While keeping customers and clients happy has been a pinnacle of business success for years, ensuring employee happiness has not always been such a priority. However, many managers realize that happy employees mean efficient employees and better work cultures, which, in turn, mean happier customers. Making employee happiness the status quo can be challenging, but employers have good reasons for doing so.
Hiring and training new employees is time-consuming and expensive. Unless an employee is a liability to the company or is not doing his job, it’s almost always better for employers to keep the people they have. While some workers will stay at their jobs even if they are not happy, others, especially the highly skilled or educated, will look for work elsewhere. When employees feel happy at work, however, they are more likely to stay. In fact, Bloomberg Businessweek reports that e-tailer Zappos, where the owner stresses happiness, keeps many employees for 10 years or more.
Most people have been customers at an establishment where the employees were not happy to be there. In most cases, it shows. At worst, employees have bad attitudes and are outright rude to customers. At best, employees simply don’t go beyond the call of duty to satisfy the customer, which is never something management wants to hear. Customers who are happy and enthusiastic about their jobs, go above and beyond because they genuinely enjoy their work and interacting with customers. This is the case at Zappos, where customer service agents will help customers with tasks completely unrelated to selling their product to make sure the customer walks away happy, Bloomberg Businessweek notes.
Aside from pleasing customers and clients, customers who are happy tend to perform better as a whole, according to a 2009 Kansas State University study reported in Science Daily. When employees are happy, they may be more likely to work quickly and to the best of their abilities. Science Daily also notes that they may be better co-workers, providing the supportive office climate that makes being successful and dealing with crises easier.
In addition to saving employers the cost of hiring and training employees, happy employees can save employers money through making fewer mistakes and getting projects done on time. Happy employees may be less likely to do things that put the company at risk, such as leaking information, stealing company property or, as Business Management Daily notes, waging lawsuits. In fact, the Kansas State study reported that employers could loose as much as $75 per week per unhappy employee.