Few days ago, I had the pleasure to speak with Shep Hyken who wrote the book, “Amaze every customer every time- 52 tools for delivering the most amazing customer service on the planet.”
In my conversation with Shep, we talked about the idea of Employee-Centric leadership. We discussed how leaders turn the hierarchical organizational pyramid upside down to where the employees are at the top of the pyramid.
As I read the book, I came across a quote from Mark Schulein who works with ACE Hardware- the company Shep profiled in the book of having great employee centric culture.
Mr. Schulein said that they “focus on engaging with their own people first, knowing what they going through at home, learning what we can do to support them, because that’s exactly what we want them to do for the customer once the customer walks through the door. We believe that in order to be the best place to shop you have to be the best place to work first.”
Great companies that shifted their thinking by putting employees first will surely win the customer service game in any town.
And let me add, that customer service is the only game in town that matters. You can have the best place to shop, but without the people’s experience, customer simply don’t come back.
According to Gallup report, there is a strong correlation between employee engagement and key organizational outcomes. The engaged stay for what they can give, the disengaged stay for what they can get’ as reported in the BlessingWhite’s Employee Engagement Report 2013.
Companies can successfully win on customer experience, and customer loyalty by creating a culture of employee engagement.
So how can leaders make their companies more employee-centric and motivate their teams?
Here are a few of the best practices that are make great companies to survive – and thrive:
Build a culture of recognition:
Employees want to feel valued by their organizations and leaders. They want to know that their contributions matter and their voices are being heard. That’s because recognition reinforces positive behaviors that drives business success and builds customer loyalty every time. As a leader, you have to reinforce what you focus on.
Give Rewards That Improve Work/ and Life Balance:
Companies that care for their employees work-life balance are more successful and managed well. For example, American Express built its first backup childcare center adjacent to the Fort Lauderdale call center, they also added nurse practitioners to the on-site healthcare service so that employees could get their medical needs met with without having to take any time off.
Acknowledge The Frontline Employees:
Frontline employees play a critical role in WOWing customers. Therefore, it is also extremely important to recognize every effort they make. Another example comes from American Express. The company acknowledges its frontline staff by calling them customer care professionals’ and provides them with personalized business cards.
That’s what leaders do-They make their culture an employee centric organization.