|Workplace: If You Want Your Employees to Treat Your Customers Well, Treat Your Employees Well|
But, based on what I hear from clients, money is important, but it's even more important to be treated, at the very least, with basic respect and common courtesy. This should be a no-brainer, but for many managers, it's not.
Employees who are being treated well by management tend to be more open and helpful with customers. They often want to go the extra mile with customers. In those same work settings, there's usually an overall pleasant and professional environment.
For instance, a cashier, who is belittled and demeaned by the boss, frequently doesn't make eye contact with customers. He often seems harried. The overall environment is usually tense and unpleasant. The owner might be ingratiating with customers, but if you observe his behavior with employees, it's often gruff and condescending. It's not unusual to see him standing over them and micro-managing their work.
I can remember times, years ago, when I was a human resources manager, when employees in these types of workplaces would offer me their resumes when the boss wasn't around.
They would tell me how unhappy they were, and they'd asked me if I had any openings or if I knew of anyone who had job openings. My heart went out to them, but I didn't have jobs to offer them.
Well-run organizations don't tolerate a manager's bad behavior towards employees, if they know about it. And if they don't know about it, they should.
In a well-run organization, top management knows that how they treat their employees will affect the bottom line. They don't have to be altruists to know that reasonably satisfied employees usually reflect their satisfaction in their work and interactions with customers. It just makes good business sense.
So, other than getting a promotion, which I did over time, this manager couldn't reward us with extra money. But, he knew that treating employees well in other ways would, most likely, boost morale and ensure that we would provide good service to our "customers" (other departments within the hospital). He was an unusually creative manager and he found ways to incorporate tasks that were of interest to his employees.
Needless to say, the overall work environment was very good, and this manager's boss was also a supportive individual who encouraged growth and development from the people who reported to him. This engendered loyalty and hard work among employees.
Anecdotally, I know of managers, who were in companies where they do 360 evaluations, who were fired because their employees gave them poor evaluations. Top management wasn't t interested in keeping them on and risking employee lawsuits.