Put People First

November 16, 2011

Put People First or PPF for short is the most important principle I follow.  I wrote a bunch of reasons trying to explain why it’s #1 on my list of core values, but I don’t think I can do it justice, so I deleted them.  Instead, here are some quotes from people and companies that I really admire.

“You want to know the best marketing strategy ever? Care.”

— Gary Vaynerchuk, author, wine and social media expert

“The customer comes second.”

— Howard Schultz, Chairman and CEO of Starbucks

Employees come first. Companies need to make sure employees have the best possible skills, power, technologies, compensation, and morale, so that they can best serve the customer.

“At Zappos, Anything Worth Doing Is Worth Doing With WOW.

WOW is such a short, simple word, but it really encompasses a lot of things. To WOW, you must differentiate yourself, which means doing something a little unconventional and innovative. You must do something that’s above and beyond what’s expected. And whatever you do must have an emotional impact on the receiver. We are not an average company, our service is not average, and we don’t want our people to be average. We expect every employee to deliver WOW.”

— Zappos Family Core Value #1: Deliver WOW Through Service

How have I made sure I Put People First at work last week?

1. PPC (Party Planning Committee)

By organizing unofficial, team-building work events as simple as a lunch or as creative as an interoffice paper airplane contest, I make sure co-workers have a chance to hang out with each other and have some fun doing it.

2. Give Recognition

Someone do a great job at work? I send them a quick great job or thank you email with a couple of specific things I liked about it.  I’ve also been thanking people on Rypple, a web-based social performance management platform that helps managers and employees improve performance through continuous coaching, real-time feedback and meaningful recognition.

3. Be Available

I make sure I am available to everyone at work who would like to bounce around some ideas for a 20% project or who has a project plan and needs help with the development of it.  Even if someone just has something on their mind they’d like to talk about, I’m there for them.  I have a “no door” policy…literally.

4. Be (Truly) Helpful

A co-worker was sick for most of last week.  When they came back to the office, they still weren’t feeling great and asked around the office for some DayQuil, but everyone apologized and said they didn’t have any.  I got up, drove to the nearest gas station, bought a pack of DayQuil, returned to the office, and put it on the co-workers desk with “PPF” written on a post-it note affixed to it.

5. Treat Your Customers with Respect

Even if they’re non-paying customers. A co-worker forwarded me a question posted on the forum by an active member of the community.  Check out how I worded my response to him.

Is PPF also your #1 core value? If not, what’s yours?

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One Response to “Put People First”


  1. […]  Although it may seem counter-intuitive, these businesses are generating better results by putting people first and building/nurturing their relationships. Share this:StumbleUponDiggRedditLike this:LikeBe the […]


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