Sometimes we subject our employees and customers to the same dismal treatment day after day as if they should accept it willingly. Instead, many would prefer a fast end to the perpetual misery of buying from (and dealing with) us.
In 1993’s Groundhog Day Bill Murray plays Phil Connors, a narcissistic Pittsburgh TV weatherman who, during his fourth assignment covering the annual Groundhog Day event in Punxsutawney, finds himself repeating the same day over and over again (like our customers?). At first he takes advantage of his situation and his new-found immortality by indulging in childish acts of hedonism. Later, after the novelty wears off, he unsuccessfully attempts suicide. Only after he reconsiders his priorities and changes himself does he finally escape the never-ending day.
Often, for our employees and customers, each day feels like Groundhog Day. We make the same mistakes over and over again. Unlike Connors, we learn nothing – about our business, what motivates our teams, or ourselves.
If we re-examined our priorities, we’d find that the foundation rests on employee engagement which ultimately leads to financial performance.
These fundamental elements form the building blocks for successful enterprises. As Phil Connors discovers in the movie, the pivot point is that true success and happiness comes from focusing on the basics. They remain essential this year and every year. When we fail to take them into consideration there is a good chance that employees, customers, and shareholders will escape their version of eternal damnation by leaving us.
(For those of you with good memories, those who appreciate irony, and for those keeping score, this is the 7th year in a row I’ve run the Groundhog Day post.)