The Critical Link Between Happy Employees & Satisfied Customers

Remember how funny Steve Carrell was as Michael Scott in the cult classic sitcom, The Office?  Michael liked to refer to himself as the “world’s best boss,” even though he exhibited some inappropriate behavior, as well as a general lack of productivity as an employee of Dunder Mifflin. But as Business News Daily points out, Michael actually had some commendable traits that made him a good boss, including enthusiasm for his job and compassion for his employees.

Unfortunately, real life bosses who excel where the fictional Michael failed at political correctness and business savvy, are sadly lacking in employee investment. According to a study by Aon Hewitt, 27% of managers presented with surveys of their employees’ engagement levels never bothered to review them. Furthermore, 52% of managers read the results of company administered employee surveys but took no action (Source: Forbes).

For businesses seeking to improve the customer experience, overlooking the happiness of their employees could be a major hurdle in engaging customers, growing their business, and improving their bottom line.

“Temkin Group reports a correlation between employee engagement and success in customer experience. In its 2016 Employee Engagement Benchmark Study, the firm showed that companies that excel at customer experience have one-and-a-half times as many engaged employees as customer experience laggards do. Gallup has found that a staggering 87% of employees worldwide are not engaged, but companies with highly engaged workforces outperform their peers by 147% in earnings per share.”


Source: Harvard Business Review

Source: Wikimotive
Source: Wikimotive

It shouldn’t be surprising that not all employees want the same development opportunities, rewards, and schedules, suggests Harvard Business Review. Because employees possess different levels of interest in communicating and participating, as well as the types of compensation and rewards they value, companies should strive to offer work experiences designed to appeal to these varying segments.


“The best customer experiences bring the company’s distinctive brand values and attributes to life, and the same is true of employee experiences. Companies should design them to align with the priorities and differentiators of their brands. For example, if a company wants its brand to be known for automation and speed, then the employees’ workplace environment, benefits, performance reviews, and so on should be technology-enabled and fast. If personalization and personal care is what distinguishes a brand, then the employee experience at that company should deliver on those values.


This way, employees experience the benefits of the brand firsthand and are better equipped and motivated to reinforce and interpret them with customers. It also helps to cultivate a distinctive culture in the company, which in turns helps attract and retain employees who fit with the culture and are more likely to thrive in it.”


Source: Harvard Business Review

According to Forbes, “Customer engagement is linked to employee engagement–but more specifically happiness.”

“Creating a happier work environment starts with a company that is willing to listen to what employees want and value. We don’t necessarily need surveys to think about what that might be. Wouldn’t it be better if managers had the freedom and budgets to just give their team what they individually need? Managers can do this by just asking. It’s quite simple.”


Source: Forbes


Harvard Business Review recommends that businesses invest as much in the employee experience as they do in the customer experience to see company-wide benefits.

When employees are more satisfied, employee productivity and retention are higher, resulting in better customer service.



Also published on Medium.

Sherene Funk is the author of the contemporary romance Autumn in Your Arms and two small business e-books. She is a voracious reader who owns more books than she can ever read in this lifetime. A graduate of Brigham Young University, she worked in advertising for many years before moving to her current writing position at Rain Retail Software. She researches non-stop to see what successful retailers do and loves to share what she learns with small business owners.

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