freedom of choice every day of our lives. We choose our partner, how to spend our time, and where we buy our groceries. We choose the shows we watch, which religion we’ll follow (if any at all), and which sports teams we’ll cheer on.
The people you serve in your organization exercise their freedom of choice every day as well. Every person you do business with has a choice. They can choose to work with you, or they can choose to do business with someone else. They can also choose to pursue new ventures that simply don’t include you. What they choose ultimately determines the fate of your company.
Your employees have choices to make each day as well. They can find another job tomorrow and leave you with the task of finding a replacement for them. They can opt into your mission and your values, fully engaged with their work, or they can put forth minimal effort and just collect a paycheck.
You must make your organization the easiest and best option all of the time, not just on the date of someone’s hire or at the point of sale. Seek to create an environment, a community, where customers, employees, and teammates make “permanent” choices. You want them to choose you in much the same way that you and I have a favorite team or a favorite style of music. Those things don’t change from game to game or each time we listen to music. We choose them once, or once in a while, and then we stick with them.
Creating that kind of loyalty isn’t just about building a brand. It’s about building a community where people are welcomed, where they are comfortable, and where they know they can count on you to be there for them.