Happy customers will lead to your success but how do we ensure this level of customer satisfaction is consistently met? Through the hard work and dedication of our staff.
You may have the most qualified team members but without keeping them happy, it is unlikely they’ll be keeping your customers happy.
It is estimated disengaged staff members cost American businesses between $450-$500 billion each year due to lost productivity and this problem tends to go unnoticed until it is too late, disgruntled customers will have already left your services and are unlikely to return.
So, how do we ensure our staff members are happy? The CPD Standards Office wanted to delve into the age-old question, does money really bring happiness?
Cross-referenced data from The ONS was collated to see if there was any correlation between average weekly earnings and levels of happiness. You can read CPD Standards Office’s full money and happiness study here.
The results proved there was a definitive correlation within certain industries. Retail, trade and repairs showed the strongest correlation in this, reflecting that as wages increase, so do employee happiness levels.
Some industries showed very little correlation between wages and happiness, the lowest scoring was mining and quarrying. This is most likely due to poor working conditions these workers endure in this career, which can lead to long-term health problems. Showing that no amount of money can compensate for the daily strains.
However, those who reported higher levels of earning also reported higher levels of anxiety, most likely due to increasing job responsibility.
For some businesses, increasing wages may not be feasible. However, there are other ways you can increase your employees’ happiness, leading to an increase in happy customers.
Everybody wants to have the opportunity to progress in their careers and this isn’t always about money. Competition is fierce nowadays and your staff need proper opportunities to develop to survive this.
Also set clear options to staff, even if they have not openly expressed their wish to progress, so they are aware and can see a potential career path ahead of them. This can also help you retain staff as they are unlikely to look for another position if they can see their goal easily with yourself.
They will then be more likely to provide great customer service as they will see how it will benefit their long-term goals.
Not only does development personally help the employee but will also benefit your business by ensuring they continue to provide the best service that you expect of them and push them to improve their skills and knowledge.
Continuing on the theme of development, you can make training readily available to your staff. Many employees will be seeking new skills and knowledge to provide them with what they need to be a success in their careers.
Arrange for guest speakers from your profession to provide training sessions where available, especially when staff members have shown interest or concern in a certain area. It is important to voice that training is to add to their current skillset and not because you deem their current work inadequate, otherwise this could lead to unhappiness and anxiety if employees believe you are disappointed with their delivery.
If you do not have the resources for full training sessions, invest in online training courses. Many of these require purchase just once but could be completed by all your staff, whenever it suits them. This also gives staff the ability to train in their own time, should they wish to do so.
Support within the workplace is crucial for mental health and feeling isolated and ‘snowed under’ can be one of the leading causes of unhappiness within employees.
Offering safe meetings where employees can voice any concerns or ailments within the workplace can make a huge difference. If an employee is struggling with any aspect of their role, this is not a time to punish but to educate them and also yourself, you may have not implemented proper training and this is the perfect time for you both to learn.
If you have the resources, counselling can be offered to those who need it from qualified professionals. This is an excellent benefit for those going through difficult periods, such as bereavement and can show you do care about the wellbeing of your staff.
Compassionate leave can also be extended for your employees, although there is a minimum required by law, show that you are considerate of your staff by offering more when needed on a case-by-case basis.
Having fun doesn’t always mean you have to throw a party. Creating a fun environment can be achieved in a variety of ways and can instantly lift the mood of your workforce, therefore boosting productivity and work quality.
This could be anything from activities in the break rooms such as arcade games or simply installing speakers throughout the office to allow uplifting music.
Many office buildings can become stagnant over the years, keep the place fresh and light. A new coat of paint and spruced upholstery can make a big impact. Wall art, when properly considered, can make a world of difference.
If your office has a dress code, offer ‘dress down Fridays’ for a chance for employees to feel a little less formal, the casual approach is something we all prefer but may not be suited to your industry so once a week can give enough satisfaction.
We are a species that thrives on praise. Many may feel deflated from putting effort into producing the best results with no recognition.
While we may not have the time to praise everything our workforce does, it is important to reward consistent work that surpasses expectations.
This can be achieved in a manner of ways, the reward of extra holidays, gift vouchers or bonuses. If your business does not have the resources to do this, you’d be amazed at how appreciated the offer of leaving the office an hour or two early in exchange for good work.
A simple gesture of a ‘well done’ cake or snacks in the kitchen can go a long way and if a particular individual has excelled, make sure you sing their praises in office meetings or send a mass email.
About the Author
Amanda Rosewarne has a background in occupational psychology, extensive experience in the CPD field, and is a unique expert on the provision of workplace training and CPD learning. As CEO and Co-Founder of the CPD Standards Office, she advises a multitude of organisations, from professional bodies to corporate employers, to small training providers on ‘becoming CPD ready’ and implementing CPD best practice within their organisations.