Why The Most Productive Companies Treat Employees Like Customers




  • — November 27, 2017

    People are the most important asset in any company – they’re the difference between success and failure. Yet recent research by Sage People found that that only 37% of employees think they’re highly productive in their role. You need to have happy, motivated, engaged and valued employees to make the magic happen. That’s when people do their most productive work, and boost company performance in the meantime.


    Really, it’s a no brainer. Employees who are empowered and inspired will go the extra mile, call in sick less, contribute more and be champions and advocates for the company. But how do you create such a spell-binding working environment? The answer is to treat your employees like you treat your customers. Market your company to your employees and candidates, in the same way you might market your product to your consumers.


    People Marketing is a term used for this and aims to understand what drives your employees more, so that you can design great workforce experiences that match their needs. Know them as well as you know your customers, so you can get the best from them to drive your business. Ultimately, treating your employees as customers will conjure great business success. Here’s why.


    Building brand ambassadors


    Your workforce provides you with the biggest opportunity to promote your company to the outside world. If you can market your company as a fantastic place to work, and align your employees’ wants and needs with the company culture and values, they will become your best brand ambassadors to help attract and retain top talent.


    When people love where they work, they feel valued and empowered and will talk about their job to family and friends as well as post positive messages on social media. They will also be more likely to recommend people for future vacancies.


    Creating stellar internal experiences


    Good customer service starts from within. Treating your employees like customers will inspire them to deliver good customer service to the company’s clients. If your employees have a great workplace experience, they will naturally be motivated to create a great customer experience for the company’s customers.


    Put simply, happy employees make happy customers. As ultimately, it is people who underpin the long-term customer relationships your company has, not the CRM software or processes put in place.


    Buying into the vision


    Employees must be convinced by a company’s vision – they are, after all, the ones that will deliver it. If you can get them fully bought-in to the company’s goals and strategy, then they can make a massive impact to the company’s bottom line.


    But it’s not just marketing the company’s business plan to the workforce in a motivating way that will boost results. When people are happy and content in their work, they will go beyond expectations.


    Someone who has wholly positive experiences at work, and finds their work engaging and meaningful, is going to be a greater asset to a company than someone who doesn’t.


    We’re not talking about ping pong tables and free food since only 4.5% of workers think that adds value to their workforce experiences. We’re talking about organizations where employees feel truly engaged, empowered and inspired. For example, giving employees projects that reflect their passions and values, and empowering them to own it and deliver the best outcomes as a result.


    Ensuring staff retention


    Finally, treating your employees as customers will encourage greater retention. People will feel more wanted and valued, understand where they fit into the company vision, and therefore stick around longer. If they are being communicated to regularly and know what is expected of them, they won’t be looking elsewhere.


    That’s the why. Here’s the how


    We’ve covered off the ‘why’ of treating your employees like customers, but the ‘how’ is a whole different discussion. Here are some ways to start doing it:



    • Use blogs, message boards, Facebook and Twitter to engage with employees
    • Tailor internal marketing messages to each department- messages to the sales team will be different than messages to the finance department
    • Share company success stories, as well as teams and individual business, wins with everyone at the company

    Meaningful workplace experiences are different for each employee, and companies which put their people first get this; they understand their employees’ motivations and tailor their approaches to each employee as a result.


    People Companies understand their people and know what drives them, and they use this information to create an employer journey that constantly continues to energize their workforce and get the best from them – they treat their employees not just as well as they treat their customers, but better, because they know that their people are their biggest asset for growth.


    How people-focused is your company? Try Sage’s free profiler tool now to find out.

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    Author: Paul Burrin


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