In today’s climate much is made about Customer Satisfaction and Retention, and rightly so. We spend a great deal of time and money trying to please our customers and keep them coming back. We’ll do just about anything to make them happy.
Do you put the same time and effort into ensuring that your employees are happy? How is your Employee Satisfaction and retention? Would you work for you?
Studies have shown that happy employees are more productive employees, which positively affects the bottom line because our customers can sense it.
How do you determine what makes your employees happy? It’s simple, ASK them!
Construct a simple survey asking your employees what they believe are the key factors of happiness in the workplace. You’ll likely find what most other companies have found, that money is rarely in the top five. That’s right MONEY is rarely in the top five.
Certainly money plays a role but increasingly workplace specialists are discovering that for many workers, the “happiness factor” depends heavily on intangibles, such as trust, respect, fairness, a full appreciation for the work they do, and a feeling of being in on things.
Many employees cite other intangibles such as a good relationship with their immediate supervisor, and seeing their employer follow through on promises.
Throwing money at an employee who needs any of the above simply creates an unhappy employee who now has more money.
Look for opportunities to “catch” an employee’s performing duties above and beyond expectations and thank them, letting them know you noticed. Supervisors often go out of their way to tell an employee what they are doing wrong but do not bother to praise them for a job well done. Many employees become what we constantly tell them they are, for better or worse. Praise costs you nothing and will often leave the employee beaming for hours or even days after positive reinforcement.
Keep your promises no matter how small. Whether it’s a new calculator for the cashier or replacing the oft broken brake lathe, follow thru with your promises, they’ll be watching you. Don’t make promises that you don’t intend to or cannot keep.
Keep your employees informed of the big picture and the importance of their role in the company achieving its’ goals. Most employees want to feel as though they are in the “loop” and feel disconnected when others seem to be more informed than they. This goes hand in hand with the issue of trust, as many will feel as though you don’t trust them enough to let them “in on” current events.
Is your workplace fair? Ask the technicians and they will tell you if they believe issues like work distribution are equitable. You will usually find that it’s not how much per hour they earn, but how many hours that can be earned that’s important. This is an area that can be easily abused in Dealerships where work is dispatched by a person instead of electronically. While some Technicians are very vocal, those that are non-confrontational will simmer in silence, all the while looking to find a better opportunity elsewhere.
Listen to your employees and their ideas, it’s not as necessary nor important to act upon them as it is to listen. Employees want a voice, allow them one. The old fashioned suggestion box is still one of the best ways to garner employee ideas and suggestions, as it allows shy or introverted employees an outlet to share their ideas.
We preach to our employees that they should build a relationship with their customers, that doing so will lead to loyalty and retention. Do you do the same with your employees? Do you try to build relationships with them? Why would this be any different than what we ask them to do? Employees that feel appreciated by their supervisor perform at a higher level and are tremendously loyal when compared to those who do not.
Happy employees don’t work a job, they build a career. Happy employees stick around, eliminating the costs of training associated with a replacement. Happy employees take less time off and are more productive. Can you really afford not to have happy employees?
Are you doing all you can do to promote happiness in your place of business?
I’ll ask you again, would you work for you?
If your employees are the face of your business, wouldn’t you prefer that face was wearing a sincere smile?