Last week had a “behind the scenes” theme running through it for me. I got a behind the scenes glimpse into a colleague’s business, attended a behind the scenes chocolate-fest experience at our favorite local chocolate shop, and watched copious behind the scenes special features from the hit TV show Breaking Bad. Offering your customers a backstage pass to what you do is becoming more and more commonplace. Disney World offers a Backstage Magic Tour; in Mumbai you can get a behind the scenes tour on the latest Bollywood movie set. But don’t think you have to have a fun business to offer something like this: a funeral home in the states offers behind the scenes tours and the next time you’re in Paris you may want to pop underground for a Paris sewer tour. Giving a backstage VIP peek into your business can be an additional revenue generator, a source of fun for customers and employees alike, and it can help strengthen your brand. A behind the scenes mentality throughout your workplace can also help build a stronger culture by making everyone feel like a VIP:
1. To build trust, improve communication and drive innovation, managers need to embrace a behind the scenes mentality when it comes to their employees. How can you expect employees to be loyal, open and honest, and have all the necessary knowledge to seek out innovative ideas, when they are excluded from a complete understanding of the bigger picture and context of how your business operates? (One radical example – at Semler Industries employees determine their own salary. This works because they practice 100% transparency: Every employee has a complete understanding of the finances and what everyone else is paid.)
2. To break down silos, teams could offer back stage tours on a regular basis so that other departments gain a better appreciation of what actually happens down on the fourth floor (seriously, what do they do down there all day?).
3. To get to know employees better and gain a greater appreciation from your support team (the families of your employees), regularly scheduled back stage tours for friends and families of employees can do wonders when it comes to building a greater sense of community
Copyright 2014. Michael Kerr is a very funny motivational speaker and an international business speaker who travels the world researching, writing and speaking about inspiring workplace cultures. His next book is called “The Humor Advantage – Why Some Business are Laughing all the Way to the Bank!”
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