Unhappy employees cost you money. According to Gallup, disinterested and unhappy employees cost the economy an average of $500 billion dollars yearly, due to low performance and unnecessary absences.
One of the worst traits for an employee to work under is an atmosphere of micromanagement. In my working life, I’ve seen the impact this can have, sapping enthusiasm and life from once productive personnel, watching them go through the motions until the pressure got so much that they inevitably left.
Instead, research shows that the best employees share a number of common traits, namely engagement and connection. Just as there is a link between miserable members of staff and loss of revenue, there’s a positive link between happy employees, productivity and success.
It works like this. Front line employees know and interact with your customers. It’s their duty to make every experience your customers have with your company a positive one, and to this end they have the tools and systems necessary to deal with the people who use your business.
By keeping your frontline employees happy and feeling empowered, you give them a reason to be invested in the company. By feeling like they have impact, and what they do matters, you give your personnel a reason to care deeply about what they do, and this will be communicated, both directly and indirectly, in everything they do.
A company with no employees isn’t a company. They are responsible for the day to day running of a business, so happy, productive employees who are given work that challenges them, have their successes recognised, feel respected and valued and are given the opportunity to grow and be creative will be a much greater asset.
It’s not unreasonable to say that the way a company treats its employees is a huge indicator of long term success.
As an example, lets look at Google. Market leaders for years, and constantly innovating, Google fosters an environment of enrichment and creativity. Employees are encouraged to come up with ideas, and treated warmly by the company, with no expense spared on staff recreation rooms and other things that impact well being.
Whilst this might not be the approach you take, it’s important to realise that your employees are the most valuable thing your company has. Each member of personnel is an individual brand ambassador, with the potential to make or break customer interactions.
A happy employee who loves their company will bubble with enthusiasm and life, and this will be communicated to everyone they have dealings with. Further, it’s proven that people who love what they do innately want to go the extra mile and help others out, because they genuinelylove what they’re doing.
But a sombre, miserable wage slave will communicate that instead, to every single person they have an interaction with. Every single day.
Consider the following mindset shift. Instead of focusing on the bottom line, focus on the people responsible for the bottom line.
Research heavily supports this conclusion. Companies who spend 10% of their revenue on capital improvements increase their productivity by only 3.9%.
However, by spending that same percentage (10%) on personnel, productivity goes up by 8.5%.
More than double the return for the same price. Invest in your people, and they will invest in you.