Everywhere I go I see new buildings being built. I have noticed a trend in which one company builds a new building and then their competitor across the street builds one even bigger. For all of you football fans out there, think, “Jerry World.” So the idea behind this is that the bigger and nicer the buildings, the more business the company can generate, right? WRONG. The problem I see with most large companies, whether it’s automobile manufacturers or other large corporations is that they are forgetting one very important thing, the employee.
I won’t lie, when I go to make a purchase, whether it’s an automobile, furniture, or something else, I do like going to a nice environment. And I do actually believe that a nice new building with all of the fancy new amenities does help provide a good experience. However, I also wonder how much all of that costs and how much extra I am going to have to pay for all of those fancy lights and flat-screen TVs mounted on the walls. So the question becomes, how much is too much? And is there an assigned value you can put to building the biggest and baddest store out there? Where do we draw the line with how much is just too much?
The point I am getting at is that no matter how big or how nice you make something, it is nothing without the employees. I have witnessed way too many companies that do not feel that way. What’s worse, I have witnessed people in leadership positions that could care less about their employees. Those are definitely not companies or leaders I look up to. There are too many good companies and leaders out there to distract yourself with the bad ones.
So what happens when a company builds it and nobody comes? I believe a lot of companies have done just that and are seeing that it’s not so easy to build something bigger than everyone else and expect people will just come to you. There are several examples that come to mind of companies ignoring their employees and deciding to put everything else ahead of them.
However, the worst example I see is when a company decides to put the customer ahead of their employee. I never thought this was rocket science, but maybe it is. When you take care of your employee, they, in turn, will take care of your customer. When you take care of your customer, but not your employee, you have now created high turnover and no customer loyalty, because the customer didn’t have the opportunity to “buy” the employee.
Don’t get me wrong, it has been proven time and time again that people will pay more for a better experience. The problem comes when I go into a business and feel like I could cut the tension with a knife. That tells me that the employees are not happy. So next time you go somewhere that looks like it could rival the Dallas Cowboys Stadium, remember that place is nothing without the employees that work there. There is nothing more valuable.
As always, I would love to hear from the readers and what you think. Are we going through such a paradigm shift that employees just don’t matter as much? Or am I right to believe that the employee is still the most important thing in any business model? On a different note, this will be my last blog of the year and I want to thank each and every one of you for reading and contributing. I still don’t know where this blog is going to take me, but I do know that if it has helped just one reader then it has been well worth writing. I will always believe that people buy people and I thank you all again for taking the time to read my blog.