While you’re hard at work trying to maintain lifelong customer relationships, it can be easy to overlook the relationships among your staff. It seems obvious that a friendly work environment leads to greater productivity, decreased stress, less turnover and increased satisfaction—and in fact, research shows that this assumption is true. Happier employees lead to a more positive customer experience, as well.
A positive workplace starts with a strong manager. Start by surveying your employees to gauge their satisfaction. What do they really think about their job? Then try to build in the tips found below.
Clearly communicating your ideas and expectations at the beginning of a project save you from a conflict later in the process.
- Try replacing open-ended questions like, “Do you want to start or shall I?” with “I’d like to start with x and then get your opinion.”
- Create a space or time wherein employees can feel free to express their ideas and concerns safely. If confidentiality is important, consider using a comment box and then reading entries anonymously at meetings.
Customers benefit from companies that enforce clear boundaries, because they know what to expect. Consistent results from a well-communicated plan of action go a long way to build relationships with your customers, too.
Everyone likes to know that they’re valued and appreciated. Cultivating an atmosphere of gratitude can encourage employees and help them understand their integral role in the office.
- Begin conversations by recognizing something positive your employee has done recently. They’ll likely be more receptive to suggestions or critique if they know you’re aware of their successes too.
- Make sure your praise is specific and/or spontaneous. Let your employees know you’re paying attention to their work.
Have you ever walked into a bank and the teller was clearly miserable? Your customers associate the positive and negative emotions they experience with the brand itself. By ensuring your employees have a smile on their face, your customers will be smiling too.
Dale Carnegie, a famous thought leader in corporate thinking, said “People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.”
American culture often does not include “fun” as a regular component of the work day. Work shouldn’t be fun, right? In fact, incorporating fun into the workplace used to be more common with company picnics, birthday parties, and friendly office wagers.
- You can maintain a professional atmosphere while still having fun. The key is to designate a time and a place. Scheduling a regular happy hour can give employees something to look forward to after a long day at the office.
- Assign “birthday cake duty” to one of your employees to make sure birthdays are recognized and everyone can take a sugary break in the afternoon for a slice.
Your customers don’t want to feel like they’re a burden to your employees. Let people know that you’re working hard and playing hard on their behalf. This gesture also goes a long way in humanizing your brand and service, further cementing lifelong, loyal relationships with customers.
If you’re interested in reading a little more on this topic, check out our articles on how to boost employee morale: