“You can’t sell it outside if you can’t sell it inside.”

3 min read

“You can’t sell it outside if you can’t sell it inside.”

Doug Conant – former President and CEO of the Campbell Soup Company once said “To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace.” Often, businesses forget that Corporate Social Responsibility programs should also benefit the employees, hence invest so much in the outside community to the extent of sidelining their workforce.

Companies can lose their new clients during the orientation or site viewing phases. When the client steps on the door; they first study the atmosphere of the workplace and the mode of the employees. They may not say it but it is part of the checklist before they accept to work with you. A good workforce would easily impress a client than a disorganized one.

The question is, how do you attain a good workforce?

Apart from the salaries and remunerations, it is important to listen to their needs, encourage proper communication both horizontal, vertical and grapevine. Always know that employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole – not just employees – are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled. Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which leads to profitability.
The CSR programs should be centered primarily on the employees as they form one of the most important communities to the company. For instance, there is no need to give out scholarships to the outside community while you could give them to the employees and that would impact them, their families and friends thus an indirect source of employee satisfaction, marketing and PR. Even in the contemporary society, a responsible family stands out within the community and serves as an example to many. By envisioning your employees as a family and as a fundamental aspect in the business growth, you will not have to instruct them to impress clients as that will be a simultaneous outcome. For instance, the management won’t struggle with dress code if the pay is sufficient, but what happens when the employees earn substandard salaries? Satisfied employees would be stress free thus always happy and bright even during impromptu clients’ visits.

Adopt a culture that treats workers the same way you would like them to treat your clients. You may have the best marketing plan, the best CSR strategy, the best location, etc. but if your workforce is not satisfied- all that effort will not deliver. Richard Branson – founder of The Virgin Group said, “Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.”

By Ndege.

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