Treat Employees Like They Are the Customer


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“Treat your employees the way you want your customers treated – maybe even better!” Shep Hyken

The above quote is simply a line taken from one of my speeches. It is my customer service slant to the familiar Golden Rule – “Do unto others as you would do unto yourself.” Telling people how to treat customers is one thing. Showing how you want them treated is completely different – especially if you are modeling the behavior.

I received a case study written by Andrew Thomas, a freelance writer from Ohio. He wrote about global leadership and the Ritz-Carlton Hotel chain. There was something in the case study that jumped out at me, and it applies to the concept in the above quotation.

The Ritz-Carlton was hired to manage an existing hotel in Shanghai. They brought in many of their experts and determined that major renovations were needed. Their first phase of the renovation was the Employee Entrance. This may seem strange to most, but is the norm for the Ritz-Carlton. While the renovation was relatively inexpensive, it sent an important message to the employees (who were employed by the previous management company). It demonstrated that a new standard (higher) of quality and service was expected and that the employees were incredibly important to the process.

The Ritz-Carlton is recognized worldwide for being a quality organization. They understand the importance of outstanding customer service. Just as important, if not more so, is that they also understand the value of their employees, the internal customers.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Shep Hyken
Shep Hyken, CSP, CPAE is the Chief Amazement Officer of Shepard Presentations. As a customer service speaker and expert, Shep works with companies who want to build loyal relationships with their customers and employees. He is a hall of fame speaker (National Speakers Association) and a New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-selling author.


  1. Years ago when I started my first real job, I went through a small one day workshop. One of the most valuable lessons I was taught that day was to “Treat everyone as a client.” I have always tried to remember this and pass it on when I am Managing or training others. Of course some would always fight this idea, the more aggressive ones especially, but I liked to point out that things can change quickly in business and one day your co-worker could be your Boss or Client.


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