How has treating your employee as the #1 customer improved your business’ agility?

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Board Member, Former CIO in Software, 10,001+ employees
With knowledge workers, it's the thoughts and the ideas, the creativity of the workforce that creates business value. This is how I approached my job at Facebook, because what makes Facebook is Facebook employees, and that's more valuable than the data, and that's certainly more valuable than the product. It's what facilitates the creation of value that Facebook has. It is essential to value that, to drive for it. Always striving to figure out, how can we get better outcomes for employees? We had a lot of different ways to measure this, not just revenue per employee, but also satisfaction and happiness. You have to look at the outcome of particular job functions, some of which may not tie it back to things like revenue and profit. And this was Zuck's insight. The reason he hired me at the beginning was that that's what he wanted. I remember sitting down in his office and asking him, "What is the job? What do you want me to do? What's the measure of success?" And he was very clear about it, "Your job is to make everything that you see the employees trying to do possible, by helping make these people more productive." And he's always been clear about that.
Director of IT in Software, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
In the go-to-market system arena, if the internal customers that I'm supporting are not happy, that in turn is going to carry over to the experiences that they're providing for our end customers who are driving revenue. So I am laser-focused on making sure that what we're enabling them from a tools perspective, meeting their needs and objectives.
CIO in Education, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
It's fascinating in my ecosystem because even for me, we have two different types of employees. We have faculty and we have staff, and there is a pretty big disparity between the two. What is most fascinating is that staff is always the glue that holds everything together, but they are in some ways seen as the gorilla glue that you just can't get out of your hair. I think it took actually the pandemic for faculty to actually realize /pay attention to what staff did and have some appreciation for what that work is. So yes, clearly there's a divide and there's not even a full understanding of what that employee experience should be to make it equitable or even try to make it equitable so that everybody can win.
1 Reply
CEO in Software, 11 - 50 employees

Your point reminded me of a time when there was a garbage strike back when you could smoke almost anywhere: inside a bank, inside your office, at the airport, you could smoke anywhere. Half the people that smoked just drop their cigarettes right on the ground when they were done. It only took about a week, maybe 10 days of the strike, before you couldn't walk through the airport without stepping on cigarette butts. So it became pretty clear right away that yes, these people might be 'the garbage man,' but they're critical to how we experience our environment. So a really important point.

VP, Customer and Technical Operations in Software, 501 - 1,000 employees
If the employees aren't having a good experience, it's going to be a major detriment to the company. If they're complaining about how they have to do things day-to-day, it distracts from them getting their work done and it distracts everybody else around them. At the same time, working at a very creative company with lots of ideas from different people, there needs to be some restraint on that too. If my goal was just to make my customer happy, then the customer is always right and we'd still have nine different Slack instances. There are certain guard rails that need to be put in place so that it doesn't turn into total chaos and actually harm productivity in the course.
CEO in Software, 11 - 50 employees
I have always tied digital transformation primarily to how much better can we deliver on what we do for the customer: better engagement, better product, better quality, better returns, better turn on feedback from the customer, all of those things. And that, that first customer should in fact be the employee. I'm a believer that the way we measure companies with their 10-K and the quarterly reports, where it says shareholder value, is the worst measure ever defined by man for companies. I think it's the stupidest thing ever. No shareholder builds your company, no shareholder determines the quality of the experience. It's the employee. And so that's my simple perspective on that.

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