A truly great customer service and customer experience can only be provided by the employees who feel happy and engaged at work. When your employees are happier, so are your customers. And when your customers are happy, they become more loyal to your brand, spend more money with you while your business makes more profits.
But the fact is that only 13% of employees worldwide are actually engaged at work, according to the Gallup’s study on the State of the Global Workplace. In other words, about one in eight workers are psychologically committed to their jobs and likely to be making positive contributions to their organizations. 63% are ‘not engaged’ and 24% are ‘actively disengaged’ indicating that they are unhappy and unproductive at work.
So how do you make them happier and more engaged? Besides improved compensation packages, there might be other ways to encourage long-lasting employee satisfaction. Here’s 5 basic steps to increase engagement in the workplace and make your employees happier.
1. Set SMART goals for your employees
Even though your organization definitely has big goals, you certainly can’t expect and demand your employees to achieve them overnight. Instead, set SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-based) goals. Every big goal should be broken down into smaller SMART goals to make it easier for your employees to achieve them while staying focused, motivated and engaged.
2. Listen to their concerns and ideas
Transparent communication is critical for creating a positive and supporting working environment. Sometimes all your employees want is to be heard and know that their voice is important. According to the DDI Trend Research, 35% of the surveyed employees said their boss never, or only sometimes, listens to their work-related concerns. To increase engagement, make sure to actively listen to your employees, let them know that their voices matter and take action whenever needed. What’s more, your employees might have really valuable ideas to contribute to your business.
3. Train, empower and provide room for growth
Investing in your employees through professional development and training will ensure that they never feel they have reached a dead end. It will give them a sense that there are always opportunities for learning, advancement and growth, and that your organization has an interest in helping them fulfill their potential. When it comes to customer service employees, it’s also important to provide them with all the necessary customer service tools and empower them to respond flexibly to customer issues. The last point is critical because customers react positively to employees who listen and take action based on their individual needs rather than simply following the script.
4. Keep their motivation up
Absence of motivation results in lack of interest and lack of productivity, that’s why you need to keep your employees constantly motivated. Employers often miss the mark when trying to motivate their employees. Money, benefits and lavish perks surely matter, but not as much as you think. Studies find that money is actually a short-lived motivator. Leonard J. Glick, Professor of management and organizational development at Boston’s Northeastern University, says that the employee motivation comes from the challenge of the work, the purpose of the work, the opportunity to learn and the opportunity to contribute.
5. Choose the right managers
According to Gallup, one of the main reasons of low employee engagement are poor managers. Poor management can have a negative impact on your employees’ morale, the level of customer service they provide and even the quality of your product. Truly great managers are leaders displaying emotional stability, enthusiasm and self-assurance. Good managers are effective communicators and problem solvers. They are well organized and they are able to create a productive, collaborative and lively work environment.
Employee satisfaction as a key driver of higher customer satisfaction and repeat business. How do you keep your employees happy and engaged? Feel free to share your success stories in the comments!
Provide Support is a leading customer service software provider, offering live chat and real-time visitor monitoring tool for businesses: www.ProvideSupport.com
Wow! 13%, that is terrible. Training and motivation are huge factors in creating buy-in and commitment to the overall vision of a brand. When I go shopping I like to play the game “I spy an employee on their cell phone”. I still can’t believe it— 13%!
Yes, Stephen, the number is terribly low. Business owners just have to realize how important it is to keep their employees engaged, motivated and happy at work, that is the only way to increase their productivity and improve customer satisfaction.
What motivates most of us in life is the challenge, whether climbing a mountain, running a marathon or excelling at work, goals we set for ourselves are often the ones we work hardest to acheive. A good manager is someone who can assist employees to set, measure and achieve their own goals, whether they be directly work oriented or not is not the important factor sometimes assisting an employee with a non work related goal by for example offering flexible hours so they can attent a part time course can gain a payback ten times more valuable than the cost of being flexible to your employees needs.
Thank you Kim, fully agree with your thoughts. Unfortunately, not all managers understand the importance of motivating their employees and helping them to set and achieve their goals.
Great post, dear Mary Shulzenko. Employee engagement is actually my passion and reading your notes was not only pleasurable as it was interesting to see someone else pointing at so many details that really make a difference in engagement, service, results and growth.
Though I may be only repeating what you’ve just written, I feel like telling you and your readers that my own experiences (the plural was used on purpose, since every company is a different experience) showed me and all those involved that there are four factors standing as crucial for reaching an engaged atmosphere:
1. Clear communication (mission, ethics, goals, purpose, expectations);
2. Respect (look at anyone ‘per se’; inspire self-assessment, self-setting of goals — obviously aligned with the company’s ones –, and generate the conditions for a revision with the team peers);
3. Recognition (instead of only pointing a finger to the mistakes employees make, set a clear way to recognize very good to excellent work, so that, instead of a competition among peers set on avoiding making mistakes, the ‘competition’ shifts into the positive contribution each one gives);
4. Innovation (creating an environment where the cleaning lady, as well as ‘the boss’, may feel empowered to share new ideas to solve old issues is absolutely crucial; my first boss only asked people ‘What can we improve a little today?’… and it proved to work!).
Please do note that money is not one of those factors…
Thank you for a very insightful comment, Luis, I’m really glad you enjoyed the article. The points that you listed are really essential for creating an engaged atmosphere and making employees feel valued and happy. If only more bosses and managers realized the importance of treating their employees this way!
Every employer should read this. Company’s expect so much from them, they demand that the employee give so much service to the customer with great outcomes however the company do not give the same expectations back to the employee! The fact they employ someone is enough and pay them, throw in a couple of benefits I don’t think so. We tell customers any feedback is fantastic, an employer requsest this they are on the hunt for the person who gives negative feedback. Why ask for anonymous feedback if it’s not!
if you want to head hunt
I completely agree with your words, because you are right. The atmosphere between the workers is very important and I can say, that it is the main aspect.
A very correct thesis, because only a happy employee can do a job so that the client will be happy and satisfied.
When your employees are happy, they work with customers much better and thus bring quite a lot of positive bonuses for the company, because the customers receive the best service.
World-class companies have long understood this axiom and are doing everything to ensure that their employees have the opportunity to have a good rest and be happy, as this has a fruitful effect on their efficiency.
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