Are You “Well-Connected”?
Traditionally, the meaning of the phrase “well-connected” in our society meant to be socially connected, through personal interaction. In today’s rapidly changing technological landscape, being “well-connected” takes on a whole new meaning.
The deployment of mobile devices, networks and apps is creating the reality that unless you are connected in technology — especially wirelessly — you are not “well”. In other words, this “well-connected” world of ours is impacting the way we communicate and interact with each other.
Technology is our new reality.
Technology is separating and sterilizing our relationships and interactions with people, effectively increasing the number of times we may reach out to another, but greatly decreasing the human touch or quality of the interaction.
We are social creatures. We need to interact on a personal level, instead of turning our real names into screen names and isolating our world with a synthetic connection. An important question to ponder - has technology made us better citizens, better consumers, better communicators, better thinkers, better employees, better managers and better parents or friends?
Our business world is entrenched in technology; however, our business world includes people. From time to time, business leaders, owners, and managers need to remind themselves that technology does not replace human interaction.
Economically challenging times usually brings out the best in people, especially with caring and empowered employees, but businesses have a tendency to cut costs randomly, rather than look for ways to improve the customer experience.
Currently, the economic and social sentiments are creating difficult times for many. One of the reasons, I believe, is the disconnected relationships companies have toward customers and employees, causing loyalty issues across the board. The vision or purpose a company portrays may be contrary to a customer’s real-life interaction or employee’s perspective, causing erosion in customer and employee confidence.
For example, customers, employees and other stakeholders are exposed to the spoken vision of the company; however, if in practice, the CEO or management team’s unspoken vision is contrary to the spoken vision, then a disconnect will be felt far and wide throughout the organization, stakeholders and customer base alike.
Let’s not forget the importance of establishing a personal connection with people we come across in life, whether a customer, employee, industry peer, family or friend.
Regardless of how we feel at times, the treatment and care of others is paramount in running a successful business, volunteer organization or family. However, it seems that the definition of success lately means “at the expense of others” rather than focusing on fostering a vibrant and mutually reciprocal relationship.
Measuring this x-factor for all future business or personal dealings will help guide your decision-making process during economic boom and bust cycles or challenging personal times.
As owners, leaders and managers, we need to constantly monitor the way we interact with employees and how our employees interact with customers. Focusing on being “well-connected” in a more humanly manner, especially as it relates to business and social interaction, delivers a powerful message to customers and employees.
Customers and employees trust and support an organization that has a solid foundation, powerful and consistent vision and strong leadership.
Bottom line is this: Technology should enhance our personal and business experience, not hinder it. Being as well-connected, as humanly as possible, does a business and a family good.
Contributing Writer, George De Marco, is the ESX Chair and a security industry veteran.