Happy employees result in happy customers. We discuss five ways to enhance employee job satisfaction.
When employees love their jobs, their work performance is better. In turn that makes customers happy.
How do we know this is true?
“The suggested causality is that engagement—the emotional commitment one has to their organization and its goals—drives higher levels of discretionary effort.”
More effort means more efficient task completion. With that, the service speed will increase and then customers, in their turn, will have a better experience and higher satisfaction.
Talking to employees about how they feel about their jobs confirms that correlation.
Manuel, a business analyst lead J.P Morgan Chase loves his job. The company culture his employer provides creates a positive, stimulating environment.
That, in turn, translates into better customer service and experience.
“If I’m happy then I will put more effort into my work. Then my customers will get a better customer experience using our tools,” he says.
Job satisfaction scores on Glassdoor show that such sentiment is shared – over 90% of employees approve of the company’s CEO and over 70% would recommend the company to a friend.
On the other hand, employees that report low job satisfaction say their work suffers.
The way employees are treated has a direct impact on how customers are treated. If the internal culture of a company fosters empathy and emotional engagement, it will have a similar positive impact on the customer’s experience.
— Shep Hyken (@Hyken) June 6, 2019
Employee satisfaction results in better efficiency.
Better efficiency results in faster speed with which customer service issues are resolved.
That makes customers happy.
To ensure the highest customer satisfaction, it is in a company’s best interest to make its employees happy.
In our research, we found that five areas of employee engagement can assist in improving employee engagement and satisfaction.
Let’s examine each one.
1. Provide support for increased productivity
Support plays a tremendous role in both employee job satisfaction and productivity.
TalentCulture, on online workplace resource, emphasizes the importance of employee support that goes beyond financial.
Inner workplace support is an important characteristic that impacts the positive nature of your company culture. Once your workforce is given proper access to support, higher productivity flourishes naturally.
Irene, a clinical research associate at a large pharmaceutical development company does not feel happy at work. Constant supervision and tedious review of her daily tasks by an impersonal supervisor make her “feel inadequate,” she says.
Who wouldn’t when all she ever hears is how many mistakes she’s made?
Lack of trust in her abilities really affects her morale. She does not feel positive at work or connected to her co-workers. She doesn’t take pride in her work.
All that results in lower productivity as Irene is not motivated to strive for better outcomes.
That effect will trickle down. There will be no happy customers if the employees are unhappy.
The lack of support can really affect employees’ performance, especially in customer service fields. Customer service agents interact directly with customers if their morale and productivity suffer so will the service.
This will result in longer wait times for the customers and, therefore, lower customer satisfaction rates.
The way to create a supportive culture in a workplace is to create, maintain, and nurture relationships. Relationships between co-workers and relationships between the employees and the management.
Organizational consultant Simon Sinek discussed how embedding supportive culture in organizations, leaders can inspire employees to be better at their jobs.
“When the people feel safe and protected by the leadership and cooperation the natural reaction is to trust and cooperate,” Sinek says in his incredibly insightful TED talk.
In customer service when the agents feel safe and trusted by their management, they will become more productive, more creative, and more motivated to provide faster and more efficient customer service to the customers.
2. Express value for greater empowerment
“One can attract more flies with honey than with vinegar,” the saying goes.
When employees feel valued, they’re more likely to remain loyal to the organization, even if it’s not perfect. Increased job satisfaction can lead to improved performance and reduced turnover.
There are many ways to make an employee feel valued. Some of them include feedback, open communication, gratitude, and solicitation of opinion.
“What is your opinion about x, y, and z,” can go a long way in terms of an employee feeling like his work matters.
The same employee of the pharmaceutical company we talked about earlier stated that when she was asked to participate in an important project, she felt valued. But because such occasions didn’t happen often and most of her work consisted of mundane tasks, she does not feel valued in her workplace.
Hence she reports low job satisfaction.
If an employee feels like a number or a replaceable part of a crowd, she will behave as one. If she is valued she will act as she’s valued, doing a better job which will result in better customer experience.
3. Allow for flexibility for more efficiency
There are 2 formal ways employers and employees can make their workplace more flexible:
- flexible working arrangements – certain employees have the right to request flexible working arrangements
- individual flexibility arrangements – employers and employees can negotiate to change how certain terms in an award, enterprise agreement or other registered agreement apply to them.
73% of employees said flexible work arrangements increased their satisfaction at work.
Some ways to increase flexibility in the workplace include allowing employees decide what hours to work and where to complete their tasks. The more flexibility, the more trusted the employees will feel.
With telephone or online customer service, allowing agents to work from home as a flexible option has some benefits. In addition to making employees happy, this option allows for round-the-clock customer support and faster problem resolution.
At LiveHelpNow and HelpSquad, agents work remotely. That results in increasingly faster communication and problem resolution rates, leading to happier customers.
4. Add fun for more creativity
Perhaps self-explanatory, fun makes everything better. If one had a choice of a fun work environment or a mundane and boring work atmosphere, which one would naturally produce better morale and better results?
Having fun together as a team encourages collaboration, connection, and empathy when it’s needed. It builds stronger relationships at work, increases productivity, and encourages a positive attitude toward fellow employees and towards work itself.
Team activities, outings, employee appreciation celebrations, and general encouragement of light environment and open communication can all add a bit of fun to everyone’s day at work.
Using humor at work is scientifically proven to increase creativity, productivity and help build better relationships with co-workers.
A study on using Improv at work showed that humor promotes creativity.
Improv artists generated 20% more ideas than the designers (showing fluency), which was also 25% more creative (showing flexibility). It also found that using the games that improv artists use for warmup improved the creative output of the product designers in brainstorming sessions by 37%.
If a customer service agent is working in a fun and uplifting environment, experiencing joy, positivity, and higher energy, at work, he or she will spread that mood to the customer as well. Happy employees, happy customers, happy companies.
5. Create challenges for motivation
Everyone needs a challenge. Lack of it results in stealth pf growth, boredom, mundanity, and lack of productivity. Challenge creates motivation and increases creativity.
According to Victor Lipman, a Forbes magazine contributor, 70 percent of American workers do not feel engaged at work. That’s a huge number.
Providing opportunities for growth – professional, personal, or career growth and creating challenges for employees on a daily basis, could help fix the engagement problem, Lipman writes.
Manuel, the happy Chase employee we met earlier in the article once again highlights his company’s efficiency in this area. Chase provides tutoring and training that in turn allows for career and personal growth all of which have a positive effect on job satisfaction.
Such growth and challenge not only result in happier employees, but it also results in more knowledgeable and trained ones. In customer service field that means faster problem resolution and happy clients.
Employee satisfaction has a huge impact on customer satisfaction. As we discussed in another blog post, companies with top-rated service all have something in common – happy employees.
Happy employees, especially in the customer service industry, make customers happy. Unhappy customers will stop doing business with a company due to unsatisfactory customer service. Therefore, making employees happy is good for business.
Five characteristics create a more engaging and more satisfactory workplace – support, value, flexibility, fun, and motivation through challenges.
Which one of these do you implement at your workplace?