Most businesses view the customer as the focal point of the business, and build a culture around this perspective. Typically, businesses that put customers first will put profitability/growth second, and employees last. It seems logical to put customers first since they are directly responsible for your revenue. Rather, you should think about putting your staff first and focus on employee satisfaction.
In the entertainment industry, it can be easy to take employees for granted and focus on customers. After all, most of your staff are in high school or college, many of whom are working their first job. On the surface, these employees would seem easily replaceable with any other high school student in your city. But that's not the case. Regardless of age or experience, all employees are extremely valuable, especially if you hire the right people. You can learn more about how to hire and train in our How to Cultivate a Great Staff Webinar.
If you hire the right people and show that you put them first, you'll create happy employees. Happy employees will create happy customers, and in turn, loyal customers. This idea is supported in a popular article from Harvard Business Review. If you focus on employee satisfaction, those employees are more willing to go the extra mile for customers. Plus, they are more likely to stay loyal to your business instead of leaving for a different job. Even though your employees are young and probably make close to minimum wage, it still costs you a lot of time and money to hire and train new people. Staff turnover hurts your business and your bottom line, so any time you can limit that turnover, it helps.
Happy employees will talk to their friends, and those friends will want to work for you too. Your business will be the place that everyone wants to work. This builds an environment in which you get to hire very selectively, since you have a large pool of candidates who want to work for you. This word of mouth will also reach parents in your community. These parents will feel good about spending money at your facility when they know you take care of your staff and treat them well.
When you focus on employees, it doesn't mean you should just ignore the needs of your customers. Your customers are still extremely important to your success. But really think about your business and how you make your decisions - and who those decisions affect. You may find that proactively making your employees happy can have an exponentially positive affect on your business.