In my last tip I shared my discovery of “Happiness Happens” month (August) and since we are still in it, I’m still on topic. You know of course, that it’s my favorite topic, especially when paired with the word “Customer”.
There’s a reason I called my website “Return on Happiness” and that’s because after decades in business I can see there is one. Companies that take great care making sure their people and their customers are happy (and happy means many things, let’s not be naïve) see a return on their efforts.
Ken Blanchard once said “Profit is the applause you get from taking good care of employees and customers.” I have found that to be true. When you have your customers’ and your employees’ well being in mind as you make decisions there is a good chance they’ll both respond positively.
Of course, you as the leader have to help focus their attention on the right things and do it in a positive way.
You should be frequently posing the question, “How can we create remarkably positive experiences for our customers over and over again?” and recognizing and rewarding when you see it happen will get you headed in the right direction.
Shawn Achor in his book The Happiness Advantage, makes the research case for the fact that the single greatest advantage in the modern economy is a happy and engaged workforce.
A decade of research proves that happiness raises nearly every business and educational outcome:
- raising sales by 37%,
- productivity by 31%,
- and accuracy on tasks by 19%,
- as well as a myriad of health and quality of life improvements.
That’s more than three good reasons to be making happiness happen sooner rather than later.
He shares in his blog post, The Happiness Dividend, “Yet even those companies that do take leadership training seriously still ignore the role that happiness plays in leadership effectiveness.” That’s too bad since research reports just this year say that half of all US employees are not really happy and that one in two employees are looking to leave and/or are checked out on this job.
What a brain drain! What an opportunity!
The business consequences of this unhappiness in terms of productivity, performance and innovation are enormous. And the consequences to the customer relationship? You guess.
Unhappy, uninspired, unmotivated people are simply not going to go out of their way to create the easy, magical, dazzling, knock-their-socks-off, remarkable experiences that will make customers happy and convince them to come back with their friends, will they?
I find it sad and oh, such a waste. So what does it take to make people happy?
They need to have a chance to use their strengths. They need to be recognized, praised and rewarded, they need to feel valued, important and even special.
They need to know that you notice when they are doing things right, not just when they are doing things wrong. They need feedback that is delivered with skill and caring. They need coaching that is filled with encouragement as well as correction. They need to know they are needed. They need to know what role they play in the success of the overall organization.
They need autonomy, a sense of control over some part of their destiny.
They need to feel competent and masterful at what they do, or at some part of what they do. They need training, support and encouragement. They need challenge. They need to feel useful and purposeful. They need goals that will make them stretch but not make them panic. They need the tools to do their job well. They need to be surrounded by others that are doing a good job. They need to have some people at work they like and can be friends with. They need feel the work they do is meaningful. They need to contribute. They need to feel appreciated. Some even need to feel the love.
How do I know this? I’ve been asking for decades and this is part of what I’ve learned. Some combination of these things is what “happy at work” looks like.
Oh I could go on…
Check out the site – for the first time ever we’ll be archiving tips and articles and you’ll have plenty of reasons to go back for a read. Please spread the good news about it around and recommend it to a friend (or two, or three). And while you’re at it please “Like” our Facebook page – we’re getting the news out there more frequently now.
So go ahead – Use the time to plan out how you’ll be creating happiness with your team. Oh, did you notice that many of the things that make employees happy are the same things that make customers happy. Go figure.
The very best to you,