Everyone knows the old adage that the “customer is always right.” There is truth in the statement, too. A happy, satisfied customer translates to repeat business and good word-of-mouth marketing.
But just because there should be a focus on the customer doesn’t mean all of the focus should be on consumers. On the contrary, if you want your customers to have a satisfying experience with your company, you should start by putting emphasis on the employee experience.
The experience that an employee has can have a ripple effect throughout your entire organization.
On the front end of a company, this impact is easy to spot. A satisfied employee will enhance a customer experience through informed and passionate engagement. However, a dissatisfied employee will be more apathetic and less willing to engage in the first place — and could even be hostile to your brand.
On the back end, the effect is more subtle yet no less important. An unhappy employee can create inefficiencies and disruptions that can slow down an operation. They can leave tasks undone and customers can become dissatisfied as a result.
These aren’t just hypothetical concepts, either. Customer experience leader Blake Morgan reports that 79% of employees who work at companies with above-average customer service are highly engaged. In comparison, less than half of the staff are engaged at companies with below-average customer experiences.
The proof is in the pudding. If you engage with your employees and ensure that they have a positive experience, it will have a trickle-down effect that will directly impact your customer experience.
While it’s easy to prove that employee experiences are essential to success, turning that into reality can be challenging. Employee expectations are always shifting. Cultural norms are in flux. Workplaces are in a constant state of evolution.
With so much changing, it can be difficult to flesh out an effective strategy to cultivate positive employee experiences. The good news is that there are several key areas that you can focus on, regardless of your size, industry, situation, or anything else.
Your employee experience starts from the moment they begin the recruitment process. The way that they perceive your company will be shaped starting from those early moments. So take them seriously.
Make sure that the arrival of a new employee is a community event. Your induction process should be an interactive activity, even if you’re operating as a remote workspace. Don’t settle for a quick introduction via email or Slack.
In addition, new employees should also have proper support from staff as well as clear onboarding resources and training. Do everything you can to help create an uplifting, inviting atmosphere to foster a positive attitude toward your operation.
Once your employees are in the door, you want to maintain the positive momentum. Of course, you can’t spend every waking minute following them around, making sure that they’re satisfied.
However, there’s another way to make a major impact on your employee’s experience: your company culture. Your company culture consists of a set of beliefs that your entire organization shares. These aren’t loosely stated concepts, either. They should be backed by a sound strategy and clear structure.
For example, make sure that your company has a well-state set of internal values. What are the aspects of business that make you tick as an organization?
A defined company culture can do wonders for the employee experience. It can set up healthy lines of internal communication. It can also empower your staff to act in the knowledge that they’re reinforcing your company’s beliefs.
It may sound tacky, but when the rubber hits the road, the way you compensate your employees can impact their experience. Dissatisfaction and low wages are major factors that drove so many employees to reassess their employment situations (and leave their current jobs, in many cases) throughout the labor shortages of 2021.
By reimbursing your employees well, you show them that you’re invested in their professional experience. The concept of offering good compensation starts with being paid competitive wages that make them feel valued. But it doesn’t stop there.
The benefits that you offer workers are also important. Things like healthcare and retirement matching are instrumental in cultivating a positive employee experience — which can carry over to your customers and even boost your bottom line. See? It all comes around.
Monetary compensation is a major first step in employee happiness. But there’s another aspect that you should also consider: professional development.
If your employees feel stagnant at their current jobs, it’s only a matter of time before they become fed up and head out the door. Even worse, in the ever-evolving modern business landscape, an employee whose professional skills are allowed to atrophy can become a detriment to your company. Their skills can fall behind, and they can make mistakes, reduce productivity, and create negative customer experiences in the process.
Instead, take the time to invest in your employees as professionals. Look for learning courses that can help them stay up to date on the latest tech within your industry. Give them ongoing training opportunities to allow them to expand on their current tool kit.
If you can do that, you’ll be empowering your employees to be more efficient at their work. You’ll also help them build confidence and increase their satisfaction in their jobs.
There are plenty of ways to keep your employees satisfied. However, none of these work without an employer consciously choosing to prioritize their employees’ satisfaction. When that happens, whether it be through company culture, onboarding experiences, benefits, professional development, or anything else, it will enhance your employee experience and, by extension, that of your customers, as well.