Treating your employees like customers is perhaps nowhere more important than in the hospitality industry. Hospitality by definition implies a welcoming environment so if you want your employees to provide it, wouldn't it make sense to show them how it's done by treating them the way you want your customers to be treated? Employees are the direct connection to your customers so taking the time to do this can make all the difference, especially in this time of labor shortage where employee retainment is critical to your business.
3 Reasons it's important to treat your employees like customers
It empowers employees.
A recent article in Forbes discussed the practice of treating employees like customers and remarked on how the environment in which an employee worked is reflective of their place in the company and by treating an employee like a customer, you empower that employee to treat the customers the same way. Also, they will likely have more of a vested interest in the company and want to exemplify the tone of the company in their actions towards the customers.
It offers value for value.
When an employee is valued, would it not follow that they would value their employment more? When an employee is treated badly, would that employee jump at the chance to help when management was in a tough spot? Probably not. And why would they go above and beyond if they're never recognized and/or appreciated for doing so? Value begets value. If what you are offering to your customers is something of value, that includes the employees who work for the company, does it not? So why not begin by treating your employees the way you want your customers treated?
It adds thoughtfulness.
Danny Meyer, CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group, spoke about how he prioritized his employees before anything else, even the customers, and as the success of his restaurants can attest, he's doing something right. He maintains that service (which includes the product) is not enough to keep a customer coming back. It's service combined with thoughtfulness that helps your business excel. Treating employees as the top priority gives a solid foundation to leap from, positive energy to emulate and displays of thoughtfulness they can use for inspiration.
At the end of the day, employees respond to customers often based on how they are treated by the company they work for. It starts from the top down and only works if it's genuine. Take the time to reflect on how you treat your employees because it's indicative of how you're customers are being treated.