Why It Pays to Take Care of Your Employees
In today’s economy, customers attach more than just monetary value to the products and services they purchase. Customers don’t strictly look at the product and the price, but they also consider what their money does once they spend it. Does their purchase contribute to a nonprofit or include a donation to charity? Is their money going toward a good cause, a local business, or an environmentally-friendly product? Is their money going toward a company that supports their employees and treats them well?
Companies who take care of their employees have more than one advantage over their competitors. Not only do they attract more productive and loyal employees, but they attract more customers as well. Happy employees provide good customer service. Therefore, if the employee is happy, the customer is happy. Simon Sinek said it perfectly, “Customers will love a company when the employees love it first.”
The Costco Difference
When you walk into Costco, something’s different. It’s not just that it’s a warehouse that sells products in bulk, it has to do with the workers. Costco employees actually seem happy, as if they like their jobs and are happy to be there. That’s almost unheard of in retail and many other industries. But it’s a noticeable difference and it’s earning them more customers. It’s more and more common to hear people say they shop at Costco because, “They treat their employees well and they pay a living wage…I look for companies like that to give my money to.” –Katy Wolk
So not only do happy employees provide good customer service, but customers want to support businesses that support their employees. Deepak Chopra says, “The purpose of any organization or business is to improve the quality of life, period. Focus on the quality of life for your employees because if your employees are happy, then your customers are going to be happy. If your customers are happy, your investors are going to be happy. So start with your employees first, and then everything else will fall into place.”
Why Take Care of Employees
Happiness at work has become essential to modern workers. Employees will leave their jobs if they are unhappy. Most workers want stability, but they are willing to pay the price of “job hopping” in order to find happiness in the workplace. And once they find a workplace where they can thrive and be happy, that positivity flows to the customers. Q6 reports, “When an employee has a positive attitude towards their work and is fully engaged, that positive attitude naturally spills over into their customer relationships. Happy employees easily strive to deliver high quality service with a lot of consistency, resulting in increased customer happiness and loyalty.”
If happy employees can increase positive customer engagement, the reverse is true for unhappy employees. The effects of unhappy employees can be detrimental to a company. Gallup reports, “Recently, we investigated the impact that a single employee can have on customers by studying 4,583 call center representatives from a major telecommunications company. We discovered three service representatives who scared off every single customer they spoke with in a given day – and those customers did not return…The company would have been better off paying those three representatives to stay home.”
But the good news is it costs less to take care of employees than it does to recover from unhappy employees. Entrepreneur says, “Ultimately, investing in employee satisfaction and building an inclusive and positive workplace culture doesn’t just make employees happier. It also helps to acquire new talent, and spills over beyond the company walls and into customer experience.”
How to Take Care of Employees
Provide a living wage. There are countless ways employers can take care of their employees, but one of the most basic is to provide a living wage. If companies pay their employees enough to support their families, they will attract experienced workers who can stay with the company long term. Companies who only pay the bare minimum attract inexperienced workers who only stay temporarily as they move from one opportunity to the next.
Offer financial education. Financial wellness can make a world of a difference to employees. Through financial education, employees can learn to eliminate debt, budget better, build credit, and take advantage of their pay so their money is working for them. Ultimately, financial education reduces the financial stress in employees’ lives and allows them to live more freely and with peace of mind.
Focus on wellbeing. Companies can support employee wellbeing in a number of ways. Employers can consider offering wellness benefits, implementing flexibility wherever possible, recognizing positive achievements, and highlighting how each employee’s role contributes to society. Wellbeing is important for all employees, including those who don’t necessarily demonstrate the need for care. High-performing employees face as much, if not more, burnout as the rest of the workforce. Survey Monkey says, “Well-being initiatives address important issues like decreasing stress and increasing emotional resilience. The best, most engaged employees are often the ones most likely to face burnout from consistently high levels of work. Improving their well-being keeps them at work and productive.”
Employee wellness is no longer a perk, it’s an imperative. Employers should take care of their employees, and it’s not just the employees who believe this. Customers think so, too. Customers want to spend their money at places that take care of their employees. And when employees feel taken care of, they treat their role like a career instead of a job – that is, long term instead of temporary. They want to see the company succeed, so they work toward the company’s mission instead of getting by with the bare minimum of effort. This encourages a workforce of productive and dedicated employees, and builds a strong, loyal customer base. In other words, it pays to take care of employees.
Find out how 101 Financial’s Workplace Wellness program helps companies take care of their employees through financial education.