Unless you landed your dream job the first time you applied anywhere, there’s a good chance that you’ve experienced what it’s like to work in an environment that wasn’t particularly invigorating or exciting for any number of reasons. Maybe you were paid a paltry wage in retail. Maybe you didn’t get along with your boss. Maybe you were desperate for money so you took a job that you knew you’d hate just to get a paycheck. The list goes on and on.
Sure, there were some days you might have been excited to head to your job. But chances are you weren’t in the best mood every single time you showed up to work. Which means you know firsthand that, when you’re not happy with your job, it’s extremely difficult to provide a positive customer experience during every interaction.
This illustration isn’t something business owners and managers should take lightly. According to TechCrunch, 82% of consumers are likely to take their business elsewhere following a suboptimal customer experience.
Businesses can’t exactly continue growing if their customers are repeatedly turned off by their experiences to the point they seek alternatives. In order to take your business to the next level, you need to do everything within your power to ensure positive customer experiences are the norm — not the exception.
But how do you go about doing that?
How Happy Employees Produce Happy Customers
A study by James Fowler of UC San Diego and Nicholas Christakis of Harvard Medical School suggests that bad moods are contagious. On the flip side, studies have found that those who are surrounded by happy people are 15% more likely to be happy themselves.
Apply that research to your workplace. If an account manager dreads going to work every day, there’s a good chance that the individual will be incapable of providing exemplary service to your clients in every interaction. Remember, an unhappy employee doesn’t have to explicitly be mean, either. Clients can pick up on bad moods via intonation, inflection, and body language, among other indicators.
And even if an unhappy employee’s behavior and demeanor are flawless, there’s a good chance that their work will noticeably suffer. Unhappy employees are disengaged, which means their productivity and the quality of their work dips. Absenteeism shoots up too, giving companies fewer resources to tackle their responsibilities on any given day.
On the other hand, when employees are happy, they’re much more likely to show up to work every day. This helps workers build stronger rapports with their clients. When clients call or email, they’ll get a response right away because happy employees are available. As a result, customers become happier and therefore more likely to continue doing business with you.
Additionally, employees who are happy at work will stick around, as an organization’s retention stats are directly correlated with employee happiness. The happier your employees are, the longer they’ll work for you. In turn, your employees will develop stronger bonds with one another and your organization will be able to leverage their expertise for even longer — something clients will certainly notice too. As an added bonus, it’s considerably cheaper to retain employees than to hire new ones who might take as long as six months to get fully comfortable in their roles. Happy employees save your company money.
Now that you understand the link between happy employees and happy customers, how can you go about improving the moods of your workers?
How to Turn Employee Frowns Upside Down
If you look around your office and see unenthusiastic, frustrated workers, all hope is not lost. In fact, there are a number of ways you can improve employee morale, including:
01. Letting your employees work remotely
Studies show that remote workers are happier than their peers who are forced to work out of the office every day. They’re also more productive. Let your employees work from home every so often, and odds are they’ll be at least a bit happier.
02. Adopting flex schedules
Do your employees really need to be in the office between set periods of time? Consider letting them use flexible schedules. Essentially, this means that they can get their work done at the most convenient times. Studies have proven flex schedules to be beneficial with respect to team morale. Just take a look at how flex time helped MIT improve employee happiness.
03. Offering professional development opportunities
Today’s workers are very interested in gaining new skills and advancing their careers. Still, only 25% of employees feel as though their organizations offer adequate opportunities for professional development, according to our Engagement Report. Make professional development a top priority and employee happiness will improve.
04. Reviewing employee performance regularly
Lots of companies feel as though they only need to assess their employees’ performance on an annual basis. But what happens if a problem starts brewing in February?
Instead of using that outdated approach, review employee performance on a weekly basis. That way, you can prevent problems from spiraling out of control, which should increase employee happiness.
05. Asking for feedback
To improve employee happiness, solicit feedback from your team on a regular basis. Use the best ideas to make your company even stronger. You can ask for feedback in public settings, and you can also use anonymous pulse surveys.
06. Planning team-building activities
Our Engagement Report revealed that coworkers are the number one thing employees like about their jobs. This makes sense: when employees have friends at work, they’re much more likely to be excited to head to the office every day. Schedule team-building activities often to strengthen culture. The better your employees get along, the happier they’ll be.
07. Increasing salary and benefits
This one might seem obvious. But nearly 25% of employees would take another job for just a 10% increase in salary, according to our Engagement Report. Because it costs so much money to hire new employees, you’re probably better off giving your team a slight bump in pay to increase morale. If you’re tight on money, get creative with benefits. For example, pick out a day where everyone’s encouraged to bring their dogs to work.
Your employees are your company’s biggest asset. In order to take your business to the next level, it is imperative that you do everything within your power to make sure that they are happy.
When your team is excited to show up to work every day, your clients will notice — and maybe even tell other people about how awesome your employees are. The end result? A company that has a better reputation and a healthier bottom line.
- 3 Ways to Use Employee Engagement to Increase Customer Retention
- How to Keep Employees Happy in a High-Stress Industry