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Have you hit the 2nd quarter slump?  You had great plans for 2015 back in January.  Your budgets were set; your strategy for 2015 was ambitious but possible; your teams have been working on the details to make it happen; but along the way, you have probably forgotten a couple of things.


The only two things that matter in business: Customers and Employees.

[Tweet “If you make your customers and your employees your primary focus, the money will follow.”]

Instead of focusing only on plans, goals, metrics, and measures; focus on making your customers and employees happy. Everything in your business stems from these two, and they both just happen to be people.

This does not mean you don’t have plans, goals, metrics and measures, it means that those things stem from the ultimate goal of making customers and employees happy.

Here are a few things areas to re-assess before you plunge into the second half of 2015:

Give Giddy Customer Service: This if your front line, this group has more personal interaction than any other department in your company, and therefore more influence on their happiness than you do up in your corner office.

Have you given your front line the power to make your customers happy? Check out this article, Power to the People, which lays that idea out in more detail. The long story short-give your front line the power and ability to make your customers giddy with happiness. Ask them what they need to make that a reality, and then give it to them.

There’s plenty of bad customer service to go around, if you provide customer service that makes them giddy with happiness, you have a customer for life and a growing business.

Make Products that Make them Smile: Those new products/services you launched (or will launch) in 2015, are they going to make your customers happy? Did you develop them according to what customers are asking for/ or what you think they need.

It’s true that sometimes customers don’t know what they want.

Henry Ford once said, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”

Sometimes they don’t know what they want until we offer it. But is your offering going to make them happy? Are you making it well, or making it cheap?

Take another look your product/service offerings and ask if you would be happy with what you are offering. Ask your employees if they can be proud enough of the new product/service that they would sign their names on it and give it as a gift to someone they loved.

You might not like the answer you get, but better to go back to the drawing board than pull a product or kill it after it has gone to market.

Build the Best Team: Do you have the right employees? Do you have your best team to carry out your goals for 2015? Now is the time to take a look over your team and re-assess. Why? If you are going to make your employees happy, you need to give them the team they deserve.

If there is someone in your organization who is dead weight, the office bully, or the negative Nelly, you as the leader will be the last to know. The rest of your team already knows. The longer you let those types of employees drag your team down, the less happy all of your employees will be.

As hard as it is to do (trust me, I loathe this part) you will hear an audible sigh of relief when you release the employees who are making your other employees miserable. Replace them with people who can add to your organization in ways that will make everyone happy.

Take Care of your Employees: Once you have a great team assembled for the future, take care of them. Monetarily, yes, some people have that as their motivation. Others need flexibility, or altruistic achievement. Find out what makes each one tick, and seek to make their time at work better than it has ever been. That may be as simple as listening to and implementing some great ideas they have for improving processes.

If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your customers. Conversely, if you treat your employees like your meal ticket, good luck having happy customers or meeting any of your plans, goals or metrics with any level of stellar performance.

Step up and be a Good Leader: If you really want happy employees, you as a leader, need to become a better leader. This isn’t the idea of taking care of yourself so you can take care of others-although that is important to being a good leader. This is about taking a good long look in the mirror and asking yourself if you have been a good leader so far in 2015, and how you can be a better leader in the future.

It’s so hard to self-assess honestly, people say to me. Really?

Take a blank sheet of paper and write, “Ways I stink as a leader on the top”. You’ll come up with something.

Better yet, ask your employees to help you fill it out. Have them perform a review on you. Have them rate you based on their interaction with you. You will learn about areas you need to improve upon that you didn’t even know existed. If no one knows enough about how you work to give an answer, you already stink as a leader.

[Tweet “Are you the kind of leader that people are happy to work for?”]

Take some time to think about the kind of leader your employees need you to be in order to be happy. And then do something about it.

2015 is flying by.  Make it your number one goal to make customers and employees happy first, success will follow.

Happy Customers + Happy Employees=Happy Business.

What do you think?

Is there anything more important than happy customers and happy employees?

What would you add as ways to make either or both happy?

Share as you care.

    Tenaya (T.J.) Tison is a business leader and entrepreneur who is passionate about propelling others in their work & faith potential, by strategically directing them in business + work; and in full-faith living. Find out what T.J. does here. Follow T.J. on Twitter. Invite TJ to speak.

(A version of this article first appeared on LinkedIn)