Why You Should Be Treating Your Employees Like Customers

20 June 2018

 

The way you treat your employees is the ultimate reflection of your brand, and impacts on the service you deliver to customers. Do you provide a supportive work environment? Are your HR management standards up to date? Are your employees getting the working timetable they need to feel valued?

If you’re looking to keep talent on board and inspire brand growth, then it’s time to turn the tables on things. Start treating your employees like customers. Here’s how:

 

Invest in Your Staff

Companies rely on their staff - a great workforce and culture can make the difference between an average customer experience and an exceptional experience, and you have to consider the cost of recruiting and training new staff if someone leaves. Not to mention the impact of that staff turnover can have on your brand’s reputation. Therefore, it’s best to look at your employees as pretty hard to replace assets and focus on retaining talent, not losing it.

Ask this question to yourself: Would you rather have a one-time customer come into your store once a month or have a returning customer come in every other day? We’re assuming you’d prefer the latter. This is how brand loyalty works, and is key to increasing the customer lifetime value. You work hard to achieve loyalty with customers, so why not put in the same effort for your employees, too? After all, one impacts on the other.

Invest in upskilling your staff rather than looking for their replacements. Improve your onboarding process to help them transition into their role easier, with a structured and tech-driven approach to learning about their new job and getting access to the tools they need to work effectively. Focus on the entire ‘employee experience’ and ‘employee journey’, from arriving at their place of work, to being onboarded, through to ongoing training and promotions, in the same way as you would design a customer journey map in order to build an engaged and connected workforce.

 

Use Data for Better HR Management

Data is one of HR’s most important assets. It’s basically an information gold mine. You can track anything and everything. There’s recruitment data, training costs, career progression data, absenteeism figures, employee reviews, staff satisfaction data, retention rates, productivity data, KPIs and much more.

Using this data effectively will provide HR teams with valuable insight into their workforce. It provides them with the evidence to better manage HR processes. Instead of following your instincts, you actually have hard evidence that either supports or dismisses your current practices.

For example, you might want to hire more staff during the summer, however, the data may indicate that this period has a number of peaks and troughs, so hiring for the entire summer period would be a waste of resources. Instead, the data may suggest that there are two hours of anticipated busier times during the weekdays of summer holidays when increasing staff by 15% would result in 50% reduction in queue times for customers. Staff are happier that they are being brought in only when needed rather than standing around waiting, and managers get a better control over their wage budgets.

Using data to manage resourcing, with tools such as Vantage from Verteda, ensures that staff are brought in when required, that their timetables are communicated well in advance so that they can plan, and their experience when they are working is more positive; i.e. because customers are happier and being served efficiently rather than your teams having to deal with too many customers with not enough staff to manage them.

 

Provide Access to Quality Tech

Provide modern technology and tools to employees that will enable them to do their job properly, to help them improve decision-making, time management and workforce productivity, using big data and intuitive tools on the go. Don’t limit employees’ working capacity by giving them outdated tech or expecting them to work with out of date data held up in monthly reports. This will only hinder operations and frustrate staff who want access to the latest data so that they can make decisions in real-time and do their work quickly with modern tech.

A study byStaples showed that 75% of employees in the US believe their employers don’t give them access to the latest technology to do their job efficiently. As a result, productivity falls and employee motivation suffers, with staff leaving to work for companies that invest in the right tools for their staff. Investing in the right technology is the same as investing in your staff.

 

Ensure a Great Employee Experience

Millennials have a different perception of work. While salary and job titles were a primary concern when seeking employment in the past, today’s staff want flexibility, autonomy and a quality work-life balance.

Millennials today are looking to add value to their CVs in terms of the knowledge they have gained and the technology that they have used during previous jobs. These factors are often more important that the title of the role they are performing. Technology is at the forefront of people’s perception of success, and employers need to quickly adapt to that way of thinking. At the interview stage, employers have to impress the potential employee with how forward-thinking they are, and show what a valuable asset the employee will be in helping them to grow technologically. Employers today need to excite the employee in areas such as Virtual Reality, AI and big data – not excel, word and PowerPoint! Show your employees how your business is harnessing these new technologies and using them to deliver services better, faster and more intuitively. Employees want to work for the best in their industry, and technology is one way to demonstrate you’re a forward thinker in order to attract the right calibre of staff.

Today’s employees are also not afraid of having multiple organisations listed on their CV as long as they can show personal growth obtained through the different roles they have performed, so the employer, knowing that, needs to spend much more time in HCM, L&D, Succession Planning, Performance and Appraisals, constantly monitoring that the employer is performing well and that the employee is happy.

 

Balance

Offering flexible work hours and communicating better with staff so that they feel more in control of their work schedules ensures increased employee satisfaction, and ultimately, loyalty.

Loyal employees help to develop loyal customers and communities, and this impacts on your bottom line. In fact,statistics reveal that companies with engaged employees outperform those without by up to 202%.

A way of keeping employees happy is to keep them feeling valued and busy – and annualised hours is one way the industry is trying to deliver better resourcing during busy periods and reduce expenses during quiet periods. Have a look at our recent article which goes into more detail on annualised hours and how it can help with staff resource planning.

Another thing to consider is that when customers research a brand they usually look at reviews from past employees. And a bad employee experience may deter your customers from engaging with your brand. After all, if you don’t look after your employees, how can customers expect you to look after them? That’s why it’s important that you invest in building an employer profile and brand that you can be proud of. A good employer brand is a great marketing tool for attracting customers; just think about how much we hear about the benefits of working at Google or Apple - it translates into attracting customers.

  

So, think about how you can map out your ‘employee experience’ like you would map out your customer and user experience.

 

Find out more about workforce management solutions from Verteda: http://www.verteda.com/solutions/workforce-management

 

 

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