This week we feature an article by my friend Donna Cutting, Founder and CEO of Red-Carpet Learning Systems, Inc., and the author of the new book Employees First! Inspire, Engage, and Focus on the HEART of Your Organization. She shares the five ways to treat employees like customers and become a company where people want […]
This week we feature an article by my friend Donna Cutting, Founder and CEO of Red-Carpet Learning Systems, Inc., and the author of the new book Employees First! Inspire, Engage, and Focus on the HEART of Your Organization. She shares the five ways to treat employees like customers and become a company where people want to work.
People quit their jobs in record numbers last year, and many of them never jumped back into the world of work. While some experts expect “The Great Resignation” will slow down in 2022, there’s no doubt that companies will still be competing for talent in the coming months. The power has shifted from employer to employee. How do you become the type of company where people want to work? The simple answer is to start treating employees like you treat your customers. Here are five ways to do just that.
If customers were in short supply, one of the first strategies you might employ is to listen. You’d reach out to your current and past customers, discover their pain points and get a sense of what was important to them at the moment. You might even ask them to collaborate with you on new products and services to help you better serve their changing needs. It’s time to listen more deeply to your internal customers. Their needs and wants have shifted, and you’ll do a better job of attracting and retaining the best people for your company if you ask good questions, listen without getting defensive, and work with them to co-create a more meaningful employee experience.
Customers want convenience and so do your employees. You can’t expect the people you employ to live up to your standards of excellence if you aren’t providing them with the resources and skills to do so. Give them what they need to do their job and do it well. It’s also essential to realign expectations, so workloads are more manageable. Many people leave their jobs because they feel stressed, overwhelmed, and overworked. The time for “do more with less” is long past and has never been effective. Get honest about what you can expect from people and give them the tools they need to deliver.
Get to know your employees like you know your customers. Roll out the red carpet with broad smiles, eye contact, and friendly greetings as you pass each other in the hall. Learn and call them by name. Ask about their day. Make it a point to know what their contribution is and thank them. Check-in on remote employees and spend some time making a human connection before diving right into tasks and to-do lists. It’s customer service 101, and it applies to your team members too.
Understand that the times are changing, and the needs and expectations of employees are changing too. If you pay attention to the trends, you will realize that it’s time to reinvent the employee experience. If you’re determined to hang on to the old ways of doing things, you’ll be left behind when it comes to attracting and retaining the best talent. Be open to offering remote or hybrid work situations or flexible scheduling for tethered positions. Start thinking about how you will make your workplace more family-friendly with better maternity/paternity leave options, childcare, or job sharing. Review your workplace practices concerning diversity and equity strive to be more inclusive. Be more transparent and communicate rapidly and consistently with each person on the team. Don’t go the way of the leaders at Kodak who refused to move forward with the digital camera and suffered the consequences. Anticipate what’s coming and move forward to modernize your employee experience.
Your employees are unique individuals, just like your traditional customers. They each have different needs and preferences, and it’s just as important to personalize their experience. In terms of benefits, for example, your Gen Z or Millennial team members may not care so much about your fabulous 401K. On the other hand, your close-to-retirement age people may not be concerned with free tuition or paid family leave. If you want to be attractive to many prospective and current employees, ensure that you target more than one group with your benefits. Beyond benefits, a personalized employee experience also means that you’re getting to know your people and helping them achieve their individual goals through a clear-cut career path, formalized and informal coaching, and opportunities to grow and develop.
Apply what you know about delivering excellent customer service to those internal customers, and you’ll create a place where the best candidates WANT to work!
Donna Cutting is the Founder and CEO of Red-Carpet Learning Systems, Inc. and the author of Employees First! Inspire, Engage, and Focus on the HEART of Your Organization.
For more articles from Shep Hyken and his guest contributors go to customerserviceblog.com.
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