There are many ways to dissect the employer’s chicken-and-egg metaphor related to its employees and customers. For many long-standing, successful businesses, most employers can’t reconcile which came first because employees come and go just as frequently as customers come and go.
Many employers think their customers are their first priority—regardless of what they claim. (I, as a business owner, am not one of them.) After all, how can you compare the importance of a million-dollar-per-year customer to a $16-per-hour employee? It’s typically not a comparison you need to make because the reason you likely have that valued customer is because countless employees did their jobs brilliantly.
Let’s at least agree that there might be an analogous way to view employees and customers to the benefit of your organization. What if you made a commitment to improve your recruitment philosophy so that you treated your soon-to-be-employees in a similar manner as you treat your customers? What if you started your recruitment process with the mentality that you need to sell those job candidates (first) instead of screening them? What if you treated your current employees like family so they would never consider leaving? After all, you want the same things from both of them…
You want them to be satisfied. A happy customer is priceless. A happy employee is great for business. They do their job more effectively and they inspire their fellow employees to do their jobs more effectively.
You want them to be loyal. You want your customers to stay for many reasons and their loyalty provides you with the best feedback they can give possibly give you. You want your employees to stay and realize great return for their invested time with you. In turn, they provide you with a great service and also keep future (turnover) costs lower thereby keeping your profits higher.
You want them to refer their friends. Some of our best customers came from referrals from existing or previous customers. When customers refer their friends, it’s the single greatest compliment they can offer. It also helps keep sales costs lower. Similarly, you want your employees to refer their friends. It’s a fabulous way to secure great talent and it also keep your recruiting costs down.
You need them for your business to survive. Without customers there is no revenue. Without employees, there is no product. An imbalance of either is bad for your business.