The week before last I had the opportunity to attend and speak at the Total Customer Experience Summit in Boston. Once again it was an honor to be part of the faculty for IIRUSA. I cleared my schedule so I could spend three days learning as well as be there to teach.
Before I share with you some of my learnings, which I will do on my blog, I thought I would share a little about what I was teaching and offer you the opportunity to bring this program (in webinar or in person) to your company.
“Happiness” is getting a lot of press these days. You may have noticed articles in women’s and men’s lifestyle magazines, news magazines and even in the Harvard Business Review where the January/February issue this year was on the “Value of Happiness” in business and how employee well-being drives profit.
That makes sense, don’t you think? When employees feel good about their work situation and the people they work with and for, they do better work and stay engaged in it longer.
Companies with above average engagement get above average results – 27% higher profits, 50 % higher sales and 50% higher customer loyalty. That’s something to pay attention to.
Here’s what I think contributes to the kind of engagement that delivers those kinds of results:
- The opportunity to use our strengths
- A sense of autonomy and empowerment
- Clear expectations and direction towards a shared vision that focuses on the customer
- Feeling listened to, heard and valued
- Having an opportunity for challenge and growth
- Accomplishment and acknowledgement
- Being part of something important
- Making a real difference
- A positive culture of real appreciation
A positive culture – one that fosters employee happiness – is a competitive advantage. Shaun Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage says “Happiness is the single greatest competitive advantage in the modern economy”, and, in that kind of culture almost every business outcome improves.
And that makes sense. Positive Emotions evolved in humans because they serve an important purpose – to build and broaden our capacity to create solutions! When you can shift from the focus on the negative to focus on the positive you literally create an opening in the brain – that makes us smarter, quicker and more creative.
Never before in time have we had this perspective – and this proof – that positive emotions do so much to improve every area of our lives.
The benefits of Positive Emotion are many – here are a few of the things they do for us, they:
- Widen our scope of attention
- Increase both intuition and creativity
- Speed problem solving, and increase accuracy
- Broaden our exploratory behavior
- Speed recovery from effects of negativity
- Increase immune function
- Reduce the inflammatory response to stress
- Reduce stroke and high blood pressure
- Lower cortisol
- Produce a very beneficial biochemistry (including endorphins, serotonin and dopamine)
- Build our resilience to adversity
- Create Psychological capital (hope, optimism, resilience, confidence)
- Make people more socially adept and build their social network
- Increase happiness and longevity
Research in the field of Positive Psychology (AKA The Science of Happiness) is adding to that list all the time as scientists search for even more ways that seeing the glass half full benefits individuals and organizations.
We’ve finally come to understand that business is not a machine. It’s an organic living thing.
When you build a optimistic culture that’s coherent, aligned, strong and focused on creating positive customer experiences – you’ve created an organism that can out think, out delight and out move the competition !
You don’t need to me tell you how it would benefit your business or your department – you already know. If the people that touch your customers were a little more consistently optimistic, a little more consistently friendly, interested, engaged and engaging your customers, you would find your customers would be a little happier. If you got rid of some of the policies that were put into place to protect you from your customers and removed the obstacles your customer-facing people have to overcome to do a great job, your customers would indeed be happier. (If you’d done that already – BRAVO!)
When they are happier they like coming back to do business with you and they enjoy telling their friends. Everybody is telling everyone everything these days. I say “Let’s give ’em something great to talk about.”
If you are interested in learning more about the programs I offer on happiness – or on doing a “Value of Happiness” webinar for your leadership team, let me know I’ll be happy to call you next week and set that up for you.
Remember, you can’t consistently create Customer Evangelists, Deliver WOW experiences or knock anyone’s socks off with a ho-hum culture. Happiness has a “Spillover” effect. Employee morale, engagement and happiness spill over to the engagement and happiness level of customers.
What could 5% more loyalty do for your bottom line?
Here’s to your happiness,