I wrote an article about the many reasons why your employees are your most important customers. I wrote about how keeping your employees happy is one of the easiest ways to keep your customers happy. Happy employees give great customer service and create great word-of-mouth for the company.
When I read an editorial in the New York Times written by an ex-employee of Goldman Sachs on his last day of work, I was reminded again about the value of keeping employees engaged. This is a real-life example of how unhappy employees can cause considerable damage to reputation and potential threats to customer retention.
The Goldman employee, Greg Smith, spent his entire career at the company, rising up in the ranks and maintaining a great amount of pride in the company and its values. He says in the wake of a recent leadership change, the company lost sight of its values to focus on blind profits. He decided to exit the company in dramatic fashion by writing this lengthy editorial detailing his first-hand experiences and resulting disgust. He exposed degrading language used within the company and the practice of selling worthless assets to unsuspecting buyers.
Was his account accurate? We don’t know for sure. Regardless, what he did (besides commit career suicide) was create a great amount of doubt in Goldman’s trustworthiness. Plenty of Goldman customers read that editorial and some probably considered whether it was worth remaining customers.
Remember, your employees are the eyes, ears and voice of your company. They can be your biggest cheerleaders or your worst nightmares. It is crucial you keep them engaged and satisfied. Training, coaching and communication are keys to their engagement. And if they become disengaged for too long they will tell you…or anyone who will listen.
Howard Shore is a business coach who works with companies that need leadership development and strategic business coaching. Based in Miami, Florida, Howard’s firm, Activate Group, Inc. provides strategic planning and management coaching to businesses across the country. To learn more about management coaching through AGI, please contact Howard at (305) 722-7216 or email him.