SelectOne Blog

Want to Treat Your Employees Well? Treat Them Like Customers


You know the saying “happy wife, happy life”? Well the same concept can apply to your business. The happier your employees, the better the performance of your company.

The trick? To treat your employees well you must treat them as though they are your customers. After all, employees are the key to your company’s success. If they are not happy, how will that translate to your customers?

When employees feel they are undervalued, they can become stressed, underperform, and are less likely to go the extra mile when needed. By incorporating the following five philosophies into your business culture, you’ll see happier employees, which could lead to an increase in productivity, loyalty, recommendation rates, and more. 

Ways to Treat Your Employees Like Customers

1. Listen

By allowing your employees to provide feedback, they’ll know you value their concerns and are willing to work toward a solution that’s conducive to their workplace happiness and productivity. In return, you’ll gain valuable insight into your company that might otherwise have gone unvoiced and unheard.

2. Nurture

As you would nurture a customer’s development for success, do so with your employees. By continuously giving them new goals to achieve and benchmarks to pass, they’ll feel challenged while growing alongside the company. Nurturing your employees not only makes them feel like an important asset, but it creates a bond between the company and the employee, which encourages retention.

3. Engage

Incorporating employee interests and passions into the work culture will increase their likelihood of continued engagement with your company. Take the time to learn who your employees are and what appeals to them. Try incorporating fun perks into your culture that will make you stand out in their mind. While this may not be a valid option for some workplaces, progressive companies such as Google and Etsy have exciting perks such as bringing your dog to the office with you, which has been said to lower stress levels and increase employee satisfaction, according to a study done by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University.

4. Empathize

Be the boss you wish you had when you were in their shoes. Remember when you started out and you had that one boss who just never seemed to understand? Just as you are understanding of your clients’ needs, take a moment to recognize when your employees need to be understood in order to progress and learn. Be a leader and guide your employees in the direction of success. The more open you are, the more comfortable your employees will feel turning to you for help.

5. Cultivate

Do you want your employees to mindlessly go through the motions and be programmed to specific tasks, or do you want them to be a brand ambassador for your company? Treating your employees like your customers will encourage them to perpetuate good customer service and boost retention to help your company avoid turnover. With being content in the workplace comes the motivation to go beyond expectations and further gear one’s efforts toward the success of the customers--and in turn, the success of your own company. You will have generated a cyclical customer service that nurtures both your culture and your customers’ happiness.

As a final tip on how to treat your employees well, keep the office culture positive. Passive-aggression, or blatant negativity is unhealthy for everyone involved.

Before taking steps to treat your employees like your best customers, it’s important to have a group of employees that fit the mission, core values, and proposed company culture. Do you have the right team around you to fulfill your company mission? 

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Editor's Note: Originally published 8/30/16; updated 2/10/20.

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