Excellence in Everything We Do…

Quality Uncontained…

Customer First…

These are the typical taglines of many companies. And if we take a sincere look behind these words, these simply imply making customers happy. A lot of our business pundits believe that making customers happy will help the companies rake in profits. Which, of course, makes sense.

About two weeks ago, I had a chat with a friend. There was a new management in her workplace. The whole company was re-structured. Some heads rolled — from top to bottom. Some of the affected were more than 20 years already with the company. Some of them who were let go felt they were not reasonably compensated with their severance pay. Benefits for those who remained were reduced but none would dare approach the labor department for fear of permanently losing their jobs.

I’ve been an auditor for more than twelve years now. And, one of the thing that I usually look into is what we call as “corporate governance”. This is a wide area that covers all corners of a corporate-dom that sets the tone at the top. One glaring condition that I noticed, in many companies that I’ve touched as an auditor when looking at governance, is that most of them fail to see what really is the main enabler that will help materialize their taglines.

That… is the employees.

Before they can make their customers happy, they need to make sure that the front-liners or the one interacting with the customers are also happy. They are the face of the company. If these employees cuss, frown or intentionally delays a service to a customer, that will reflect to the company as a whole. Therefore, the front-line employees need to be happy so that they can make the customers happy.

I guess, however, a lot know about this already. That is why marketing people have usually better compensation and benefits than the rest in the company.

What I really think most companies neglect are the personnel behind these front-liners.

A lot fail to see that the employees affecting these front-liners should also be happy. Because if the support staff are not happy, then they would support poorly the front-liners.

Like an IT support staff who services the desktops or administer the system…

The Human Resource Analyst who processes the salary of the front-liners…

Or, the Procurement Officer who acquire their office supplies…

Any delay or poor quality of service from their end will negatively affect the front-liners — emotionally or not. Conversely, that effect could trickle down to the customers. Which could stretch negatively to the company’s financial bottom-line. Therefore, again, the support staff should be happy as well.

In short, companies should aspire to make ALL EMPLOYEES HAPPY.

That, nonetheless, is never the case.

That is what many companies fail to do when…

…they don’t assure their employees tenure of service

…they fail to recognize and reward good employee performance

…they rule with fear and threaten employees with pink slips

And so many other acts that degrade the financial, emotional and physical well-being of their employees.

Now, I am talking here to our employers… to the top honchos… to those who rant about their company’s battle cries…

You have to prioritize the welfare of ALL your employees. Strive to make them happy by giving them fair share of the company income, recognizing their performance, and acknowledging their contribution to the company — to name some. Simply put, take care of your employees.

Let me end this by these words:

“Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.”

-Richard Branson

(English businessman who founded the Virgin Group which is composed of more than 400 companies)