Happy employees result in happy customers and no matter what your size as an organization, we all want happy customers.
When I think of unhappy employees, I think of the individuals I’ve overheard on the sales floors of the stores I frequent. It makes me uncomfortable to hear them talking about management in unflattering terms. These conversations may take the form of employees complaining about work schedules, other employees they consider to be slackers that management seems to do nothing about, or lack of communication from management regarding operational or policy changes.
Whatever the complaint, it is obvious to me as a customer that these employees are not happy and, in turn, they make me feel uncomfortable and anxious to leave the store.
Unhappy employees can do a lot of damage to your business and your brand so it’s important to find ways to make sure your employees know you value and appreciate them.
Consider some of these ideas to help you express deeper gratification for your employees. The next steps you take in your organization to create happier employees may just save you from losing your largest customer.
- Create a more flexible work environment. By doing this you reduce the amount of stress your employees experience when it comes to deadlines and their commute. Now, while this approach may not work in all environments, I challenge you to be creative to see how it might work for you and your employees, then try it.
- Provide ways for your employees to stretch and grow. No matter how small or large you are, your employees will appreciate the opportunity to build their skills and learn new things. This is especially true of the younger generations you have on your payroll. Growing can take the form of formal educational classes and workshops or it can take the form of having the opportunity to work on project teams that forces them out of their comfort zone to stretch a bit.
- Be the employer who is the master of surprises. Create fun opportunities throughout the year for your employees to socialize, experience a different side of their coworkers, or experience a different side of you as the employer or manager. These surprises may take the form of company lunches where everyone brings a dish to share, holiday parties where you celebrate offbeat holidays like World Nutella Day, Ferris Wheel Day, or National Margarita Day (sans the alcohol, of course). Maybe the surprise takes the form of you buying ice cream for the company every time the temperature goes above 95 degrees in the summer. Be creative. Your staff will love you for it.
Happy employees mean happy customers. The employee who feels valued, appreciated, important, and instrumental to the organization’s success will go out of their way to make sure that your customers are having the same wow experience they are in doing business with you. Give employees a little more control over their environment, surprise them occasionally, and encourage them to grow along with you, and you will be amazed at what you get back.