When you’re open and honest, your employees will sometimes walk through walls to help the company survive rough times as it transforms itself. That’s how powerful a cohesive team environment based on trust can be.
However, the opposite holds true, as well. Those companies that don’t engender employees’ trust will often find themselves struggling to keep negative energy at bay. And those CEOs that play too much close to their vest or try to spin the challenges for their employees may find that years of trust get washed away in a heartbeat.
This tenet isn’t lost on Joe Carrabba, chairman, president and CEO of Cliffs Natural Resources. Even when the company was bleeding top-line revenue last year down 43 percent in the first three quarters Carrabba’s team was still optimistic that moves being made would help Cliffs weather the storm.
This positive energy helped Cliffs remain profitable while reducing expenses and experiencing an uptick in demand for its mining and natural resources products.
“You’ve got to treat people well in the goods times,” Carrabba says. “So you can get their dedication and respect in the bad times.”
Carrabba offered Assistant Editor Kristy O’Hara a behind-the-scenes look on how he built a great environment at Cliffs that has allowed him to communicate the naked truth to employees and have them step up their efforts to help the company pull itself out of the recession. That story can be found on page 29.
Part of building a powerful environment is ensuring that every person receives a positive and, some might say, awesome experience that delivers beyond expectations and creates something memorable.
Speaking of experiences, by now you’ve probably noticed our new columnist, Kevin Daum, and his column, “The Awesome Experience.”
Daum is a New York City-based entrepreneur, author and business coach, who has owned a former Inc. 500 company and worked with Gazelle’s founder and CEO, Verne Harnish.
His new book, “Roar: Get Heard in the Sales and Marketing Jungle,” hits the shelves of bookstores nationwide this month. Daum’s answer to consistency is for CEOs to embrace the idea of offering every customer, employee and vendor an awesome experience every time there is a touch point. You can read a preview of “Roar” at http://kevindaum.com/awesomeroar.