I used to be the guy that stood up in front of employees and asked the question: “Who signs your paychecks?” Hoping that my team would all yell out in unison: “Our customers do!”
Well, both the times and I have changed. Sir Richard Branson has a popular quote that goes like this: “Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your clients.” I couldn’t agree more.
I have been a part of far too many turn-around projects where employees were put second… and even fourth in some cases. Things felt toxic and apathetic and everyone was in it for themselves.
In comparison, when the team was put first … cultures were engaged, purposeful, inspired and customer-focused.
The main difference though, was in the way the latter group of employees served clients: with energy, passion and commitment to the customers well-being. And of course, in the growth of the business and subsequent profitability.
Lots of studies have been done to prove that if you take care of your employees, they will take care of your customers:
The main difference between the top cultures and the bottom is simple. Leaders are comfortable with being vulnerable about their weaknesses, and their egos are OK with being challenged by members of their team. In turn, employees in these organizations have a higher level of trust in their leadership and each other, they feel psychologically safe, they feel connected to each other and they feel like they ‘belong.’ (This is a key driver for the Millennial generation.)
A wise mentor of mine once said it very succinctly: “Happy Employees create satisfied customers and a profitable business.”
And never forget it!
Robert Murray is a Vancouver, BC based Business Strategy Consultant, #1 Best Selling Author, and International Keynote Speaker. For further advice, insight and inspiration on how to unlock your inner leader, follow Robert on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
Click here to get his weekly Tuesday Tune Up blog posts straight to your inbox.Business, Business Culture, Employee Engagement, Employee Retention, Growth, Values