This employee retention speaker and employee retention author believes that your people always come first. They come before the customer and before getting results. The customer and getting results may come in a close second but they are nonetheless second to your people. If your people are taken care of, they will take care of the customer and they will get you results. In fact, people will truly go the extra mile to get the job done if they know they matter most.
Unfortunately, we have gotten our priorities all screwed up in the past several decades with the results, results, results mentality. That leads to chewing people up, cutting people when there is a slight change in business and treating people like dogs for the sake of the bottom line. When you send that message, your people know that they are expendable and that they are truly not valued. That is the message that has destroyed loyalty in this country. Companies don’t give loyalty, yet they expect it in return. It is time to get real and realize that until people are first, employees will look out for themselves and not stick around when the going gets tough.
The other mantra that needs to be dispelled is that the customer is always right. Wrong. No one is always right. It sounds great to the customer to say that. What it has bred is unrealistic customers who may be rude, abusive and obnoxious to your employees for no reason at all. Then when that happens, we throw the employee under the bus so the customer feels good. I submit to you that if a customer is an ass, perhaps you are better off without them as a customer. I am not saying that you treat customers poorly. I am saying you watch out for your employees, expect them to treat customers well and hold employees accountable if they don’t. But, when you have a good employee being abused by some obnoxious customer for no reason (and that happens a lot) you need to stand up for your people. If you don’t your people will not stand with you when times get tough.
This employee retention speaker knows this is a controversial position. But, think about this. If you do not have a people-centric environment, you will not have the people you need to even take care of your customers and to get anything done…much less get results! That IS the bottom line.