Susan Drumm CEO leadership coach

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How to inspire employee loyalty to create Superfans (feat. Brittany Hodak)

Oct 27, 2021

The old paradigm of leadership views a company’s role as providing professional opportunities and a paycheck to their employees — and that’s it. 

 

But in today’s competitive, post-COVID landscape, companies must do much more:

 

Help employees feel connected to a sense of purpose at work.

 

Your employees spend the majority of their waking hours at work, so it makes sense that they want to feel appreciated in their full humanity and derive a sense of meaning from their work.

 

The COVID-19 pandemic only made this desire clearer:

 

With everyone working from home, it became impossible to overlook the fact that “time at the office” means less time with family. Many employees realized this tradeoff only made sense if they found their work fulfilling. So, now, more talented workers seek out this sense of meaning and purpose from their employer and choose to leave if they don’t find it.

 

Brittany Hodak believes that showing employees how their work matters is the first step to creating “superfan” employees and improving employee retention. 

 

Brittany co-founded, scaled, and successfully exited The Superfan Company, a fan engagement company whose roster included Walmart, Disney, Amazon, Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, and more under her eight-year leadership. Today, she is an international keynote speaker and award-winning business leader, and she is widely regarded as the “go-to source” for creating and retaining superfans.

 

 

How to create superfan employees who feel motivated, inspired, and engaged

 

Motivating employees to become “superfans” requires going beyond the expected and superficial tokens of appreciation, like sending birthday cards or putting a foosball table in the breakroom.

 

Instead, Brittany believes that super-fandom is a two-way street. Superfan employees are created when leaders become superfans of them. In other words, when leaders truly care about each employee as a full person and are able to show that abundantly, employees respond with loyalty.

 

Brittany advocates for leaders to use “the platinum rule,” treating every employee as they want to be treated. In order to do this, leaders must actively collect information about what matters to employees through a robust “voice of employee” process.

 

Brittany shares examples of companies following the platinum rule effectively, including offers of paid leave to employees who need it and celebrations of life events for employees (such as a new baby, marriage, or graduation).

 

 
How to create meaning for your employees

 

Ultimately, no amount of surprising and delighting your employees will make up for a lack of clarity about your organization’s mission and how each person’s role is crucial to that mission. 

 

This is why Brittany has developed her SUPERFAN framework, which supports employers to boost loyalty by helping team members feel connected to something bigger than themselves.

 

The first step is “S”, Story. Before doing anything else, leaders should ensure that the story of their organization (their why) resonates with every team member.

 

Listen to this interview with Brittany to hear her walk us through how to foster a sense of meaning in your employees using the SUPERFAN framework. 

 

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