Who’s Customer #1? Your Employees. Here’s What Leaders Need to Know.
See how empathy is fast becoming every organization’s most critical leadership skill.
Senior Director, Integrated Marketing, Salesforce
"of customers say that a company’s treatment of its employees during 2020’s crises influences their decision to buy from a company. "
Embed empathy into your organization’s culture.
Prioritize employee engagement across the organization.
“We have to know our internal and external customers. We have to be empathetic to their needs and expectations and focus our efforts around them.”
VP, Customer Service & Support
Champion emotional intelligence (EQ).
Don’t just say you’re authentic. Be authentic.
Get ahead of burnout.
Embrace the gift of feedback (and put it to work).
Staff turnover rate fell from 14% to 9%.
Use empathy as a building block to equity.
When leaders at the highest levels show empathy, it permeates the organization.
“of customers expect companies to clearly demonstrate their values.”
Part of that is understanding that talking about diversity and inclusion (D&I) isn’t enough. Neither is attracting a diverse pipeline — it’s about what you do next. For employees and customers, this cliché rings true: Actions speak louder than words. Leaders can’t make meaningful change without truly looking inward and also listening to the diverse perspectives within the organization. If there aren’t enough diverse perspectives, it’s a matter of making a commitment to change that — and sticking to it.
Take concrete steps that make D&I efforts alive and meaningful. Help middle managers by creating safe spaces for them to say “I don’t know how to handle this.” It’s not a one-and-done training video; it’s making a concerted effort to schedule regular times in which they can get candid answers to difficult questions.
For example, if a middle manager is facing a buy-versus-build decision and the “buy” option is an up-and-coming minority-owned business (but the internal build option is cheaper), work together to chart a path forward.
Another aspect of an equitable workforce is understanding an employee’s net disposable income (NDI). At PayPal, leadership realized that their employees barely earned enough to cover basic expenses and were likely to be disengaged at work. They calculated their employees’ NDI and built a mechanism to help them live better lives. They raised salaries, cut benefits contributions, and awarded company equity to their employees. The bottom line: When your employees worry less about money, they’ll bring their best selves to work.
Use tech to enable workplace transformation.
Technology can help leaders evolve their organizations with both empathy and equity in mind. It takes investing in technology that enables better transparency and collaboration so that teams can come together no matter where they work.
Consider these strategies.
Encourage liquid talent.
“In many ways, corporations are becoming the universities of the future.”
Make it easier for employees to do their jobs.
of executives agree that a better employee experience leads to a better customer experience, and that grows revenue.
Transform your customer service experience with Salesforce Service Cloud.