I recently had a wonderful experience working with the founder and the head of leadership for a wonderful healthcare company in the Midwest whose main focus is elder care. It was inspirational to be with leaders who understand that the most important customer they have is their employees. They really want their employees to be excited about giving the absolutely best, most legendary service. The elder healthcare industry has tried hard to change a less-than-stellar reputation caused by news reports over the years of some facilities mistreating patients. But this organization has a great reputation for serving their patients. The workers respond to the needs of the patients and maintain an atmosphere that is stimulating and exciting for them.
It all starts with the leaders of the organization creating a motivating environment for their people to work in. When that happens, it’s no surprise when the workers go out of their way to serve their patients—their customers. Then the patients, who are pleased with the way they are being treated, start bragging to their kids and friends about the great service they receive, and the good word gets around. The organization’s best salespeople are the customers they’re already serving. The end result of all of this good news is that the organization becomes sound financially. So often we think business is all about making money and that customers are the most important thing. But if you don’t treat your employees well and give them a reason to come to work, they aren’t going to be motivated to give excellent service to your customers, and customers who aren’t treated well have lots of other places they can go.
Don’t forget that without your people, you’re nothing. Think of your organization as a stagecoach. Upper management might be the drivers of the stagecoach, but your people are the horses—the ones who create the forward movement. If the leaders get knocked out of the stagecoach, it keeps moving. But if something happens to the horses, everything comes to a screeching halt. So serve and help each other, and then reach out to your customers with the enthusiasm and desire and fabulous service that will make them raving fans.