Many organizations are customer-focused. Everything is put together to optimally serve the customer. Which is of course in essence what it is all about; as an organization you exist because of the added value you offer to your customers. But is this customer-oriented approach truly what is best for the customer? Your employees are the ones who help your customers. Therefore, take good care of your employees, then they will take care of the customer!
If you have seen the movie Office Space (1999), you know what the disastrous consequences can be of frustration and dissatisfaction amongst employees with respect to their job. At the same time, the movie shows us how important it is to take care of your staff, to appreciate them, motivate them and show that you care about them. When your people are fully absorbed by their job and enthusiastic about what they do, this will positively impact the reputation and contribute to the goals of the organization. Committed employees are more loyal, more productive and do a better job.
“Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.”
Richard Branson --- business men and founder Virgin Group
A few guidelines
But how do you get happy, motivated and committed employees? There are lots of theories about this subject. These guidelines will help you:
- Your employees are important: All human beings want to feel important, both in their private life and in their job. Make sure your people are important. Let them know you need them, tell them they do a good and important job and that they contribute to the successes of your organization.
- Communication is crucial: Pay attention to your internal communication. That means you are honest about what you expect from your employees, that you provide them feedback on how they perform, that you listen to their problems and coach them to help them become better at what they do. But also, be honest about what is going on within the company and why certain decisions are taken.
- Strive for common goals: Explain what your organization stands for, what mission and vision you have, which core values are important to your company and what your contribution to society is. Your employees should be able to identify with this and have a clear picture of they are working so hard for every day.
- Employees are unique: Do not treat people as numbers and do not focus solely on figures and targets. Paying attention to the individual is important. Stimulate personal growth, take someone’s personal situation into account. Realize that each employee deals with situations and events differently and is unique in how he or she performs.
The shortest route to success
If you focus on the customer, you try to deliver the best products and services, excellent support and a great customer experience. That is very ambitious to strive for in a competitive market. A much easier, more successful and more fun approach is to make sure your employees are happy. They will do the rest. This takes time and effort, but ultimately, it will bring you a lot. Besides that, you will make a lot of people happy and you get to work in a pleasant, positive and successful organization every day!
Philip van Kemenade is marketing manager at Dysel and is in contact with software end users every day.