The Employee First Culture – and why it works like a charm

Customers are powerful, that’s right. And more so in this age of online shopping and disruptive services that have created firm conformity to customer-centricity and personalization. But the modern business scene is changing fast, which calls for forward-thinking business leaders to come up with new analogies and solutions. Today’s workforce is much more attuned to ethical practices and positive workplace culture. Given that employees spend about 33% of their time at your workplace, they need an environment that is supporting, motivating, respectful, and rewarding. This article explores the employee first culture that’s taking root across America, and how it can be immensely rewarding.

1. It helps you stay ahead

Technology has turned the world into one small global village. Competition is fiercer than ever – in every sector. Customers have an enormous choice when it comes to buying the right products and services. To stand out from the crowd, you need to draw on the full potential of your workforce. You need ideas, innovation, and more so trust to stay ahead of the competition. There’s no better way do to this than to put your workers first. When employees feel that they are valued members of a community, they tend to give their very best.

You can foster an employee-first culture by listening to your workers and bringing them to the decision-making process. You’ll need trust on both sides in order to achieve this. When there’s trust, employees know that you value them, and will be comfortable voicing their genuine ideas about products, services, and the company’s future.

2. It motivates employees to go the extra mile

Research carried out by recruitment firm HAYS shows that 71% of Americans would allow a pay cut if it meant securing their ideal job. Clearly, motivation is not all about money. People spend so much of their waking life at work and all they want is to have a rewarding, fulfilling job. When your employees know that they are acknowledged and valued, they feel connected to the company’s vision and mission. They’ll be willing to go to great lengths on behalf of the company.

Leadership support is key to motivating your workforce. In fact, 91% of workers say that they feel motivated to give their best when leadership support is present. That’s according to a study carried out by the American Psychological Association.

3. It lowers staff turnover

Each time an employee leaves, it takes up to 33% of their annual salary to find a replacement. That’s according to a study carried out by the Work Institute. But that’s not all. Whenever you lose a talented employee, you’re losing all the experience that they have mastered, as well as their skill level. The real cost of staff turnover can be costly. Putting employees first is perhaps the best way to retain the top talent that your organization needs to be successful. Employees who do feel that their jobs have meaning exhibit a higher level of loyalty. And this is more so true for younger workers. By fostering mutual respect in the workplace, and showing your team that you care about them, you’ll be feeding directly into your vision, mission, and values.

4. It’s a precursor for great customer service

Companies that treat employees well attract higher levels of loyalty and customer service. Highly engaged employees that are equipped with the tools to enact change have the psychological freedom they need to deliver exceptional service. Whenever they approach each customer, they don’t feel tied up to strict governing rules. They feel they have the company’s trust to engage their experience and interpersonal skills so they can fulfill the needs of every customer. That kind of takes us to the ‘customer is always right’ mantra. If you put employees first, then they’ll put your customers first. It’s that simple.


Employees are your #1 most valuable resource. And yet – so many companies fail to enact fair and equal treatment in the workplace. When you ignore or treat employees poorly, there’s so much that could go wrong. Your staff turnover could shoot up, leading to financial loss as well as invaluable losses in terms of skill and experience. Motivated employees will treat your customers right and help your business grow. But the opposite is also true. However much you sing the ‘customers is always right’ song, nothing is ever going to come out of it if you do not make your employees happy first.

What tips do you use to keep your employees happy, motivated, and engaged? Share with us.

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Modern-Day Heroes: 5 Low-Paying but Noble Careers

Amidst the financial crisis that has wreaked havoc on the lives and livelihoods of millions across the globe, earning a living wage – one that is able to support all the basic needs of a family—has become a constant struggle for most people. More and more people are forced by circumstances to take on two or more jobs to support their families, and the career choices of the younger generation are often determined by how lucrative a job is. Money, as they say, is the name of the game and many are forsaking their personal dreams for the sake of putting food on the table.

However, there are still those who, either because of sheer passion or the lack of other opportunities, take on jobs whose pay is less than stellar, yet are vital to the economic growth of society. These low-paying but noble careers are often overlooked by jobseekers and financial analysts alike, but their impact on society remains immeasurable. These thankless yet important career choices include:

Small-scale farmers, fisherfolk, and agricultural workers
: This is especially true for third world countries where small-scale farmers, fisherfolk, and other agricultural workers produce food for the country yet are often left with pitiful earnings barely able to cover their basic needs. They are also the ones responsible for growing agricultural products for export, thereby fuelling the economy of their home country, but are not compensated accordingly.

Domestic helpers: Nannies, cleaners, gardeners, and other domestic helpers perform tasks that may be seen as lowly, but are actually crucial for the efficient functioning of a household. Because the majority of the people employed as domestic helpers are ethnic minorities or migrants with limited opportunities, they often perform strenuous work with long hours for very small wages. Indeed, despite the existence of appropriate legislation mandating a minimum wage for domestic helpers, many of them often receive salaries significantly lower than the minimum wage.

Teachers: Teachers often come to mind when discussing noble, yet low-paying professions and this cliché has been reinforced by the consistently low salary rates received by teachers, especially those teaching in public schools. Despite being tasked with the important work of molding the minds of the next generation, overworked and underpaid teachers are becoming more and more common, especially as the ongoing financial crisis has urged governments across the world to cut State subsidies for education sector.

Manual laborers, such as roofers, plumbers, public transport drivers, and the like: Manual laborers, including those who take on odd jobs, often perform skilled tasks that are risky, yet extremely necessary. In exchange for their services, manual laborers remain one of the most underappreciated sectors of society, with pay scales often looming close to the poverty line.

Department store and fast-food chain employees: Tasked with providing uncomplaining assistance to their customers 24/7, department stores and fast-food chain employees play an important role in making your shopping or dining experience pleasant and fuss-free. Yet, as the recent protests by Walmart employees show, many department store and fast-food employees who greet you with a smile often go home to their families with salaries far below the living wage.

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