Do You Want Happy Customers? Make Sure Your Employees are Happy!
Sometimes the best way to determine what changes have to happen in your life is by examining the negative aspects of a situation and figuring out the right solutions. We’ve all been had a bad job at some point in our lives, right? Doing a job that drained your motivation and in which it was nearly impossible to get through the day. The cause may have been the work environment, the tools (or lack thereof) to do your job, poor training, or lack of recognition by your management. Whatever the reasons, you were disengaged, and, at some point and through some serious examination, you realized that you needed to leave. A place with unhappy customers usually does not have happy customers.
The problem with disengagement specifically is that it affects almost every aspect of a business. A Gallup State of the American Workplace study done in 2017 showed that a measly 33% of employees are engaged at work. That’s a horrifying statistic! That means that over 70% of workers in our country aren’t engaged, and more than likely, aren’t satisfied at all with their job. That should be a huge wake-up call to every business owner in the US, regardless of what industry you find yourself in. After all, happy employees lead to happy customers!
Happy Employees = Happy Customers
Now, we’re not saying that every employee should be 100% happy at their job, 100% of the time. That’s not a realistic goal or expectation. But if you follow the natural course of positive changes in your workplace, you will find that employee satisfaction will skyrocket and positively affect your customers. Think about it – how much harder would an engaged, happy employee work to get and keep customers for a business they believe in than one in the opposite situation? It has highly impactful consequences either way. The other problem is that most business owners or managers don’t know there’s a problem or they try to ignore the problem until it blows up in their face. That’s a defeating way to run a business.
According to Jason Whitman, VP of Customer and Employee Success at Justworks, a business startup for handling HR and payroll responsibilities, the best way to get happy customers is actually to ensure employee happiness first. Here are 3 ways to ensure that your employee’s happiness leads to customer happiness as adapted from one of Jason’s blog posts:
1. Happy Employees Build Relationships
If you know you’re entering any kind of situation temporarily, whether it be a job site or a school, you’re not going to put yourself out there for anyone. The same goes for your employees – if an employee believes their status at your business is temporary, they’ll keep to themselves and won’t engage with anyone or anything at the office or on the work site, and that includes with your customers. One way to estimate the level of satisfaction your employees are experiencing is to see how they relate to those around them. Are they joking around with their coworkers and putting up personal mementos at their desk? Or are they keeping to themselves, doing only what is required and not communicating with you or anyone else? It’s pretty easy to see whether or not your staff is happy. If you’re unsure about their level of happiness, ASK THEM! It’s up to you as their leader to open up the lines of communication. You can also talk to your top customers to see if they think your staff is happy. If they’ve had any personal interaction with your people, they’ll know almost instantly.
2. Happy Employees Feel Supported
Whether it’s advancement opportunities, having consistent training as part of your business culture, having their back when issues arise or giving them rewards and recognition, your employees need to feel supported when they come to work or get to a job site. They need to be able to do their job with confidence, from the technical aspects to the relational challenges to understanding any changes that come down the line. Again, think about how an employee who doesn’t feel supported will handle a customer problem – they’ll place blame somewhere else, they’ll talk disrespectfully to the client, they’ll shy away from any kind of confrontation, or they’ll burn a bridge completely. But if an employee feels like you’re going to support them, they have all of the necessary know-how for the situation, and they’ve been trained on how to handle issues, they won’t have any problem walking the customer through the issue from beginning to end, even if they feel uncomfortable.
3. Happy Employees Look to the Future
Let’s face it, your company won’t last very long if your staff isn’t happy. If your employees are confident in their positions, it will show in their day-to-day work, but it will also show in their commitment to the success of your company in the long-term. If they can really see how they fit into your business model and what their participation can do to help the business succeed, you’ll have a long-time, loyal employee. For employees who make an investment in your business, they need to see their ROI (return on investment) just as much as you need to see it with your customers. That can be a hard pill to swallow for some managers because its humbling to approach your staff the same way you would approach an investor if your business, but that’s essentially what is needed. Establishing a proper structure is necessary, and your people need to understand the importance of the chain of command. However, this doesn’t mean you want to talk down to or humiliate your staff so they’ll work harder. Negativity breeds negativity and positivity breeds positivity – it may sound cliché, but it’s true and has been proven time and time again.
Use the Right Tools
If you want to keep your employees happy but you’re not sure how to improve what you’re already doing, contact us at Janitorial Manager. Our business management software program can help you keep all aspects of your business organized, which will leave you with more time to commit to your staff and your clients. Give us a call or schedule a free demo today!