Your employees are the face of your business in many ways. As one of the first things that customers see when they walk in, the greeting can make or break a customer experience.
As a business, growing and retaining customers is key to your success. And one of the key ingredients to happy customers that keep coming back is employee happiness.
Bryan Meehan, CEO of Blue Bottle Coffee summed it up well: “We realized that you could have the most beautiful product in the world, but if you get bad service when you’re ordering it, that’s what you remember.”
Prioritizing your employees sets your business and your employees up for success. When your employees feel taken care of and respected, they will invest more in your business and feel proud to represent your brand and serve your customers.
When your employees feel like you are investing in them, they are more likely to invest in you. And remember, your competitors — whether they’re big businesses or small — compete not only for customers but also for employees.
Here are a few key ways to show your employees that you care about them:
Providing benefits to your employees can open up your business to hire more employees and grow even further. Adding benefits might feel like a big step, given the financial and legal obligations that come with it, but employee benefits are quickly becoming a standard offering to retain employees and are worth the investment.
Communication and respect between leadership and employees is very important. One of the foundational ways to show your employees that you care about them and their success is through clear communication. Providing clear expectations, constructive feedback, and being generous with praise are critical to creating an environment where employees feel supported. It’s also important to be clear around scheduling expectations and allow employees to easily request time off.
Lead by example
Good leadership can make or break a company. Whether you are the only boss or have a leadership team around you, focus on creating a healthy, caring, and supportive environment. It’s an old adage for a reason, but when it comes to managing, always remember to treat your employees how you want them to treat you.
Cultivate a positive work environment
If your employees feel overworked and underappreciated, your whole business will be impacted. A recent Gallup poll found that one of the leading causes of an unhappy employee is not feeling engaged with their workplace. An engaging work environment is also good for the business, Gallup found that the lost productivity of not engaged and actively disengaged employees is equal to 18% of their annual salary.
Focus on creating an open and supportive environment where your employees feel comfortable providing feedback so that you can continue to improve your workplace.
Invest in employee training
A good customer experience is achieved through a good employee experience. And a good employee experience is achieved when you spend the time and energy to train your employees.
Blue Bottle is a great example of a company that knows how important it is to invest in employee training. “We spend a lot of time training our baristas and [while] it’s very rigorous and expensive, [we find it’s worth it],” says Meehan.