For the sixth year in a row, job satisfaction has improved in the US, surpassing a 50 percent satisfaction rate since 2005. Despite overall satisfaction, there are areas that increasingly prove problematic for employers, such as promotion policies, performance review processes, and internal recognition. Unsatisfied employees aren’t typically pushing out the best qualities of their employer, leading to problematic external situations.
For a customer service agent, this feeling of unhappiness shouldn’t transfer over to the customer. To create a top-notch customer experience, companies should put their employee’s happiness first. Executives can increase employee happiness by knowing who makes up their employee-base. One of the most important generations in the workforce today is millennials. The group now makes up the largest generation in the United States workforce, 35 percent in fact. To create happy millennials, executives should focus on creating a strong company culture, purposeful jobs, and opportunities for growth.
Creating a Strong Company Culture
Employers may think they know what employees are looking for in a company culture – games, free food, weekly happy hours. What plays an even stronger role in recruitment for a company is a set of core values that encourage innovation and creativity that employees can get behind. It’s not enough to write these values down on paper – C-suite executives must live by these values, and encourage employees do the same when they engage with customers.
Passion also plays a large role in employee happiness – if employees are dedicated to their employer and role at the company, they’ll transfer this passion into a strong work ethic to solve customer issues. This passion for work and creating an innovative culture begins with the C-Suite and continues to all levels of the company. When employees can see their leaders and peers are engaged and happy at work, they’ll too work harder to contribute to company success in their role as a face for the company – in and outside of the workplace.
Amplifying Employee Purpose
A company’s biggest proponent should be its own employees – who better to promote your company’s strong business model and customer service. According to Heather Brunner, CEO and Chairwoman of WordPress, it’s the CEO’s role to increase employee engagement through a power of purpose throughout the company. When employees know they have a true purpose in the company, they’ll work toward becoming true advocates for the brand.
Purpose is also strengthened with a strong set of communication systems in place. Employees feel a sense of purpose when they feel in the loop with the company’s senior executives. A strong company-wide communications plan can be done through executive presentations or sharing emails with an entire staff. Promoting good news within a company excites employees to be part of something larger and take that excitement to their day-to-day conversations with customers.
Implementing a System of Internal Recognition
According to a report by Gallup, 59 percent of millennials are seeking jobs where there is a clear opportunity to grow and learn. How can executives retain, and create, happy employees? Internal promotion. When employees can map out a path for promotion and future career success, they’re more likely to stay with a company, knowing their work is valued. This pride of tenure also provides a sense of reassurance in customer service – it’s encouraging for customers to know they’re speaking with a representative who has been with a brand for a number of years and respects their time.
Voxpro CEO, Dan Kiely, frequently uses the term “operational beauty” to describe an employee’s personal journey toward growth as an individual, both personally and professionally. By having recognition programs in place and highlighting internal promotion, employees tend to work harder, knowing they may have stronger job security and that their work is valued to grow with a company over a period of time.
When employee happiness can carry over to their day-to-day conversations with customers, it will be apparent that agents enjoy their job and company. That excitement will be evident through chat systems, phone calls, and emails. It shouldn’t be taken for granted that feeling of purpose walking into the office every day, wanting to make a difference in your company. When top executives exude excitement, agents will want to do the same down the line for customers.