Happy Employees, Happy Customers
There is an old saying "happy wife, happy life", and it goes without saying (pun intended) that this saying is very true. When I build a relationship with my team, we use this as an example when using the GSM saying, "Happy Employees, Happy Customers". I know, I know it's not quite as catchy and doesn't rhyme, but it sums up the importance of work culture and how it affects your customers in four words.
Comparing your wife (or a spouse) to your job takes a little guts but really I only do it to make a point. If you love the place you work, then you will like to come to work. You will be present, your will try your best. And it really makes a difference to see an employee walk through the front door with a smile on his/her face (like they are greeting someone they actually like) instead of a look of grimace thinking about the next 8 hours they must endure at their job in order to pay their bills.
The culture that your business creates and maintains will directly rub off on your clients/ customers. It doesn't matter what your start- up is, it will be effected. The first thing to establishing a work good culture is knowing what one is. "Organizations with good culture tend to have higher worker productivity, lower turnover, and better team unison," (Jensen). Here are six ways to create and maintain a positive workplace and culture:
- Communicate a Clear Mission - Get Everyone Involved with the "WHY" - Your organization's mission needs to be clearly articulated and communicated. And it needs to be addressed often with the staff. And the reason for needing a well communicated and articulated mission is simple: All workplace initiatives, goals, and values should point back to this mission.
- Cast a Vision for the Future - the Vision should communicate the "HOW". In terms of workplace culture, each individual employee should have a perfect idea of what it is they are doing for the organization. Make your employees part of this vision. Help them understand what they mean to the overall mission of the organization.
- Create and Adhere to Organization Values - Develop a set of governing values, or core ideals, which illustrate the behaviors of the organization and the way employees should act. These will be the practices that will define your culture and how the organization is seen.
- Strengthen Employees - By investing in your team, you are continually building a sharper, highly skilled, and more dynamic workforce. It is the excitement of learning and application that will continue to inspire a great workplace culture.
- Create a Company-wide Feedback Loop - In an engaged workforce, employees need to have a method or process that will allow them to be able to share their ideas. They need to know that they are heard and considered, and not that their thoughts fall on deaf ears. Create a feedback loop so ideas and innovation can flourish.
- Develop Transparency in your Communications - Make the divulging of information a habit. If you want people to be involved in your organization, you must be transparent with them, so they can be as involved as possible.
The bottom line is when employees or team members feel empowered they take charge and solve problems on their own. This means the customer will receive better service the first time around. Building a culture where employees feel trusted will enable them to take ownership of their work and the service they provide will excel. When an employee feels valued they pass that feeling on to the customer and it shows. A company that finds ways to keep employees happy on the job consistently provides better service. "They'll look for new ways to make sure customers leave every interaction satisfied and when companies reward that behavior, they create a positive cycle that results in a better customer experience," (smallbizdaily.com). Making sure your staff feels secure, motivated, empowered and challenged will not only help to build and maintain a strong work culture, but will in turn guarantee increased productivity, improve client relations and provide the most excellent customer service they have to offer.
"5 Ways Corporate Culture Affects Your Customers' Experience." Small Biz Daily. N.p., 08 July 2015. Web. 07 Nov. 2015.
Jensen, Matt. "Six Ways to Create and Maintain Superior Workplace Culture." LinkedIn. N.p., 16 Mar. 2015. Web. 09 Nov. 2015.