How The Hierarchy Of Importance Can Revive A Business

How The Hierarchy Of Importance Can Revive A Business

When working with businesses as they develop their brand, a common question comes up.

What is the hierarchy of importance in our company?

Some companies have more factors to consider when answering this question than others. Public companies have shareholders, government contracted agencies have federal standards, and non-profit companies have donors. These are all on top of the two other constants of any company: customers and employees.

With a public company, an example hierarchy is as follows

  1. customers
  2. shareholders
  3. board members
  4. employees

Take a quick minute and critique this hierarchy. Would you change anything? If you would, how would the list look different, and why would you change it? Keep your answers to the side, and we will break this example down right now.

The Breakdown

Of course, the customer/client is number one when it comes to what your company does. Without customers, your company doesn’t exist! This makes a lot of sense for nearly any company. In order to do what you do you require customers to whom you provide your service. It’s logical, then, to put them at the top of your list.

But what about HOW your company runs? Are your customers still number one? Sure, what you do prioritizes customers, but how you meet those customer’s needs is accomplished by your employees. Does it still make sense to have customers at the top of your list, or did your employees just take the lead?

See, when your employees feel appreciated and fulfilled, they put more effort into their work. They, in turn, provide a better experience to your customers. If your employees never feel at home, then they have no reason to do more than the bare minimum. 

This is also why employees should be at least number two on any list of importance. Because if your employees aren’t happy, nothing will run smoothly!

Corrected Hierarchy

Taking all of this into account, Here is the revised hierarchy of importance. We have broken them up, depending upon the task you are facing.

If you are working on what you do:

  1. Customers
  2. Employees
  3. Board Members
  4. Shareholders

If you are working on how or why you do what you do:

  1. Employees
  2. Customers
  3. Board Members
  4. Shareholders

So, as you develop your company’s brand, ask yourselves these two questions for each (what, how & why) step: ‘What is the hierarchy of importance in our company?’ and ‘should it be changed?’


Have thoughts, suggestions, or questions? Leave them in the comments section below!

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