Have you ever been to a restaurant where the food was amazing but the service was terrible? Likewise, have you ever been to a restaurant where the hostess smiled at you and asked you how your day was, your server was polite, but the food was mediocre? Most people would go back to the restaurant where the service was amazing and the server was smiling even if the food was mediocre.
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The majority of people will go back to the restaurant, the computer store, the amusement park, or the airline that provides a level of service that exceeds the customers’ expectations. People will go back to those companies because of the people and extreme lengths that these employees are willing to go through for them. Dr. Noelle Nelson stated that, “employees will only self-sustain their enthusiasm for the work” they do for a limited amount of time. That is why employers need to do everything in their power to keep employees happy.
Now the big question, the question that most people and business owners are asking right now, is how do I get my team members and employees to be happy? How do I get them to treat our customers so they want to come back? There are several ways to do this, but the most effective way is to find a way to incorporate all of the following things.
Flexibility. Every person is different. From taking care of children to taking parents to doctors’ appointments, every team member is different. In fact Richard Branson, the Virgin Group founder and billionaire, stated that at his company, “It is left to the employee alone to decide if and when he or she feels like taking a few hours a day, a week or a month off.” While this extreme amount of flexibility is not needed at most companies, leaving some flexibility in the hands of the employee can go a long way in making employees happy. Many companies have stringent rules on not being allowed to leave early or switching shifts with other employees; however, some of the best and the happiest employees are those who are able to switch shifts with each other, come to work 15 minutes early and leave 15 minutes early, or are able to take their lunch break when they feel that they need to. Be Flexible!
Benefits. While not every company is able to give their employees the ability to fly anywhere for free, companies can give employees some awesome benefits such as allowing employees to pick their own schedules based on their top choices. This could be as simple as creating a bid system where those with the highest seniority can pick first. Giving employees free coffee and the ability to use the company wifi without worry of getting in trouble, can increase morale and are more likely to make them your company’s advocates. Alison Green, a writer for U.S. News, stated in a recent article that “too many employees don’t take all the vacation time they earn, either because they can’t get time off approved or because their manager and workplace culture signal subtly or not so subtly – that if they take time off, they’ll be seen as a slacker.” Allow your employees to use their vacation time without feeling ashamed or having to work around ridiculous black out dates, and you will have much happier employees!
Open Door. Every company is different and every employee’s needs are different. The number one thing any manager can do in order to keep employees happy is to have an open door. Keeping an open door to your employees so that they can talk to you about any company problems and, more importantly, any ideas they have. Your employees are on the front line and they will come up with better ways of serving your customers or creating processes which will be more productive if they know their ideas will be listened to and taken seriously.
Every company strives to be better for their customers, but it is also important that your employees are happy as well. By simple having an open door, offering flexibility, and providing awesome benefits, you can have a team that will be dedicated, and customers that will receive amazing service.