Most business owners would agree the primary goal of their business is to maximize profit. To achieve this many businesses focus on key areas like: providing a great product or service, marketing, improving company reputation, reducing unnecessary expenses, etc. In this article, we will be looking at another key area, specifically… happy employees happy customers.
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Herb Kelleher, the co-founder and former Chairman of the Board of Southwest Airlines, once wrote in a 1998 article, “Years ago, business gurus used to apply the business school conundrum to me: ‘Who comes first? Your shareholders, your employees, or your customers?’ I said, ‘Well, that’s easy,’ but my response was heresy at that time. I said employees come first and if employees are treated right, they treat the outside world right, the outside world used the company’s product again, and that makes shareholders happy. That really is the way it works. It’s not a conundrum at all.”
Happy employees happy customers is a path to success. Happy customers not only return to do business again but are more likely to recommend your business to other consumers.
Here are some tips to keep your employees happy.
People who are in good spirits are more likely to be productive. Their mental attitude produces increased oxygen, endorphins, and blood flow to the brain, which enables them to think more clearly and creatively. They are more relaxed, more accepting of others, and more likely to share their sense of humor.
Laughter creates a bond that brings others together. People like to be with others who are having fun. Creativity, intuition, and flexibility are key to the successful operation of organizations today. In stimulating environments, employees enjoy their time at work and they will also excel at work. Attracting customers is easier in an environment of hospitality. A fun workplace is not only more productive, but it attracts people and profits. Thus, the happy employees happy customers mantra lives on.
Employees want to feel there is opportunity for advancement within the organization they work for. Potential for growth is important to employees. And not just financial growth, either.
There are various types of growth opportunities you can use to motivate your employees.
This is the one most people consider when they think about career development. Naturally, employees will be motivated by the possibility of increased income, especially when it’s tied to their performance.
If you don’t have the funds consider offering other forms of growth. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that money is the only way to keep your staff happy.
Most driven individuals will still want to move up in the ranks of their organization. Offer them various opportunities to do so through delegating more responsibilities. More impressive job titles, bigger offices, company recognition, and employees satisfaction are benefits realized when performance matters. Make sure employees are rewarded for significant contributions after being challenged.
While it may seem like personal growth has nothing to do with career development, many employees are motivated by factors that are completely unrelated to work.
With the increasingly blurred line between private and professional lives, it makes sense to encourage employees to pursue their personal goals. Do this by allowing flexible work schedules, the freedom to work remotely if possible, and social gatherings outside of work. This is often referred to as work life balance. Having a healthy understanding once again that happy employees happy customers really is important. When employees feel like they are giving more than they are getting, your customers will feel this in daily interactions. Work life balance is huge.
Make training part of your culture. Employees want to learn new skills that will make them more successful in their current positions and potentially lead to advancement. Provide ongoing training and coaching that teaches employees new skills. The best part about providing opportunities for professional growth is that it is mutually beneficial. Employees get to feel more relevant, and employers get to have more skilled employees! You can also create skill sharing groups, where employee led teachings will strengthen you team internally, and teach leadership skills as well.
It’s important to recognize employees for a job well done. A rewards program where you recognize top employees can foster camaraderie. Rewarding strong employees for great customer service interactions in particular will not only set an example for other employees, but it can inspire them to go above and beyond in providing excellent service to the customers they engage with. It’s not just a reward, but recognition and you noticing a job well done that can go a long way to building loyalty.
Final thoughts: Your best employees are your most valuable resource. Focus on making employees happy, and give them the opportunity to grow.. What’s happening on the inside of the business is felt by the outside. Once again proving… happy employees happy customers.