Happy staff, happy customers

24 June 2016

You might be sat there thinking this pink and fluffy HR nonsense is irrelevant to me, but stick with us and you might be surprised. When considering employee engagement, it’s easy to jump straight to the headline makers, like Virgin or Google, with their higher salaries or fancy reward schemes and thinking as a smaller business, you’re just not able to compete.

The truth is, it’s not only about all that, it’s about your staff feeling valued and your customers feeling satisfied.

An engaged team means your ability to recruit and retain good people will improve and disciplinaries, grievances, sickness and lateness will all reduce. The natural knock-on effect is improved service and performance. This in turn leads to customers renewing contracts, ultimately resulting in better bottom line profits.

It might surprise you, but research shows that smaller businesses are actually better at doing this than bigger businesses.

Here are a few pointers to get you started:

Leading the way…

A massive 70% of employees don’t leave companies, they leave their Line Managers. The key to attracting and retaining your staff is creating strong bonds within teams, individuals and their manager.

“Can you hear me?”

It’s important to listen. Regular one-to-one sessions with staff might sound time consuming, but it actually helps save time in the long run. This allows staff to keep you informed about the challenges they’re facing and the achievements they’re making, whilst managing your expectations as well as theirs.

Great expectations…

Your recruitment advert is the first opportunity to set expectations, followed by job descriptions and your handbook. If staff understand their role and responsibilities from the start, it makes it easier to understand what is expected of them.

There’s no “I” in team

Share your challenges and involve your team to help solve them, from covering next months’ rota to a new contract you’re trying to win. Not only does this give opportunities to learn and develop but most importantly people support what they help building. They have a stake in the plan so will do more to make it happen.

A little R.E.S.P.E.C.T

It’s not expensive and is often the most valuable gift you can give staff: respect. Acknowledging and showing appreciation for the work that your staff do will help to trickle down to your customers through the service they receive. It reinforces the good practices that the business is aiming for and can help influence and encourage. Look out for staff doing things right and give instant praise to set and reinforce what good looks like.

How does it affect your customers?

Firstly, if your staff understand their role and responsibilities, they are likely to provide a consistent service. Secondly, happier staff who feel valued by the business, are more likely to care about the service they provide and will work harder to create a positive experience for your customers.

Finally, the better the experience for your customer, the better the results in repeat business and recommendations to family and friends will be. This cycle will continue and help create improvements for your bottom line and business growth.

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