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Treat Your Employees Like Your Best Customers

Customer service can make or break a business. Here’s how you can value your own people as much as your customers.

Treat Your Employees Like Your Best Customers
[Image: Flickr user ~Pawsitive~Candie_N]

Successful companies are proving that employee happiness sets them apart in many ways from their competitors plagued with employee apathy and turnover. Happy employees are more productive, loyal, and positively contribute to a company’s financial goals–impacting the bottom line.

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Competition for recruiting top talent is fierce. Savvy companies attract the best people when they treat employee relationships like customer relationships–as if the business depended on it. Here’s how you can, too.

1. Think of Your Company Culture As Your Most Valuable Product

The Net Promoter Score system was originally intended to help businesses gauge levels of customer satisfaction based on how likely–or unlikely–customers were to recommend a product. Today, successful companies including Symantec and Rackspace are realizing that employee satisfaction can strongly correlate with levels of employee engagement and profitability.

Go ahead and send a Net Promoter survey out to employees once or twice a year to learn how happy your organization is overall. Be transparent and report back to your team about the findings and any changes that will be made as a result.

2. Empower Every Employee to Sell Your Company Culture

When it comes to recruiting, one of the most powerful and efficient ways to vet potential candidates is to host an invitation-only open house at your office. If you have quite a few positions to fill, this can be an efficient way to screen multiple qualified candidates, and it can be a good test of a candidate’s culture fit in an informal environment.

Finally, an open-house format offers your employees the chance to be your best salespeople and help recruit others to the company. The open-house format also allows companies to showcase their biggest asset–employees–while attracting more of the right people.

3. Value Your Employees As Highly As Your Customers

If one of your customers complained about your product or service you would quickly react, consider the potential impact on your sales and brand, and address the issue to keep the customer from leaving. Companies with the most successful cultures are those who respond similarly to an unhappy employee.

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By holding weekly one-on-one meetings with their team members, managers can keep communication lines open and stay on top of any potential issues. When challenges do arise, by quickly identifying the issue, listening to the person, and working through a solution together, you demonstrate to all of your employees that you value them, as well as the contributions they have made to your organization.

For many company leaders, the idea of employee happiness can seem too soft or abstract to be acted upon in a meaningful way, ultimately deprioritizing it as a business goal. By thinking of your employees as customers, you can successfully avoid this temptation, and retain the best talent to drive your organization–and its bottom line–forward.

Jen Agustin is senior director of marketing at Bizo.