There is no second class

Here’s an easy way to spot a successful organization.

When you do business with someone observe how they treat everyone. Watch how they deal with employees, vendors, customers and others.

The most successful and sustainable companies treat everyone well. They know (and their actions show) there is no second class.

But we all know this is not the norm.

As customers we see it when others get a lower price, a table with a nicer view, a more comfortable  seat or a greater selection of products. We see it when new customers get the “special offers”. Long-time customers get ignored.

As vendors we see it when customers get a friendly greeting with a smile. We get a grunt. We see it when our invoices go unpaid, our meetings get canceled and our phone calls go unreturned.

As employees we see it when some employees get to ignore policies and procedures that everyone else has to follow. We see it when some employees always seem to get the short end of things and others always seem to get the corner office, even if they have not earned it.

It’s not okay to pick and choose who gets treated well. Not if you want a healthy business.

When you do this you send a message that says you value people only if they can do something for you. It’s no better than someone marrying for money and then divorcing when they discover their new spouse is actually broke.

If you want loyal customers and engaged employees, treat everyone well. If you want a healthy, sustainable business, treat everyone well. Send a message that, in your organization, there are no second class citizens.