Building a Lasting Culture of Employee Appreciation

Employee Appreciation Day is recognized on the first Friday in March. While an annual employee appreciation day is nice, building a lasting culture that values employees has a much greater impact. Businesses with a culture that values and engages employees enjoy higher productivity, lower absenteeism, lower turnover and higher profitability. Businesses that successfully build that culture also see positive results with customers. Numerous studies have found a direct link between engaged, happy employees and loyal, happy customers. Studies focused on employee engagement found that engaged employees are willing to go above and beyond for their companies and customers. There are many pieces that must work together to create a productive organizational culture. Here are three practices that build a culture that values and appreciates employees. Ask Employees For Feedback  Employees who interact with customers have a wealth of information about your customers. They are in the best position to understand customers’ likes and dislikes. They also understand how internal processes can be improved to better serve customers. Make employees a valued part of the business by asking them to watch for ways to improve how you interact with and serve customers. Establish methods for employees to regularly and easily share what they know. Value Employee Feedback Asking employees for feedback is not enough. Use the information they share to make changes that improve the experience for customers and for employees! Employees feel valued and appreciated when they see that their feedback is used to improve the organization.   Empower Employees Employees who feel valued, are motivated to go above and beyond to meet customer needs. Let them! Provide training to help employees understand customers as well...

Which Comes First–Great Employees or Great Service?

Employee engagement receives a great deal of attention. What is meant by that? Employee engagement is broadly considered to be the relationship between an organization and its employees. Employees who are engaged are enthusiastic about their work and actively support the organization. It makes sense then that employee engagement is linked to customer experience. Companies with engaged employees have been found to benefit by increased profits, decreased employee turnover and improved customer experience. According to a recent KPMG study, 70% of engaged employees report having a good understanding of customer experience versus just 17% of disengaged employees. In the same study, companies with engaged employees experienced a 19% increase in income while companies with disengaged employees experienced almost a 33% decrease. Engaged employees work harder for customers, both internal and external, and recommend their company’s products and services. That’s powerful! Create a Culture of Engagement Creating a culture of engaged employees starts with communicating clear goals and expectations. Employees want to know how they contribute to the larger organizational goals and at what level they need to perform to meaningfully contribute. Understanding how they contribute leads to a stronger team environment where employees interact, work together and appreciate how others contribute to the organization. Encouraging innovation engages employees to look for better ways to do things. This is especially true for touch point employees who see first-hand how to improve customer experience. Encourage Open Communication Create an environment of open communication that doesn’t criticize new ideas and setup easy channels for employees’ ideas to surface. Connect actions taken to employee suggestions so employees see and understand how their input...