"Dispirited, unmotivated, unappreciated workers cannot compete in a highly competitive world." It's one of my favorite quotes from nonprofit leader Frances Hesselbein, and it's an important reminder for all organizations.
To all those reading this blog: how many people do you know who are truly happy in their workplace? Most of my friends in this situation are the ones who are self-employed ... i.e., spared the BS of inane office politics and the incompetents in charge. (As I've explained to friends & family over the years, the reason I'm happily self-employed is because I work for someone I respect.)
Why should management care about how its people feel? The benefits of a positive workplace go beyond the warm & fuzzy directly to the bottom line. According to the Customer Loyalty Research Center, which specializes in measuring both employee and customer satisfaction & loyalty, employees who have better relationships with their companies are more likely to:
- Stay with the company, reducing turnover costs. (You want sticker shock? Ask Human Resources what this really costs.)
- Recommend the company to other potential employees, reducing search expense (which also makes HR folks happy)
- Be more productive on the job
- Provide higher service levels, ultimately increasing customer satisfaction & loyalty (which should make everyone happy).
What does the Customer Loyalty Research Center use to measure employee satisfaction & loyalty? They look at variables that contribute to overall job satisfaction including:
- Relationships with managers and co-workers
- Organizational improvement
- Rewards & recognition
How do you tell if your organization needs to get serious about employee satisfaction? Here's the magic question -- just ask employees "Would you refer a friend to work here?" It's a loaded question, but one that will give you tremendous insight into your organization.