Customer-centric or employee-centric. What comes first?

A lot of execs claim to be one or the other (or both), yet most are heavily focused on business and not people.

Earlier this month I had the privilege of heading to the Goodwood Estate on a reward and recognition trip with my fellow Digital Transformers.

Each year, ten Digital Transformers are recognised through nominations by team members for their contribution, and rewarded with a recognition trip.

Who says big companies don’t value their employees? Hey, a lot don’t, but I’m so grateful that mine does, but more importantly those that lead the team ensure we come together to celebrate success.

Often I hear how companies don’t value their employees, not just through reading but firsthand; friends, family. Whenever I share experiences of places I’ve worked (fortunately all of them have had their people at the heart of it) they show excitement but there’s a glimpse of jealousy, they wish their company was as awesome and rewarding.

Whenever I get into one of these conversations it makes me realise how lucky I am and have been to work for not only super companies but ones that live and breath values, supported by a super leader(s) that guides the team on its journey.

Unlocking the potential.

I believe that to achieve customer-centricity, you have to unlock the potential of your employees first – be employee-centric. If you’ve got a team that understands your strategy, where you’re headed and feel part of something special, then you’ve got the opportunity to grow a high performing team that’ll go above and beyond not only for the customer, but for each other, and they’ll create meaningful work.

In this age, a lot of us don’t just go to work to get by, we want to make a difference. We don’t want to accept the status quo.

We can all preach that we’re customer-centric, but if our employees aren’t feeling valued or like they’re progressing, then how can we expect them to perform and deliver outcomes that are aligned with our company/teams goals?

Lead by example.

Taking it back to Goodwood, the three days away was not only amazing because of the activities, the food, the drink, the views, but the time spent with team members, to celebrate everyone’s success. I’d like to think that we’re not just ‘colleagues’ but now friends.

We’re all constantly pushing on, delivering great work and it was super to take a step back, get to know each other and value great team members.

Our Leader is one of a kind, someone that understands people and wants to share success. Ambitious, honest, personable and committed. This article sums up the traits of a great leader perfectly and ours sure ticks a load of those.

There’s no magic wand.

Culture isn’t easy, and it’s certainly not space hoppers, ping pong tables or beer fridges that automatically open when time sheets are all complete – culture is much deeper than those gimmicks. Culture is something that constantly requires attention, so that when you’re going through the tough times you pull together, and when you’re going through the super times you celebrate.

Don’t let business get the better of you, remember that your people are what make things happen, without them, there’s no team. Employee-centricity is everything.

Previously, I worked for smaller companies that supported larger companies, this role has been my first experience ‘on the inside’, and I can honestly say that I’m loving every minute.

I’m super interested in culture and future ways of working. If you too love this sort of thing to I’d love to hear from you. You can find me over here on Twitter.

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