“Employees are our internal customers”
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I was just wondering if we have heard this statement 'Employees are our internal customers' at-least 100 times from Business owners when they talk about their assets, the employees. Is this statement really true? I cannot advocate for Business Owners but I will share my experience with the readers as a HR Function Outsourcing service provider.
This situation is from last month with an Employee:
When I was interacting with an employee who was annoyed with one of the HR processes, I noticed that he was completely out of his mind, was in no mood to be calm and polite. He wants to listen to only ‘what he wants to listen’, no logic, no second thought before making a statement. (Here we are not trying to find mistake with employee but looking for a similarity between an internal and an external customer).
As the conversation went on for about 30 minutes, he was expressing his resentment towards a very minor HR process formality that he and his team have to follow. I was listening to him patiently while attempting to provide a solution with alternatives to his perceived issue. Because he is my internal customer, I would not react but only respond positively.
At the end, he thanked me for listening to him.
Let us compare this with a customer (always dominant, always finding errors, always the king, no yesterday- only present and tomorrow, no mercy, no excuses, can say goodbye anytime). As a HR professional, you are never expected to show your emotion and especially if you are a service provider. We would not react but only respond positively trying to provide solutions for any situation. So, I did the same with my internal customer, i.e. the employee.
Some of the non-tangible yet important advantages if HR works as an internal partner in managing Organization’s HR Department.
1. Long lasting relationship building with your employees
2. Employee can be more open and straight forward to the HR than to any other person which helps in knowing the trends/information at the core
3. Professional Relationship Building
4. Improved Interpersonal Skills within Employees
5. HR works with a long term objective, hence has broader perspective and carries that to employees in all types of communication
6. Decreased employee conflicts and increased productivity
7. The employees treated as a customer will help in having engaged and committed employees.
An employee serves the Company and in-turn expects his/her views to be heard apart from recognition and acknowledgements for his/her efforts. Treating them as an internal customer HR/Business Owners should give a patient hearing to all types of employees which will make an employee feel that he/she is important for the Organization.
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Something about me: I am Vikram, an integral part of Husys (HR Function Management for SMEs). My role is to manage HR Departments for our customers with a team deployed at each customer location (Ex: HR Executives are deployed at customer location, we would have a Senior Associate HR for these customers to monitor, advise and partner in customer business focused HR interventions. We are responsible as an Organization, Husys).