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Happy Employees = Happy Customers

All my employees are going to be happy whether they like it or not.

  • Anonymous

Why Happy Employees = Happy Customers

Studies have shown a causal relationship between happy employees and happy customers:

  1. Happy employees build better relationships with customers.

Presence, attentiveness, and attitude are the key elements to building strong customer relationships. When an employee is happy in their workplace, they’re not only less likely to be absent (presence), they’re more likely to support customer needs faster (attentiveness) and with higher levels of positivity (attitude).

  1. They provide more knowledgeable service.

Employees that are happy with their workplace tend to stay with a company much longer. Not only is employee retention good for the business, but it’s good for the customer as well.

  1. They put the company’s best face forward.

Similar to having a positive attitude that promotes a positive customer experience, employees that are happy and committed to their workplace genuinely want to see the company do well. They are more motivated and innovative, and will often go the extra mile to give customers an exceptional experience.

As a business leader or manager, you want satisfied employees: people who are excited to come to work, motivated to do a good job, and open to changes and collaboration.

Employees who are satisfied tend to be:

  • Happier, more content, and more motivated at work.
  • More productive.
  • Absent fewer days.
  • Better able to collaborate and network with colleagues.
  • More likely to positively spread the word about your organization as brand advocates.
  • More likely to stay at your organization for a long time, reducing employee churn.

Ultimately, happy employees give back to your company, making it grow into the best place it can be.

How to Know Your Employees are Happy

Given the importance of having happy employees, how do you know if they are really happy?  Here are some ways you can measure employee satisfaction:

Have One-on-One Conversations.  Many successful companies have one-on-one conversations between managers and employees on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis. The goal of these conversations is to find out how satisfied the employee is with their roles and the company as a whole.

When you enter into one of these conversations, don’t go with an agenda. Come up with a series of questions to ask the employees, then listen to their answers. Here are some good questions to ask:

  • What are some things you think we’re doing well?
  • What aren’t we doing well?
  • If you could change one aspect of your job, what would it be?
  • What do you wish you were doing more of?
  • Do you think the team is successful at working together? Why or why not?
  • Do you see yourself here in five years? Why or why not?

Conduct Surveys.  Sometimes it’s difficult for employees to express themselves to their supervisor or manager, especially if they are concerned about how it will be received.  That’s why surveys, especially anonymous ones, can be helpful tools. Surveys also help you get quantitative data, rather than just a bunch of ideas and suggestions.

To conduct a survey, use SurveyMonkey, Google FormsTinyPulse15Five, or any survey tool and send it to everyone in the company. Make sure you can make the surveys anonymous so that employees will be as honest as possible about their feelings.

Read Between the Lines.  Sometimes, the satisfaction of your employees won’t be completely obvious, so it’s your job to read between the lines. Even if you have the best intentions, one-on-one conversations might go nowhere. Employees might be intimidated by your position of leadership.  Reading between the lines often requires some research, talking to other leaders, and talking to peers.

The Bible

Ecclesiastes 3:12-13 says.

 I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man.

While little things like pay raises and nice working conditions will make employees happy for a while, ultimately, we need to be happy doing the job we have—doing the job that God has endowed us to fulfill.

Employees need to be happy, not for just the moment but with their career choices.   Business leaders are in a position to influence that happiness and therefore influence how well employees make your customers happy.