Employees First, Customers Second
Now here is a revolutionary idea: employees first? Aren’t they the greatest resource of a company? Isn’t it time companies and managers started thinking that way. I just had a comment yesterday from a manager that said, “Employees are nothing more than a cost of doing business.” What an archaic viewpoint.
Multiple research suggests employees engagement is less than in the past. Unfortunately, the “employee experience” isn’t that good in many places. It certainly could be a lot better. Check it out and look up any company on Indeed and Glassdoor. The ratings quickly tell you what employees think or feel. This all affects their efforts, doesn’t it? We all know that. CEOs know that. Yet, little seems to change. I had one leader email me to say that I am drinking the Kool-Aid about the studies and impact of employee disengagement. Actually, while I drink it sometimes, it’s not that. Instead, I listen to my client’s employees, interact with colleagues, read the research, and study online ratings of companies.
Leadership Distrust: Employees First is Forgotten
With leadership distrust so low in many places, it doesn’t take brain surgeon to know that employee loyalty will be significantly affected by it. Unfortunately, the culture of most organizations focuses on profit or technology or customers, but not on employees. If companies switched this around, they would make more money. I think company executives make this way too hard.
While all of this sounds dire, it’s really great news if you are a manager or an aspiring one. Consequently, when managers treat employees well, and do the things that great managers do, bottom-line results will soar. I have found this can take place in any department or team in an organization regardless of the corporate culture. Now, it is helpful that it changes come from the top. Yet, we all know this doesn’t happen all the time. So, “employees first” can come from the top down or bottom up in an organization.
Trust in leadership at any level facilitates an employee first approach. It creates employee engagement and better performance. Among other actions, you obtain trust by being honest, communicating and coaching well, training effectively, and giving recognition. It’s elevated by paying fairly, gaining employee input and ideas for improving the business, and creating a pleasant working environment. Finally, if you put employee first, they will take care of the customers. Working with my client managers, I have seen many times what a “turned on” team can accomplish!
Do you agree? What are your thoughts?
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