Fix the Employee Cafeteria and You’ll Fix the Customer Relationship

Rob over at Business Pundit posts on How Broken Windows Can Kill a Business. As always, insightful.

I’m a big fan of fixing the small things. Not only does it make a change easier to implement, all big things are made of small things, so the big things start to take care of themselves.

The first comment, from David Lorenzo offers insight as compelling as Rob’s original post:

“When I was in the hotel industry and I was faced with a troubled property I would always clean up the ‘back of the house’ first. I would scrub and paint all the areas that the guests wouldn’t see. I would upgrade the meals in the employee cafeteria and I would re-stripe the employee parking lot….I would explain that we were going to improve every detail of our hotel guests’ experience and we were going to start from the inside out.”

3 Replies to “Fix the Employee Cafeteria and You’ll Fix the Customer Relationship”

  1. Wegman’s Food Markets won the Fortune Magazine Best Place To Work ranking. But the customer satisfaction level at Wegman’s is not driven by Customer Satisfaction but rather by Mr. Wegman’s focus on Employee Satisfaction.

    I wrote a blog post in January on how success in one objective is frequently only obtainable by obliquely focusing on a different area of the business and used Wegman’s desire for happy customers being acheived through happy employess as one of my illustrations. The article is available at: http://qwerty.us/blog/2005/01/oblique-tactics-frequently-more.htm

  2. In a related idea, in bicycling I have heard the phrase, “A happy engine is a fast engine.” Specifically, I was at a talk about doing 24-hour races (ride as far as you can on a closed course in 24 hours), and the speaker, Tom Bruni, talked about how he did better when he stopped to rest, contravening the prevailing wisdom. Sadly, I’ve just discovered that Tom died in a car-bike accident this past June.

  3. As a consultant, I’m constantly amazed at how companies forget the basics – if you don’t value the employees, they sure won’t value the customer. Instead of investing in making the company a great place to work – the companies spend big bucks on consultants to tell them things like – well – “paint the employee cafeteria” And, they look so puzzled by such common sense. I got in far more trouble during my Corporate America career for trying to treat my people well – than I ever did for anything else (and I’m one to “beg for forgiveness, versus ask for permission”, so I broke a lot of rules.)

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