Many CEO's preach "customers first, employees second and shareholders third." Now, while looking after your customers is certainly not wrong, we believe company's should put their own people first -- ensuring they are happy and fulfilled, clear about company strategy and values, and in fact, the rest will take care of itself.
Happy people pass it on. They regard problems as challenges, they treat others kindly, they express gratitude, they avoid making excuses and take accountability, they speak well about others, they take time to listen, they nurture relationships.
Many of your employees are the ones speaking to your customers each and every day. And for those who aren’t, they are no doubt on social media having conversations or talking with friends and family about their experiences or working on things that directly or indirectly impact your customers.
Imagine, happy people, clear about your company vision, values and goals. Imagine your people living and breathing these things in each conversation and action, and passing it on. Imagine happy customers. Imagine a high performing business delivering shareholder value. Companies like Zappos have done a fantastic job at doing just this.
So, by putting your employees first, you actually end up putting your customers first, and in turn, your shareholders too.
Ashley Walker is Founder & CEO at Culture Engineers. She has developed internal and external communication and marketing plans for start-ups and mature global businesses, and she has a passion for inside out brand development.