Your employees are on the front lines of your business. The customer service that they provide can make or break your sales, which is why it’s vital that you hire the right employees, train them well and keep them happy at work by focusing on employee morale.
Employee morale, or engagement, as it’s sometimes called, has a direct impact on customer service. Just take a look at these statistics:
- Customer retention rates are 18% higher when employees are engaged.
- Organizations that have over 50% employee engagement retain 80% of their customers.
- Engaged employees are 38% more likely to have above average productivity.
To ensure better customer service, here are five ways you can boost employee morale:
1. Recognize big and small accomplishments
Do you recognize an employee’s efforts? Sixty-five percent of employees surveyed by Gallup say they haven’t been recognized for any positive work in the last year.
A little appreciation can go a long way, in fact, 58% of employees say that giving recognition in the workplace is the best way to increase their engagement.
Consider ways to praise and recognize your employees for big and small accomplishments. Set up an Employee of the Week program, hand out $5 gift cards to the local coffee shop when you see a kind gesture between coworkers or let an employee go home early for remarkable customer service.
2. Be a better boss
To boost morale, supervisors and managers may need to make some change of their own. A Gallup poll shows the main reason employees are unhappy at work isn’t poor wages, long hours or lack of benefit – it’s the boss.
Another survey shows 28% of employees would opt for a better boss over a $5,000 raise.
Managers set the tone. Just as kids watch their parents for cues on how to act and handle situations, employees do the same with managers.
In addition, employees want a manager that’s human. They want an approachable boss that’s sympathetic to life inside and outside of work. From a family illness to problems with a coworker, research shows employees are happier when they work with compassionate, problem-solving leaders rather than dictators.
3. Take a break
A good owner understands that working employees to the bone doesn’t encourage productivity, let alone improve customer service.
Plan a few events throughout the year that give employees some time to unwind. Host a family BBQ on the weekend, take individual departments to a local sporting event or let employees go a few hours early on a random Friday.
If you want, appoint a “social chair” that plans a few events throughout the year so you don’t have to take time to plan and coordinate them.
4. Ask employees for feedback
If you’re not sure what kind of morale-boosting incentives to deploy, just ask your employees. Employees want to be heard. When supervisors ask employees what they can do to make their workday better, it’s a morale-booster in itself.
After you collect feedback, select a few ideas and implement them. Hold a morning meeting, explain the new efforts that you’re working on and praise the employees that suggested them.
5. Use game-like apps to keep employees engaged
There’s officially an app for everything. There are apps that are designed to keep your employees happy and engaged. Here are a few to try:
You can use Actionbound to create a scavenger hunt for your employees. Set aside a Saturday for a team-building day, and have teams work through a scavenger hunt in your store and neighboring area.
You can also try Scavify, an employee engagement app that let’s your staff compete in digital challenges, get points and earn rewards. Your list of challenges can be work-related. For instance, the list for restaurant staff might include high-fiving a coworker, collecting written feedback from a customer or taking on a task that’s not in their daily job description. As tasks are completed, the employee checks them off their challenge list, which lives on their smartphone. Employees get points, which you can reward in a manner you see fit.
By working to improve employee morale, you’ll likely see several benefits ripple through your business. The overall environment will feel more positive, turnover will likely decrease and employees will feel more motivated to serve your customers in a positive way.
What efforts do you take to keep employee morale high? Add your ideas to the comment section below.