Why you should treat employees like ‘internal customers’

Paul Burrin
Published on 2nd November 2017
3 min read

Your people are the most important asset in any company – they can be the difference between success and failure.

If you have happy, motivated, engaged and valued employees, that’s when the magic happens. They’ll do their most productive work, boosting company performance.

Really, it’s a no brainer. Employees who are empowered and inspired will go the extra mile call in sick less, contribute more and are a champion and advocate for the company.

But how do you create such a spell-binding working environment? The answer is to treat your employees like internal customers. Market your company to your employees and candidates, in the same way you might market your product to your consumers – known as People Marketing. Understand what drives your employees more, so that you can design great workforce experiences that match their needs. Know them as well as you know your customers, so you can get the best from them to drive your business.

Ultimately, treating your employees as internal customers will conjure great business success. Here’s why.

The power of brand ambassadors

Your workforce provides you with the biggest opportunity to promote your company to the outside world.

If you can market your company as a fantastic place to work, and align your employees’ wants and needs with the company culture and values, they will become your best brand ambassadors to help attract and retain top talent.

When people love where they work, they feel valued and empowered and will talk about their job to family and friends, posting positive messages on social media. They will also be more likely to recommend people for future vacancies.

Creating stellar customer experiences

Good customer service starts from within. Treating your employees like customers will inspire them to deliver good customer service to the company’s clients.

If your employees have a great workplace experience, they will naturally be motivated to create a great customer experience for the company’s customers.

Put simply, happy employees make happy customers. As ultimately, it is people who underpin the long-term customer relationships your company has, not the CRM software or processes put in place.

Rocketing results

Employees must be convinced by a company’s vision – they are, after all, the ones that will deliver it.  If you can get them fully bought-in to the company’s goals and strategy, then they can make a massive impact to the company’s bottom line.

But it’s not just marketing the company’s business plan to the workforce in a motivating way that will boost results. When people are happy and content in their work, they will go beyond expectations.

Someone who has wholly positive experiences at work, and finds their work engaging and meaningful, is going to be a greater asset to a company than someone who doesn’t.

We’re not talking about ping pong tables and free food – we’re talking about organizations where employees feel truly engaged, empowered and inspired. For example, giving employees projects that reflect their passions and values, and empowering them to own it and deliver the best outcomes as a result.

Securing staff turnover

Finally, treating your employees as internal customers will create a more stable staff turnover. People will feel more wanted and valued, understand where they fit into the company vision and therefore likely to stick around for longer.

If they are being communicated to regularly and know what is expected of them, they won’t be looking elsewhere.

That’s the why. Here’s the how

We’ve covered off the ‘why’ of treating your employees like internal customers, but the ‘how’ is a whole different discussion. Our People Marketing Whitepaper will give you some useful ideas, but some key pointers to think about include:

  • Using things like blogs, message boards, Facebook and Twitter to engage with employees
  • Tailoring internal marketing messages to each department- messages to the sales team will be different than messages to the finance department
  • Sharing company success stories as well as teams and individual business wins

Meaningful workplace experiences are different for each employee, and companies which put their people first get this; they understand their employees’ motivations, and tailor their approaches to each employee as a result.

People Companies understand their people and know what drives them, and they use this information to create an employer journey that constantly continues to energize their workforce and get the best from them – they treat their employees not just as well as they treat their customers, but better. As they know that their people are their biggest asset for growth.