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Evolution to the 'Employees First' culture

Witness to the complete evolution: ‘Clients First’ to ‘Employees First’

A transformation that the corporate culture is currently undergoing: the ‘Employees First’ culture


If you treat employees as if they make a difference to the company, they will make a difference
– Jim Goodnight


What Was

Once upon a time, every multinational organization was trying to get their employees to imbibe the culture of ‘Clients First.’ All the meetings with managers and their reports would begin with bragging about this mantra and following it religiously in everyday work life.

It did not just end there; the dreaded annual appraisals would also be encompassing the client feedback. Even after sleepless nights, the review report only consisted of poor ratings and remarks because you could not delight the client!


Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first!
– Simon Sinek


What Is

As the corporate universe now shifts slowly and steadily towards the more joyful, ‘Employees First’ approach, we all have our hopes held high! One by one, organizations are shifting their focus on employees and helping them achieve more, through encouragement and engagement.

The same is being reflected on the performance appraisals and we are witness to the revolutionary modernization of the performance reviews. Greater transparency, the involvement of technology, innovation of business model, and many other aspects have resulted in an improved performance management system in companies.

It all sounds great! But the question is how exactly? Here are a few ways to take care of your employees so they take care of your customers:

  • Focus on Results – By setting specific goals for your team members, you set high aspirations for them to achieve. Via continuous check-ins, you could guide them throughout their journey to their goals.
  • Indulge in Meaningful Discussions – Have sessions with your team members about their personal career aspirations and try to align them with the organizational goals. Together, you could decide on the goals they need to achieve during a particular period, that would benefit both the employee as well as the company.
  • Don’t Hesitate to Pat on the Back – Whenever an employee performs well, make sure you appreciate him/her immediately. And what better way to do so than on a public forum? It multiplies the employee’s confidence and motivates them to produce positive output, every single time.
  • It’s not Always Rosy – At times when someone goes wrong, or you feel the need for improvement in any of the team members, don’t think twice before giving them a piece of advice. Passing on personal suggestions that help them stay on top of their games is always a good thing to do.
  • When the smaller bubble grows, so does the bigger – Help develop your employees by recommending them to certain training courses. This will, in turn, benefit the company by enhancing the level of skill sets that your employees will possess.



As per the well-known book by Vineet Nayar, the former CEO of HCL, “Employees First, Customers Second,” creating a culture of trust through transparency in communication and information sharing, is utmost important for an organization to succeed. This is where goals and competencies come into play and ensure that a clear picture is put into view for every member to understand their roles and responsibilities towards the organization’s success.
Following the “Employees First” philosophy has benefited many and may continue to do the same to the remaining corporates in the time to come.


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