Making Your Employees Happy Is Just Good Business | The world of commerce is filled with axioms indicating the supremacy of the customer. You’ve all heard them. “The customer is always right.” “The customer is king.” Of course, customer satisfaction should be a major focus of any business and is frequently an accurate predictor of a company’s success. However, many businesses neglect a parallel path to success; employee satisfaction.
Unhappy employees can lead to significant negative effects on any business including poor productivity, toxic environments, poor customer service and lack of engagement. A recent Gallup poll reports nearly half a billion dollars in profit loss each linked directly to employee dissatisfaction. Results such as this should lead business leaders to take a closer look at ways to gauge and increase employee satisfaction.
Measure Employee Satisfaction
Whether or not you are noticing signs of employee disgruntlement, measuring levels of workers’ job satisfaction should be done on a regular basis. One of the best ways to do this is through the use of an employee engagement survey. These are surveys consisting of several carefully structured questions designed to reveal signs of disengagement and dissatisfaction. Surveys are completed and turned in anonymously which gives employees the freedom to be completely honest. A complete evaluation of the results of such a survey can reveal detailed information essential to the prosperity of your business.
Another effective way to get feedback from employees is to implement a suggestion box. It is less scientific than a survey, but the comments and suggestions can be enlightening. One-on-one meetings can also yield usable information although it can be difficult to convince employees that they have the freedom to express themselves without repercussions in a face-to-face conversation.
Respond to Results
Be prepared to take action and make changes if your assessment methods do reveal issues among your employees. Asking employees for their input and then failing to react can lead to even greater levels of resentment and dissatisfaction. Obviously, you will need to craft your response to the results of your survey, but there are some well-known ways to increase employee satisfaction and engagement.
A common observation of unhappy employees is that they feel that they are given responsibilities that they haven’t been adequately trained to fulfill, and then penalized for not doing so. Make certain that your training program adequately prepares your staff to excel. Additionally, be sure that employees understand not just how to complete a task, but why it is important. This will not just increase productivity, but engagement as well.
Don’t stop training at lower-level staff. Implement a training program for supervisors that focuses on personal interaction. Managers must give criticism on a regular basis, however; there is a way to offer criticism coupled with praise that doesn’t leave an employee feeling defeated.
Focus on Work-Life Balance
Take a look at how you are scheduling your employee’s shifts. Although it may make business sense to ask employees to have open availability and expect them to work whenever they are needed, that kind of random work schedule plays havoc with their personal life. It will take more time and effort on your part to create flexible schedules that are personalized for your workers, but the payoff will be employees that are happier, less stressed and more engaged.
Have a Little Fun
You don’t have to turn the workplace into a party, but you can make it a lot more enjoyable with very little effort. You can play music if that works for your business. You could implement light-hearted competitions and games into the workplace. Put a bulletin board in the breakroom and post funny messages or riddles. Schedule a group event now and then just to have a few laughs.
It takes a mental shift that starts at the top to put focus on the importance of having happy workers and staff. Choose effective methods for evaluating your employees’ satisfaction and be willing to make some changes if the results show they’re not. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it will also positively affect your bottom line.