“Treat your employees like your best customers”…doesn’t really sound like a conundrum, isn’t it? Top management and leadership teams usually know the concept well. But can they remember what’s ideal when there are high operating costs, cost of capital and reduced margins + they are busy coping with hundreds of daily decisions & tasks?
In the situations ibid, the operational framework for companies usually becomes reactive rather than visionary and idealistic. Thus, the reason for this article – to create recall and top of the mind awareness for what’s key in every single organization – its employees. Whenever employees are not valued, no matter why, it means as a company we are not leveraging ourselves towards “Big Think & Big Success Strategy”. We at DWC are also oftentimes pressed for time and muddled in tough marketplace issues. But we have learnt and matured as our company has grown over the years. Our mantra has been; ‘The secret to delighting our customers lies in putting our employees first’. Our staff is our most valuable asset. Being an asset, it is imperative to invest in them. When an organization considers its employees somewhat of a liability because they cost money, it becomes a problem and is one of the topmost reasons for their under-performance.
Employees are and will always be the greatest brand committed advocates. So if we are not tapping into them, even the topmost marketing strategy is not likely to bring forth the optimum results.
What exactly does it mean when we say, we treat employees like our customers? Here are our guiding principles:
It is imperative to listen to your employees, not just hear them, i.e., give them due attention to achieve excellent results. They are the ones who create the customers for DWC, satisfy and retain them. An atmosphere, where those working for us feel that their opinion matters and is given due consideration, is crucial for the sustainable business model. It creates trustworthy relationships that are inherently prone to being cooperative!
When employees are recognized for their work, they feel cared for, valued and satisfied. Creating this emotional connection via employee recognition paves the way to their engagement and retention. At DWC, employees are appreciated on one-on-one basis, through handwritten notes and emails. The gesture has always been appreciated and it protects us from lost productivity and $$ because of inefficiency.
Besides good insurance and travel options, our staff enjoys theme team lunches, one-on-one luncheon, gift cards, certificates of achievement, work-from-home options & yearly family day. It’s worth finding out what your employees love, so that they can be rewarded thoughtfully for anything special they have done, work or non-work related. We have also invested in their personal and professional development & learning by funding their certification. While many may argue that self-enrichment is up to an individual, we believe if we don’t invest in our people, we are not actually investing in our company’s future. Learning at DWC has also come through team building activities, team bonding events, etc. It is a critical component of creating a long lasting business with low employee turnover.
Every employee’s happiness matters, if he/she does not have the passion for their work and lack motivation, it is bound to impact the company’s bottom line too. It is a simple hypothesis indeed – ‘In order to have happy, satisfied & loyal customers; we should have happy, satisfied & loyal employees’.
We have accepted the reality of today’s workforce – the fact that the modern worker needs more than good pay and health care. They need:
At DWC we try to provide as much of the above as possible.
Give employees a voice and they will not only trust the management, but also create further positive internal and external voices. Our staff can share their ideas, many a time – extraordinarily powerful ideas. We are always there to discuss and take creative action.
From some of the points above, you might be thinking, what about feedback then…how will our employees improve if we don’t give them ‘constructive feedback’. You are dot on. Feedback is essential but delivering it ineffectively can make all the difference between motivating your employees and demotivating them. When was the last time your boss told you that you had done things wrong and you liked it? We believe as employers we should focus on the future and not the mistakes of the past. We should communicate to our employees what is expected in the future and advise on how they might align their approach to meet the objectives.
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