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Would You Treat Your Customers Like That?

Posted by Shekhar Bhusannavar on Sep 5, 2013 8:00:00 AM

The duties of managers vary from one company to the next, but the core leadership role that managers play never fluctuates. With the position comes great responsibility. You face a balancing act between interacting with vendors and customers, ensuring a productive work environment, handling operations in the back office, and delegating work. We know that it can be challenging.

Out of all of the above duties, a large emphasis is placed on managing employees, who are the hands and feet of the business. That metaphor may seem impersonal, but if you think about your own hands and feet in conjunction with your other limbs, do they not offer you valuable service for everyday functions? Employees are essential to a company in the same way. Unfortunately, some managers, even those with the best intentions, neglect to take notice of this. A subtle shift in your perspective, while considering common myths versus hardcore facts, can alter the negative managerial mindset and enable you to foster a much healthier, more productive workplace.

Myth: Employees can mess up. If worse comes to worse, they are replaceable.
Fact: Employees mess up, but they are not machines and computer parts.

The food and beverage industry is notorious for its high turnover rate. There are speculations and a variety of perspectives about this. The focus of this argument is the complacency that companies have developed about hiring. The result leaves managers nonchalantly overcompensating and over staffing, which they do in part to "weed out" the "bad" workers. It's wise to prepare for peak seasons, and there is certainly nothing wrong with offering seasonal positions. However, the more that you hire for the sake of quality control, the less time you are able to devote to administrative duties, to growing your business, to satisfying your customers, and ultimately, leading your current employees.

Myth: The number one priority we should have is serving customers.
Fact: Employees are your internal customers, which makes them your priority too.

There is no telling what your employees could be doing whether they are presently employed with you or not. One of the easiest ways that disgruntled employees can sap the life out of your business is to neglect or mistreat the paying customers. It's a simple principle that if you don't care about the employees, the employees will be inclined not to care about you, and certainly not the customers paying your salary. Your reputation spreads the fastest by word of mouth through your customers and your workers. Regardless of how long an employee has worked for you, understand that there could be a day when they return in the form of a paying customer. How well you treat them determines if they even return at all.

Myth: We need employees to work for us.
Fact: Employees don't work for your company--they are your company.

This goes hand in hand with the concept of treating your employees like customers (because they are). The very essence of your company and how your patrons perceive you depends upon who you are, and who you are is a matter of who works for you. Employees are the very people that demonstrate the diligence and quality service that you promise to deliver on your website and in your promotional materials. For better or for worse, employees have the power to shape and transform your brand and reputation.

Assuming you are presently a manager, you have already taken a step in the right direction by reading this. Continue seeking ways to improve while keeping these insights in mind. Maintaining a people-oriented perspective as a leader in your company will pay off for the good of everyone.

Source: Profiles International.

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Topics: Workplace Management, Leadership Skill Improvement

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