I've said it before and it's worth repeating again. Your employees are your first customers.
- What are you doing to make their experience satisfying?
- Is the service they are getting exceptional?
- Do they leave your place of business (and ultimately theirs) happy with the overall atmosphere?
- Are they repeat customers? In other words, do they keep coming back for more because they want to? Or is it because they feel they have to?
- Are you creating an enjoyable work atmosphere? Or is it just another place to work?
- Are they telling their friends about how great their job is? Do their friends want to come an work there too?
- Do you go to great lengths to make sure they have the tools they need?
- Do you value their suggestions that can improve your service to them?
I once worked at a place where the managers liked to say, "You can be easily replaced." As if there were 10 more Andrew Weaver's knocking down their doors just itching to work for them. The attitude was, "Now, go do what I want for minimal pay and less respect." The fact is, there wasn't or they would have fired me. It was an empty threat. It should never be this way.
Managers who lead see their employees as their first customers. They must work hard to satisfy them, to make their experience worth their while, and keep them productive. The employees are on the front lines with their customers. The front lines must be strong. Treating them with respect, consistency, and giving them the tools necessary to perform their jobs exceptionally goes a long way in making sure your customers (the paying ones) are satisfied.
Your employees are your first customers. Make them irreplaceable.