As an owner of a company that engages in a substantial amount of contract manufacturing and sales, it is vital to think about putting people first. After all, they are the ones who will ultimately sell your products and services. It is true that you depend on these people to do a terrific job. But if your customers or clients are not happy with the work you have done for them, you could face losing your shirt.

So, how should you put employees first? The first thing to consider is this: you can never succeed unless you are willing to put your best individuals in charge of the various aspects of your company. You cannot expect them to produce great results unless you have high standards for those responsible for delivering them. Put another way, you cannot expect them to perform like magicians unless you make them perform like magicians. This is a universal truth, and it applies whether you are running a multinational corporation or simply an office-based operation. Thus, it is wise to implement strict guidelines governing the proper performance of assigned responsibilities puts employees first.

For example, you may require some employees to prepare presentations for potential clients. If you cannot afford to hire professional video artists, then it is obvious that you need some people to write up simple, but informative press releases for the company’s website. You might also want to assign employees to undertake periodic training sessions for the entire workforce. Such initiatives are necessary, but if they go unnoticed, it will be very difficult for you to determine whether they are contributing to the overall growth or not.

Let’s say, for instance, that you want your company to introduce a new product line. You probably have a team of marketers who are in charge of brainstorming and designing the new offerings. Yet such efforts will be fruitless if the product does not get the desired market share. Can you afford to lose out on this opportunity to boost sales by allowing your sales people to hit the pavement without proper preparation? Of course you cannot!

In similar fashion, you cannot use just any initiative as the first step towards organizational change. First you have to identify the right target customers. Only then can you design the right promotional campaign. Otherwise, you will find it easy to send out invitations to parties with funny t shirts and balloons, and have people show up only to find out that the event is not exactly what they had expected. It is always wise to consider the preferences of the people who make up the company, and customize offerings accordingly.

This leads us to the third principle of “puts employees first”: do not simply act in response to outside pressures. If you feel pressure from within, you will be unable to deliver the goods. Rather than wait for pressure from without to knock down doors, first identify the right customers, and customize your marketing campaign accordingly. Doing so will ensure that you get the attention of those customers and turn them into loyal customers. So “puts employees first” does not mean “my company is only second to my friends.” Rather, it means that the very best practices for the company are observed, in order to deliver the very best for the company.

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