We’ve been talking a lot about customer care lately in FrodX. Mostly about how everything should be customer focused and about improvements we need to make so customers want to do business with us. Being our customer must clearly benefit them. We’ve said and written a lot on this subject and we’ll keep publishing related content (don’t you worry about it).
At the same time we’re thinking about how important employee motivation is and what kind of relationships we build in our teams – call it organizational structure. In such an environment, employees try their hardest to delight the customers – make them happy if you will. Results (and profit) are merely the logical consequence of such relationships within a business environment.
Good relationships with employees don’t just happen
When we are hanging out with people that are really close to us, such as our relatives and friends, we usually don’t have to think about behaving properly – we are just too relaxed for that. Since we spend so much time with our co-workers, we often act the same, even though this relationship is not the same. Relationships between co-workers are meant to be built intentionally, so sooner or later every company is faced with the task of thoughtfully and systematically building them. The responsibility for good co-worker relations lies on both sides – employees must try their hardest to cultivate good relations among themselves, while employers must create an environment that facilitates these efforts. Both must be aware that their efforts are supposed to improve the business performance of the company and make their customers happy. A company with delighted employees can almost always satisfy their buyers.A company with delighted employees can almost always satisfy their buyers. Click To Tweet
If you hate your job, you’ll hate the customer
Just think about it – how many times have you been faced with a company with clearly unsatisfied employees, which was reflected in their attitude towards you as a customer? And let’s be honest here, how many times have you been that employee? Good customer care always begins with the company’s employees. If our organizational culture enables our employees to feel well respected and motivated to do their jobs, we can build a company with delighted customers. A satisfied and confident employee will do everything in his/her power to keep the customer satisfied. The reverse is true as well – if employees do not feel respected, they will (un)consciously project that feeling to any customer they come across.Good customer care always begins with the company’s employees. Click To Tweet
Management needs to take an active role in creating an organizational culture that encourages and motivates employees. Statistics do not show a very encouraging image of this problem – a Gallup’s study shows that only 30% of employees in USA and Canada are enthusiastic about their job. This is not nearly enough. The situation in Slovenia does not seem to be much different.
The holy trinity of motivation
We’ve known for a while now that money is not the strongest or the most effective motivation tool. This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t offer fair compensation to our employees. It only means that people whose pay provides adequate outside motivation need additional internal motivation that is composed of three elements according to Daniel Pink: autonomy, mastery and purpose. Employees need all of the above to perform to the best of their abilities.
All of us have been driven to exploration and independent thinking since we were children. Work environments enable autonomy by giving employees control over different aspects of their work, such as their tasks or their schedules.
Everyone wants to improve their work performance. This is why we are frustrated while learning to play a new musical instrument or learning to speak a new language. If we don’t get the feeling of progress, our interest fades and sometimes we even quit. The feeling of progress, not only in our work efforts, but in our abilities as well, fuels our desire to learn. This is why managers must carefully consider to whom they want to assign a specific task. If the task is too hard, the employees will lose their footing, but if it’s too simple, it will bore them. Pink stipulates that tasks should be just a little harder than their current work skills, but at the same time employees need support to be able to handle entire tasks in due time.
People who find their purpose in their work can’t lose their motivation. A connection to something that’s bigger than them is the biggest and deepest motivator for them. Our purpose makes us get up in the morning and go to work with pleasure and without complaining – in this case nothing is too hard for us.
If customers are the center of your business, employees are the center of your company
If you want to learn first steps that should bring the organizational culture of your company to the point where your employees become a true team and not only a group of individuals who are forced to work together, follow the tips below:
1. Stimulate your employees.
Managers, do you ever wonder how you could stimulate your employees? FrodX puts great emphasis on excellent teamwork, and that is why we plan to repeat our teambuilding experience from last year when we went sailing. On another, more serious note, we encourage opinion sharing, work from home, flexible hours and many other employee-friendly practices.
2. Educate employees.
Since the needs of the customers are the most important it’s crucial that every employee knows what our customers need and how to get it. This is why it’s not enough to tell all of this to employees, they must learn it themselves.
Education is important. Management must be aware of that and provide training for their employees. FrodX has instituted internal trainings for our employees – sometimes these encounters developed from an internal need or an inside joke (such as our “5 minutes for grammar”), but sometimes they come from the need for new knowledge (our FrodX webinars started as internal events for example).
3. Give autonomy to your employees.
I have already covered this in my post about proper complaint resolution. Employees are the face of your company, so let them show themselves. Give them autonomy in communicating with customers and trust them to use their common sense. You must realize that employees who feel motivated and appreciated will want to provide the best experience for your customers.
Yes, at the end of the day (delighted) customers pay the bills. But don’t forget, employees are the ones that make or break the company. If you give your employees a chance to discover what kind of work makes them happy, their good experience will lead to a good experience of the customer.