More Than an Oracle – The Employee Engagement Practices of Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett is in the news these days after publicly expressing his confidence in the future of American corporations and recently investing $8 Billion Dollars to purchase interests in GE and Goldman Sachs. With the recent stock market turmoil, many look to the world’s wealthiest man for guidance, and rightly so. Buffett is widely recognized as an exceptional judge of corporate value. “The Oracle of Omaha,” as he is known, is arguably the most successful investor in history. Corporate leaders regularly make the trek to Omaha, Nebraska, seeking his wisdom. With so much attention on Buffett’s investment acumen, it’s easy to overlook another talent: motivating people. It’s one of a host of reasons his investments tend to outperform the market.

The talented managers who run Buffett’s companies remain with him because he keeps them engaged in their jobs. In Buffett’s own words, “Charlie [Charlie Munger, Buffett’s longtime business partner] and I mainly attend to capital allocation and the care and feeding of our key managers . . . Most of our managers are independently wealthy and it’s up to us to create a climate that encourages them to choose working with Berkshire over golfing or fishing.”

A closer look at Buffett shows, at least in part, how he does it.

He imparts an inspiring identity to members of the Berkshire Hathaway family. The vision he constantly communicates is that Berkshire companies are well managed and have great people. It’s not unusual to hear him tell employees to “just keep on doing what you’re doing . . . we’re never going to tell a .400 hitter to change his batting stance.” Who wouldn’t be flattered to be praised by Buffett?

Buffett shows that he values people in several ways. He is trusting and forgiving. By investing for long periods in the companies he owns, Buffett indicates that he trusts his managers. He delegates decision-making authority, in his own words, “to the point of abdication.” And when a manager makes an honest mistake, he keeps it in perspective. One manager who informed Buffett that his business had to write off $350 million was stunned when Buffett told him, “We all make mistakes . . . if you didn’t make mistakes, you can’t make decisions …You can’t dwell on them.”

Buffett models civility and respect for others. His secretary has said she hasn’t seen him mad once in the nine years she has worked for him. The one time I met Buffett at a meeting in New York City, he patiently waited around to speak with everyone who wanted to meet him. He was attentive and focused on them, never projecting the slightest hint of self-importance.

He is confident, yet humble. Buffett knows he’s very good at what he does, and he projects an easy confidence rather than superiority or arrogance. He credits his managers for his success, remains plain spoken, works in a modest office, lives in a modest house, and proclaims thrift as a virtue (the vanity plate on his former car read “Thrifty”).

Compare Warren Buffett to Donald Trump, for example. It’s hard to imagine Buffett prominently displaying his name all over everything he owns or relishing in telling someone “you’re fired.” Instead of everything being all about him, Buffett insists it’s all about others. He appears to be guided by the Golden Rule rather than Machiavelli’s The Prince.

Given the way Buffett treats people, it should come as no surprise that some private company owners report turning down more lucrative offers to join the Berkshire family. It is telling that no manager who sold a company to Buffett has ever left for a competitor, and several continue to work well into their eighties. Put simply, “people want to work for him,” proclaimed another satisfied manager, Rich Santulli, head of NetJets.

Buffett promotes communication by being approachable and candid. At the annual meeting he hosts in Omaha for Berkshire shareholders, Buffett and Charlie Munger sit on a platform, listening to shareholder opinions and answering questions for hours on end. In dealing with his managers he follows the data they provide him in periodic reports and makes himself available if they want to talk. Buffett writes and speaks with candor, even pointing out mistakes he made and what he learned from them.

Warren Buffett’s ways make the managers of Berkshire Hathaway feel proud to be affiliated with the company, feel valued as human beings and feel they can communicate openly and honestly with Buffett. These feelings (or emotions) make people want to give their best effort in their work and make them more energetic, optimistic, trusting and cooperative. Warren Buffett’s behavior reflects common sense and yet studies have shown that such behaviors are uncommon in practice among those with power in organizations. It is yet another reason why Buffett deserves to be called the Oracle of Omaha.

Here’s Why User Engagement Is Indispensable for Your Brand’s Success

As an online marketer, you have definitely heard it: if you want to make your brand successful, you should engage with your followers and customers.

There is a perfect formula for online marketing success:

Increase user engagement = More brand’ success

But do you know why audience engagement is crucial for your business. Because Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media channels will give your posts/images/videos more reach if users like, share, comment and tweet your updates. But this is not the only benefit you can get from audience engagement.

How many of you are actually show willingness to engage with ecommerce stores or online brands? Will your marketing efforts be in vain or do you really get a chance to convince them to convert?

Almost 90% of people are willing to engage with an online business, out of which only 9% of users show reluctance to engagement with brands at any cost.

Believe it or not, engagement is a two-way communication, so don’t expect your target audience to do all the sharing and liking, give them something really valuable to talk about.

Here are some amazing benefits that you can avail with engagement with your audience

Get More Social Exposure

The more users are willing to engage with your posts, the more new users will see your posts. After Facebook, Instagram is the social media network that works with engagement metrics. An engaged fan base is much likely to share your updates which will give you more exposure and help your posts to spread. From marketing point view, this is what every brand wants.

When you have more engaged users, you will probably see much more success (conversions) from a much smaller but engaged audience.

Build Trust and Customer Loyalty

The list of benefits your product/app or service offers without any proof is useless for your prospects unless you provide them some endorsements, testimonials or case studies. If you want your audience hit the CTA button and convert, then you need to build trust and prove what you promise.

User engagement can be a most effective tool especially when it comes to developing loyalty and trust. Consumers love to connect to real people – not brands. Show them what your brand offers, how your products/services can solve their problems and what they can expect from you. If you do it smartly, they will surely trust you, and then you have a greater chance of selling your products to them.

Trigger Emotional Response

Many people avoid a healthy discussion, they afraid someone may ask a question or argue their point. Fear kills emotions. Emotions will help you get more out of your consumers. The one emotional response in your fan base that will kill your conversion rate and what you can get out of your audience is apathetic. Low engagement is the true indication of indifference.

Emotions are good, so make sure you keep it positively, no need to get belligerent. Because it’s all about emotions that influence users’ buying decisions.

Get in Touch

Okay, you have gained an audience to your content, then what? Will they come back for more updates? Do you have to work hard to bring them to your website a second time and again and again?

Interactions and conversations can make your brand stand out. People will love to be entertained and connect. Engagement can help your brand get more subscribers and followers on your social media platforms.

Get Attention of New Audience

It is not only the exposure and social reach that increase with engagement. The attentions we all are willing to give any social media post completely depends on the number of comments. Users will think about your updates for longer if they have additional information in the comments. The blog posts with a healthy discussion or information in the comments can help your website get more traffic – and leads.

Give Your Brand a Real Human Face

Obviously, no one likes to talk to robots. People live to talk and connect to people. Make your brand human and personal by actively responding on your blog comment section, fan page, Twitter and social media networks. Giving your brand a human face can help you get more out of your marketing efforts. So, be human, interact and show your personality to the whole world. Make sure you make users feel important and significant.

Make Your Brand Standout

Stats show that consumers are much more likely to purchase a product if they know the brand beforehand and trust the brand most.

It is the matter of psychology that triggers emotions and buying decisions. All you need to build trust and show your personality. This way people will remember you and follow your brand so that you can stay in touch and convince them to convert. So make sure you interact with your audience and they will surely remember you better for it.

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