The domino effect of low employee morale is real. When employees are dissatisfied with how management treats them or with any demoralizing practice or policy sanctioned by the company, their performance at work will suffer. Disgruntled, dissatisfied employees are less capable of delivering great client service as opposed to when they’re happy. And the entire client experience is at risk.
The kicker is that 93% of customers are likely to make repeat purchases with companies that offer excellent service, and even if a mistake should happen, 78% will still do business with that company based on its high-quality service. That’s how much client service and the overall client experience matter these days.
As it happens, the domino effect works in the other direction too: high employee morale can also impact the client experience — in a positive way. This is why it’s especially important for organizations to pay attention to employee morale by maintaining a positive work culture. Here’s a deeper dive into the effects of happiness and a positive culture, and what you can do to build or strengthen yours.
Happiness is contagious
People are often influenced by the moods and emotions of those around them. They start to mimic each other’s facial expressions and posture — and then experience certain emotions as a result. For example, the act of frowning can then make them feel sad, or the act of smiling can then make them feel happy. They can even start sharing their good or bad experiences with each other as a way of subconsciously synchronizing their moods and behaviors and reinforcing them. That’s the idea behind a good mood or a bad mood being contagious.
Co-workers experience this phenomenon in the work setting. If employee morale is high and more people are smiling and feeling upbeat, the good mood spreads. Conversely, if employee morale is low and people are walking around with somber or even angry expressions, the bad mood spreads. Unfortunately, when employees are in a bad mood, their ability to feel empathy is reduced, and so is their motivation to help clients.
To create a more positive client experience, employees must experience warm and positive feelings themselves. They need to feel empowered, satisfied and engaged at work so they can transfer those good feelings to their client interactions. When the workforce is collectively happy, then happiness becomes the default mode of operation. And happy employees then lead to happy clients.
How to keep your culture positive
Happiness is often considered an individual pursuit, but in the workplace, happy employees are the result of a number of factors and touchpoints working together — from the respect and consideration given by managers and leaders to the rapport felt with team members to the way clients respond to and treat staff.
In practical terms, happiness grows out of a positive, “people-first” culture that includes:
- Clearly articulated mission/value statements and company policies that are modeled from the top down
- A diverse, collaborative workforce made up of all kinds of people from all kinds of backgrounds
- A modern, relevant workplace that provides flexibility, work/life balance, employee support and recognition, and paths for career development and advancement
- Tools, technologies, and processes that make the work day smoother and easier and enable quality client service and interactions
One of the most telltale signs of positive work culture is a high level of employee motivation. Employees who feel connected to the work they’re doing and are appreciated and rewarded for doing a good job are generally going to be more motivated than those who don’t.
Some of the best ways to motivate employees don’t necessarily have to be monetary. You can do something small, like giving a public shoutout about an individual or team that went above and beyond or providing breakfast during a morning meeting. You can do something fun, like having a themed dress-up day. Or you can do something useful, like offering a few hours’ flex time for a job well done. There are lots of other ways to motivate employees, but the point is that being sincere and creative about it really shows your staff that they are valued, their work is meaningful, and their efforts won’t go unrecognized.
Bottom line: motivated employees will go out of their way to do what needs to be done for clients and ensure that each interaction is a productive and enjoyable one.
Where “happy” meets “exceptional”
Successful client relationships are built from the collective effort of happy employees. Even employees who don’t have direct contact with clients can influence the overall positivity of the workplace — and, by extension, the client experience — if they’re engaged in what they’re doing and are satisfied with their job.
With client experience at the forefront of business and client success these days, it’s critical to sustain a positive work culture that values employees and motivates them to provide exceptional client service — every time.
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