Happy Employees. Happy Customers.
Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to see a lot of people while they work, and the attitudes of the employees tend to carry on to the customers. There’s a reason why so many companies train their employees in smiling and ways of talking. Eventually, though, that got me thinking… how can human resources really make use of this in order to improve a company?
Traditional wisdom holds that the biggest effect of happy employees comes in the customer service department – but in manufacturing, very few people actually interact with customers. The impact of employee happiness is primarily felt in the quality of workmanship for each and every item. Unhappy employees are far more likely to make sloppy mistakes or simply not care about the products they’re manufacturing, while happy employees are likely to put forth their best effort on a consistent basis.
Every human resources department I’ve seen would love to have every employee happy all the time, but happiness is not something that can be handed out at-will. I’ve seen more companies than I want to count try and fail to keep their employees happy through poorly-planned incentive programs, misguided seminars, or even face-to-face discussions that just make the employees feel awkward.
As noted in Psych Central, happy employees are able to create a clear and measurable improvement in overall customer satisfaction – including creating repeat customers and significantly enhancing brand loyalty.
What does it take to really make employees happy, though? Well, it’s a lot less than many people think. At Kryton, a sense of ownership, a feeling of being legitimately valued, and the occasional challenge are all it takes to keep most employees happy every day they come in. This is especially true in manufacturing, where most employees are involved with actually creating the things that customers will use. Everything starts from the top, and the managers who can do these things are the ones whose businesses tend to succeed.