Cannon fodder. Believe it or not, some companies still think of their staff as being dispensable. Shove them into a uniform and shout orders at them and things will be fine. Except that they’re not. These employees, far from being satisfied, are disgruntled. Although they might start out as pro-active team members, their enthusiasm withers rapidly due to the negative employee experience. All of which reflects in the yearly profits – if there are any, as the company’s productivity is barely keeping the doors open.
It’s taken leaders like Hal Rosenbluth to show us how short sighted this approach is. When the events of 9/11 devastated the travel industry, he had to find a way for his travel company to survive. He took a radical step and dethroned the customer as king. Instead, he put his employees first and the customers second. In the two decades since 9/11, Rosenbluth International has grown from a corner shop to a global industry leader with a total income of over US$6 billion.
When your employees know you consider them important, not just in terms of the work they produce, and when management stops seeing staff as cannon fodder and respects them as holistically valuable individuals, a deeper level of respect and trust between management and employees emerges.
But as Rosenbluth discovered, it’s necessary. When you put the employees first, their new-found personal value and brand-loyalty impacts positively on the customers. In turn, the customers feel valued and develop a relationship with your brand they didn’t have before. For companies that are seeking to improve employee engagement, staff retention and profitability, think about how you could put your own people first.