“Employees are the heart and soul of every company. Vineet Nayar’s book tells the story of how management can step out of the way to let employees lead– and to let engagement and productivity soar.” –Tony Hsieh, CEO, Zappos.com

With personal experiences and insightful leadership approach, Vineet Nayar puts forward a well tested and new management mantra for the world to see and follow – Employees First, Customer Second. It certainly is not a radically new concept – employees have always been the main and best asset of a company but how many organizations actually respect and most importantly implement this concept in totality? Of the thousands of large and mid size companies I can think of only a few. A company culture that fosters and strives to develop and train employees as well as clarifying the overall vision of the organization has helped HCL rise like a phoenix above all odds in the last few years to become one of the top runners in the IT industry in India and the world. It was not so long before when the employee motivation and enthusiasm was at the bottom rungs, but through careful analysis and a change in the management style, Vineet Nayar, the CEO of HCL Technologies Ltd., has been able to turn around the graphs from negative to a solid positive for his company and has made Employee First, Customer Second (EFCS) not only a catch phrase but a model to follow. And that is what the book is about – an inspiration to the managers, a wakeup call for the HR to model open employee appraisals and a motivating read for any entrepreneur who in future will or has employees to nurture.

The EFCS model is based on 5 main tenets:

  1. Accepting imperfections as catalysts for transformation
  2. Seeding trust by stretching the envelope of transparency
  3. Reversing accountability by bringing the bottom to the top
  4. Decentralizing decision-making
  5. Collaborating to create value

Through this philosophy Vineet Nayar has been able to achieve transparency and accountability within the organization, two very important attributes most valued by the employees. Through such a culture employees find motivation and pride in working for the company and of course quality work and loyalty follows.

The book takes us through some examples and experiences on how their smart service desk, transparency in performance reviews, interactive meetings, career planning and development initiatives, reward and recognition portal, face to face interaction with the customers and effective feedback process has resulted in satisfied employees and an increase in revenue for the company.

 Employees First, Customers Second: Turning Conventional Management Upside Down not only depicts the journey of HCL from the slowdown days to the fresh new achievement of being the forerunner in the IT industry it is also a brilliant leadership manual for those who wish to learn from others’ experience and implement what has been well tested and liked by employees. After all, it is tough to find, motivate and retain good employees; so developing and taking good care of the best asset of your company should always be a priority.

Find this book at Amazon.

About the author: Vineet Nayar is the CEO of HCL Technologies Ltd., India’s leading global IT Services Company. Fortune magazine called his leadership style The World’s Most Modern Management and the London Business School cites him the leader of organizational innovation.