Keeping customers happy is the central pillar of most businesses.
But your most important customers might be internal — your employees.
If staff aren’t treated properly by management then it’s far more challenging for them to provide external contacts with excellent service.
But a recent Glassdoor survey showed that one in five UK employees have resigned over a terrible boss.
And poor leadership is only one factor to overcome to retain good staff — here are three hacks for embedding internal customers in the heart of your culture.
Ethical behaviour influences the workplace just as much as it does personal relationships and political decisions.
So allowing staff to define your corporate values is essential to ensure buy-in.
Values are a list of commandments about the way you do things in your business and provide strict rules about behaviour.
They define the only acceptable ways to behave in your firm, not the ideal ways — so they’re mandatory.
But making values matter relies on embedding them into the way you work every day. And this isn’t a simple process.
Values-based behaviours support balanced decision-making on a micro to macro scale — for issues from using flexitime appropriately to investing millions to ensure your operations are legally compliant.
So it’s vital that all employees at every level are aware of your agreed values and can explain any action or decision using them as a reference point.
If any employee consistently behaves in a manner that’s contradictory they should be dismissed — whether they’re a mailroom junior or CEO.
Clothing influences employee performance and affects factors as diverse as heart rate, hormones and negotiating skills.
So if you’re deciding whether you need a dress code and the optimum level of flexibility, you should bear this in mind.
Insisting on formal suits, skirts and dresses might sound stuffy.
But research proves that subjects who dressed neatly performed better on cognitive tests than the control group. The reason for this might be that feeling more powerful and confident primes you for abstract thinking.
Scientists testing female fashion and accessories also found that when women wore expensive sunglasses and were subsequently told they were fake, they cheated more often on experiments with cash rewards and became more suspicious of others.
Researchers believe that because wearing fake glasses made subjects feel less authentic, they began to behave unethically.
The appropriate dress code will vary widely according to your sector — but keep your internal customers happy by considering how clothes could affect their performance and involving them in the decision.
Once you’ve dealt with the way your people behave with each other and sussed out the ideal dress code, you should think about the physical design of your workplace.
A built environment that makes good use of space and natural light can improve mood and motivation and installing vertical desks could ensure your workforce doesn’t remain sedentary for most of their shift.
You should also make sure that workers are kept at a safe distance from devices such as printers which can contain toxic materials — and incorporating plants and flowers further enhances the ambience.
Employees spend the lion’s share of their waking hours providing their services — so it’s only fair that they work in a comfortable, calm and healthy environment.
Treating workers fairly and respectfully is a great first step in ensuring that they feel valued and fulfilled.
And these three hacks for embedding internal customers at the heart of your culture will help you to retain good staff, attract fresh talent and keep external customers coming back for more.
Are your employees your most important asset? Share your thoughts in the comments section.