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  • Writer's pictureKate Bradshaw

Happy Employees = Happy Customers

For over 20 years we have been a successful company with a trusted brand and a reputation for providing exceptional support and service.

We learnt very quickly that having a positive work culture and employing the right people would pay dividends with our customers.

It's a simple approach but one we have found to be highly successful, happy employees equals happier customers and we work hard to ensure our team members are well rewarded, have the opportunity to develop and grow and most importantly are recognised for the contribution they make to our company every day.

In this blog we share some of the lessons we have learnt over our 20 years of business and provide some pointers to how we have maintained high levels of customers satisfaction over many years.

What We Do at QHC is More than Just a Job

Live life well, is more than a slogan to us, it's what we believe in and what we strive to do every day with the people we support. Our focus is about providing opportunity so people can live a life that has meaning and purpose. When you look at what we do through this lens, then what we offer to team members is so much more than a job. It's an opportunity to make a difference and help people succeed-What more motivation do people need?

We Celebrate Accomplishments, Big and Small

We are fortunate in that we see people succeed every day. It is not only the big achievements in life that make us smile, it is more often, the small almost unnoticeable steps people take that give us the most satisfaction. When this happens, we make sure we acknowledge the achievement and celebrate it in some way. At times it is too easy to take what happens in peoples lives for granted and not appreciate the enormous effort that has gone into taking that first step.

We Encourage Positive Attitudes

Team member morale has a domino effect, a few negative team members can bring down morale, motivation and culture. We have found that the opposite is also true, being positive, supportive and uplifting encourages others to be the same. We are a positive company with a positive outlook and we encourage our whole team to adopt the same approach.

We Listen to Team Members Concerns and Ideas

We have found that transparent communication is critical for creating a positive and supporting working environment. Sometimes all our team members want, is to be heard and know that their voice is important. We always listen to our team members and although we may not necessarily always agree, we let team members know that their voice and opinions matter and we take action whenever needed.

We Build Trust-It's an Essential Ingredient To Success

When people have trust in the company, their manager and their colleagues they are not afraid to talk honestly and openly. Our minds long for certainty and consistency and trust comes when we are able to predict with some level of accuracy what will come next. We have learnt that people want to feel safe and secure and when this happens communication is more effective, engagement improves and people generally perform better.

Choose the Right Leaders

We have learnt that a poor manager can have quite an impact on team morale and culture. We always try to recruit people who get us, are positive and are team players. We look for leaders who can establish rapport and build trust quickly, who are open and transparent in their dealings with people and who are supportive and encouraging to colleagues and teams.

Working on the premise that happy employees equals happy customers, we found an article that had adapted Maslow's hierarchy of needs to employee engagement. We found this article useful as it described the most likely behaviours of team members who are more or less engaged at work and the impact this can have on team motivation. We found the graphic below helpful as it helped us understand what practices we needed to refine or replace if we wanted to increase engagement and retain the talents of our high value team members.

If we apply this to employee engagement, we can see at the bottom of the pyramid you have the worst case scenario: the disengaged employee. Most people – unless you’ve been lucky in your career path – will be able to empathise with this level.

The job you have isn’t the job of your dreams. It’s not even a job that’s on the right path to the job of your dreams. It pays the bills, and that’s about the only good thing you can say about it – and as soon as you have a better opportunity, you’ll be out the door.

From a business point of view, if you recognise this kind of thinking in any of your employees or colleagues, huge alarm bells should be going off in your head. A disengaged employee won’t stick around, and as most people know, staff turnover is not only disruptive for a small business, but very expensive.

Right at the top of the pyramid is the ultimate employee, the high flyer. This is the colleague you really want on your team because they make management effortless. They’re self-motivated, enjoy their work and look to help others. They’re as engaged as they can be and aren’t remotely interested in looking for other work because their needs are already being fulfilled. Want to know how to get employees in gear and move them up to the next level? This is where management needs to step in and recognise that a certain amount of time must be dedicated to employee welfare.

While not every employee will be self-motivating and enthusiastic, by providing a supportive, constructive atmosphere from day one, you can remove any barriers that are stopping good employees from becoming great employees. Focus on making employees happy, and in turn, they will make your customers happy. What’s happening on the inside of the organisation is felt on the outside by the customers.

The best work environments are those that are able to provide a space where all of our fundamental needs are met. This is the essence of a great work culture and when we don't provide that culture, human nature will push our employees out the door looking for better opportunities. In other words, if you're ignoring your employees' fundamental needs, you'll never keep your employees happy.

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