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Roll out the red carpet for your employees… before your customers

We’ve all heard it before and probably used the phrase ourselves. We say, “Let’s roll out the red carpet for our customers. It’s not a bad idea, but have you ever considered rolling out the red carpet for your employees before rolling it out for your customers?

That’s exactly what Donna Cutting, CEO of Red-Carpet Learning Systems, shares in her latest book. Employees first! : Inspire, engage and focus on the heart of your organization. Cutting argues that your employees deserve the same, if not a better, experience that you provide to your customers.

We had the opportunity to discuss the concept of employees first on Amazing Business Radio. Here are six nuggets of wisdom from the conversation, followed by my commentary:

1. Think about how you want employees to treat customers, then turn it around and ask, “Do we treat our own employees that way?” » That’s what Cutting’s book is about, and it reminds me of my Employee Golden Rule, that is to say, to do to your employees what you want them to do to your client, perhaps even better! And why would you want to do that? Because what happens inside an organization (how employees are treated) is going to be felt outside by the customer.

2. Start with the experience you create for your employees. This is where it all begins: how you help your employees develop their skills and improve their knowledge. Providing employees with the information they need to care for customers builds their confidence. And when you let them put those skills and knowledge to use, you empower them to create the experience they know is the one you want your customers to have.

3. If you want your employees to stick around, you need to make them feel appreciated. Many people believe that the number one reason employees leave their jobs is money (actually, lack of money). But this is not the case. It’s the employee experience (actually the lack of employee experience). Employees feel undervalued and stuck in their jobs. Leaders must be understanding and empathetic, nurture and mentor them, and help them grow and develop.

4. If every person in a leadership position made it a point to get to know their employees better, that’s a big step forward in keeping people and retaining them. A connection with the boss can make all the difference in the world. Loyal employees show that the person they love working with is like customers who love the company they do business with.

5. Listen to your people in a way you never have before. Just as you would listen to your customers, do the same with your employees. Hear what they say about your processes and how they are handled. They have a lot to share, if you just ask them.

6. Show what great customer service looks like. You can’t expect your employees to treat customers any differently than you treat them. They will mimic the same behaviors. Treating employees the right way will give them the confidence to know they are treating your customers the right way. After all, you are the leader, the role model, and the person they look up to for the way they treat others.

Looking at these concepts, you might think there is nothing new here. It’s just common sense. Of course it is ! But sometimes common sense is not so common. At a time when many employees are leaving their jobs for better opportunities, following these common sense concepts may be the best way to keep the good people you have. So roll out the red carpet for your employees before you do it for your customers. Cutting sums it up perfectly when she says, “Focus on people first. Their experience is the basis of what will happen to your customers.

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