In April of 2017, Amazon Founder and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos made a strong statement to his shareholders: embrace the start-up culture.
Known as the Day One Philosophy, it was created many years ago when Amazon was just getting started in the late 1990s. Bezos worked out of an Amazon building called “Day 1” and believed that Amazon should always embody this mentality of a start-up company - that every day is "day one." When businesses continue to evolve, they ultimately lose the day one mentality and focus on less irrelevant things (generally called day two) which can lead to decline and business closure.
Yes, his desk is a door haphazardly drilled into 4x6 boards.
Bezos explains, “Day 2 is stasis. Followed by irrelevance. Followed by excruciating, painful decline. Followed by death. And that is why it is always Day 1.”
It’s this thinking that has helped Amazon become, and stay a household name.
Furthermore, in the 2017 shareholder letter Bezos stressed the importance of going back to the basics. He discussed focusing on the essentials of an organization, such as the customers, industry trends, and making quick decisions to help propel the business forward.
At Awardco we have embraced this philosophy and approach every day, every project, as if it is day one. What are some ways organizations can continue to implement the day one philosophy?
Build better customer relationships by rewarding your employees
Focusing on customers and building stronger relationships begins with your employees. After all, your employees are your most important customers! When employees are highly engaged in their work you’ll also have happy customers, which builds stronger customer relationships. In fact, a study conducted by Washington State University found that employee satisfaction is directly linked to customer satisfaction. Coincidence? We think not!
So, what’s a great way for an organization to increase employee engagement and thus customer engagement? You guessed it! Employee recognition! When employees are appreciated and recognized for their efforts in timely, specific, and appropriate ways they’ll feel more valued and motivated to continue producing great work. At Awardco we believe that recognition programs should use innovative technology to reward employees with items that they actually want and will use. (Psst - that's why we're the only employee recognition software to partner with Amazon. Where else can you find literally MILLIONS of rewards items all in one spot?)
Through employee recognition programs, you’re building a culture of caring. This culture will directly reflect in your customer service and overall organizational success.
Hire employees that believe in your mission and values
Your mission statement and business values are not just something to place on your hallways and walk away from. They're the foundation of your culture! Because of their importance you need to hire talented people that believe in said values and will live by them in their job.
More like where do YOU see YOURSELF in five years?
Take a look at both your hiring and onboarding processes to see where you can fine tune to get better results. Stellar employees, culture advocates, and happy organizations lead to unprecedented success!
Network with others in your industry
A great way to stay up-to-date in industry trends and trends outside of your organization is to have employees network with other industry leaders and workers. Have your company host a seminar or event where everyone can learn and develop skills that will help them now and in the future. You never know what information you will learn from! Furthermore, events like these can help your business embrace current relevant trends so they can be successful down the road.
Bezos said it best, “The outside world can push you into Day 2 if you won’t or can’t embrace powerful trends quickly. If you fight them, you’re probably fighting the future. Embrace them and you have a tailwind.”
Be transparent in your decision-making
Lastly, it’s important that when you makes decisions you communicate with employees. In the start-up culture when a high quality decision is made quickly, every employee knows about it because of the nature of a small business. Although it may not be possible to do with every decision, work to bring transparency into the process as a way to instill better trust between upper management and employees.
In addition, although not everyone will agree with each decision that is made, when you’re transparent, it's more likely everyone will be motivated to achieve the same organizational mission and goals.
Instead of falling into the Day 2 trap keep these four tips in mind to focus on what matters most to help achieve business success. Treat every day like day one!