Employee Friendly Policies Serve Your Internal Customer
Competition for the customer has sky-rocketed. Stores — both national chains and local mom-and-pop shops — are introducing value pricing and loyalty programs… anything to keep their focus on getting customers through the door. While these efforts are indeed necessary, micro-focusing on the needs of external customers often takes energy away from an equally important group of people – internal customers.
The concept of internal customers is nothing new. Most people understand and agree with the general theory. Happy and satisfied employees lead to happy and satisfied customers. When it comes to achieving a successful relationship between managers and staff, one fundamental concept stands above the rest: appreciation.
When employees feel that their hard work isn’t taken for granted by their managers or their co-workers, they are much more likely to go above and beyond the call of duty, both for customers and for each other. As the climate of competition continues to test operators’ abilities to adapt to the changing needs of customers, don’t forget to spend time focusing on internal customers.
What are Employee Friendly Policies?
Employee friendly policies serve your internal customers, which in turn will serve your external customers. When establishing policy in your operation, think “employee-friendly” rather than “law of the land.” Employee friendly policies make it possible for employees to more easily balance family and work, and to fulfill both their family and work obligations. Here are a few examples:
- Sick Days. Consider your employees’ needs and family responsibilities. Sick days may be needed to care for sick children or aging parents. Parental leave is a hot topic right now, so make sure you’re following your legal obligations too.
- Personal phone calls and cell phone usage. Doctors or sitters may need to be called or consulted. Again, think of employees’ lives outside the walls of your restaurant.
- Tardiness. Listen to the reasons for late arrivals, and judge each on a case-by-case basis. Deal with repeated tardiness as needed. It’s important to be fair while also realizing one size does not always fit all.
Here’s the bottom line: you are an employer, not a drill sergeant. How employees are treated is a direct reflection on customer satisfaction and customer loyalty.
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