There is a talk in the boardroom. One that is often argued and championed by many people. One that we’ve heard and even tried to answer a number of times. What comes first? Is it business goals or people? Is it customer first or compliance? Should people initiatives run at a time when business is slow? What should the overall approach to talent initiatives be?
While every company has to fend for itself when it comes to these questions, there is no right or wrong. There is however, an approach. It’s one we like to call the People [First] to Deliver Customer [First] ideology.
While talent consulting experts will fight for people first and business leads might champion customer first, it’s not that simple. In fact, it’s more of a catch 22 situation. Should you invest in a slow performer or should you simply ask them to leave? Should you only reward people at the top while the average ones, the ones that really push the company forward remain anonymous?
Research proves that happy and engaged employees are productive, stay on longer and also, move on to become brand advocates. By imbibing the people first culture, the work culture changes to become more interactive. Employee engagement increases, and the company culture evokes a strong employer brand. After all, you take care of people and they will take care of work! Or so you would want to believe!
The fact is that not everyone is driven by the same sense of purpose. Also, often what management wants to percolate is not how others see it simply because they are unclear about what their role is in the bigger picture. So when it comes to adopting an approach to employee engagement or taking important decisions, we believe in People First to Deliver Customer First. If you don’t take care of your people, they won’t take care of business. If there is no business, you won’t need or have a workforce.
The way we see it: when you launch an initiative, remember that programs that follow the logic of keeping the employee at the heart of the desired customer impact are bound to work better in the marketplace. That way, you’ll be better prepared. Talent consulting experts point out that the people first policy boosts the overall productivity of employees and make them feel valued.
Let your people take care of your customers while you take care of what matters to them.
But not at the cost of Business. Not at the cost of your People.