Customers first? Employees first? Or both? The challenge of re-humanizing business in 2014

The “Re-humanization of business” is something I think, speak and write about a lot. In a nutshell the concept is really simple — beginning around the middle of last century, business shifted from one human connecting with another to a faceless unfeeling corporate marketplace, and now that trend is reversing, requiring companies big and small to embrace more human interaction.

That concept applies not only to the relationship between businesses and their clientele but also to the relationships between the business and its employees.

With 2013 now in the rear-view mirror, we can see that the re-humanization of business trend is only gaining momentum. For 2014, the lesson therefore is simple: People Come First.

Writing for Forbes, consultant Micah Solomon analyzes an interesting side effect of the human-first approach: Should businesses place a higher priority on customers or employees? As he indicates, the good news is that at least businesses are asking these kinds of questions:

I find this so heartening, especially because 2013 has been quite a year of business owners kissing off employees, and kissing off customers, in nearly equal numbers.

Some employee-antagonistic brands have taken hits directly to the bottom line due to their backward policies. And brands keep finding out for themselves that treating customers poorly is as bad for the bottom line as it should be.

I think the trick here is pretty simple: By and large, and in the long run, companies that treat employees well are the same companies that treat their customers well. Look at any list of “best companies to work for” and compare it side by side with a list of “best companies to buy from.” They’re pretty similar lists.

Source: Forbes


Image courtesy hamed