Should employees come before clients?
I struggled with this question for years as the CEO of Brown Parker & DeMarinis Advertising.
I couldn't imagine putting anyone or anything above the client. But along the way I realized, thanks to inspiration from Mr. Branson and others, that great customer service was only possible by putting the needs of my team above all else.
We re-wrote the company values, moved office spaces, revamped pay structures, rolled out a world-class benefits package, eliminated annual reviews in favor of monthly 1-2-1s, began a mentoring program, supported employees’ charitable causes....the list goes on.
Was it all worth it?
Recently, Brown Parker & DeMarinis Advertising was certified as a Great Place To Work by Fortune Magazine. This is a source of pride for the team and also helps with recruitment of new team members. Beyond the awards and accolades, what I really got in return was an engaged team. They know I care about them so they are willing to go the extra mile for me—and that means doing everything possible to always deliver great work/experiences to our clients.
If you are passionate about keeping your customers happy, I highly recommend you heed Mr. Branson’s advice. For me, my only regret is that I waited so long!