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Putting the Employee First

Josh Greenberg discusses the importance putting your employee first so they will put the customer first. Learn the connection between employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Examining the Relationship Between Employee Satisfaction and Customer Satisfaction

Numerous studies have been done to look at the connection between customer and employee satisfaction. A majority of these studies were able to uncover a correlation between employee satisfaction, customer satisfaction and profitability.

In a recent study for an international computer firm, the data reinforced the crucial link between customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction and profitability. Some of the key factors they found:

Profit and growth are stimulated primarily by customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Employees who are satisfied in their jobs provide higher levels of customer service.

Employee satisfaction results primarily from internal high-quality support services and policies that enable employees to deliver results to customers.

Putting employee and customer satisfaction in the spotlight when planning strategy is one of the top priorities for organizations committed to continuous improvement, both internally and externally. Maintaining a continuous flow of information from both employees and customers is how successful organizations are able to continually maintain their high rankings in the marketplace.

At the heart of these endeavors is a strong belief that today's employee satisfaction, loyalty and commitment influence tomorrow's customer satisfaction, loyalty and commitment-and, ultimately, the organization's profit and growth. This belief in practical management is reinforced by a growing body of empirical research. These all-important "links" comprise what is generally termed the "value profit chain."

A recent Gallup survey of 55,000 employees matched the following attitudes with higher profits:

Employees felt they had an opportunity every day to do what they do best

They believed their opinion counted

They sensed that their co-workers were committed to quality

There was a direct connection between their work and the company's mission statement

Yes, itís true that people need to feel as if they are fairly compensated; but they also want to feel like they are a part of the company and that their ideas and suggestions are important. They also like to feel that they add value and aid in the company's growth.

According to many management experts, the single greatest key to productivity is employee happiness. Satisfied employees are usually energetic and tend to be highly motivated. But, determining what makes workers happy can be a mind-stretching exercise. For years, the belief was that money was the source of employee happiness and retention. While there is no question that money is important, management studies show that it does not buy employee satisfaction. While employees want to be fairly compensated for their efforts, they also want to be challenged and treated with respect.

Here are some suggestions on how organizations can increase employee satisfaction:

Understand why people are working and commit to helping them achieve their goals on the job. Develop a plan that will assist them in getting where they want to go.

Empower workers to do the job you hired them to do. A work environment in which employees are constantly monitored, micro-managed and bossed around can be stifling. While most employees are capable of receiving empowerment, not all will seek it. The overriding motivation for all employees is respect.

Keep employees informed. Share the big picture as to why they are being asked to do what they do and how their work can benefit others. Invite them to share their opinions. Allow them to actively participate in the discussions that lead to business decisions. By including them, you signal that you value their expertise and recognize that they are a valuable asset for the organization. Remember, involvement equals commitment!

Communicate your expectations. Let your employees know what you expect from them in terms of work ethic, quality, honesty and job performance. Do not assume that employees somehow inherently understand what is required.

Take care of the people who work for you. Acknowledge their accomplishments with frequent and sincere recognition. Take time to single out employees who have gone well beyond the call of duty.

Hire the best people for the job, give them directions and tools to do the job and step aside. But, be sure to follow up.

Treat employees the way you would want to be treated. Think about how you would want to be informed of changes and recognized for a job well done. Then do the same with your employees.

© 2005 AlphaMeasure, Inc. - All Rights Reserved

About the Author

Josh Greenberg is President of AlphaMeasure, Inc.

AlphaMeasure provides organizations of all sizes a powerful web based method for measuring employee satisfaction, determining employee engagement, and increasing employee retention.


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