Guide

Why the Employee Experience Matters

When doing business, it’s easy to focus on building relationships with clients and converting more customers. This is natural, and it’s the most direct way to maximize profits. But equally important is the other half of the supply chain. The importance of building good relationships with employees cannot be understated. Building better relationships will lead to many benefits for business productivity, motivation, and effectiveness.

Employees are the frontline of any business, and so they act as your business’ representatives whenever they interact with your clients. Motivating them by showing them they work for a useful and considerate company is an excellent way to leverage employees to create organic endorsements of your products and services. Another way to help employees is to give them access to the right tools to do the job you need them to do. This could be equipment for renovating homes, lists of leads for sales teams, or something as simple as setting your marketing team up to start using a unique 888 number.

The list of ways managers and business owners can help their employees do better is as diverse as the list of business ideas. Instead, in this article, we’ll look at the “whys” and the benefits of building good relationships with and between your employees.

1. People Are Your Most Important Asset

Your customers may be paying you for what your business does, but without employees, your business can’t do that. You may have advertising to secure customers, but don’t downplay the impact good and bad word of mouth about the quality of your products and services can have on your sales. The benefits businesses in terms of industry recognition and brand identity from the services and craftsmanship of excellent employees are as important as any marketing campaign operating with a similar budget.

Essentially, the challenge facing employers in managing their employees is getting employees invested in the success of the business. Employers can do this indirectly by providing productivity incentives. These employee benefits can be extended all the way to paid vacations, event nights, and award ceremonies. This can also be done directly, for example, by giving shares of the business as part of employees’ compensation.

2. Well-Managed Employees Boost Revenues

This is why very large corporations will invest in hiring organizational behavior, psychology, and mental health professionals for their human resources teams. Employees aren’t machines, and treating them like they are is a sure way to run out of business. Some businesses use

personality tests to assist with the recruitment and placement of new hires, and it isn’t a bad idea for most businesses to invest in a week or two of on-the-job training for new employees.

Employers need to communicate with employees effectively to get the most out of them in terms of return on investment and effectiveness. It’s up to employers to, at the very least, provide the resources employees will need to gain the skill and tool competencies they require for the job.

Effective communication for managing employees can be as simple as a brochure detailing standard operating procedures. Employers can boost the effectiveness of information dissemination by applying design elements that make information easier to process and remember.

At the end of the day, investing in your employees is an investment in your business’ revenue generation.

3. Employees Affect Customer Opinion

I briefly touched on this in the previous section; the amount of respect and passion your employees have for your business has a direct impact on the way customers see your business. A dissatisfied or disgruntled employee can be disastrous for customer relations. 

Some situations involving dissatisfied employees can even negatively impact your business’s ability to respond to customers or make sales. 

So, you need to respect your employees and make sure they feel valued. Find ways to let them know that the work they do is essential and appreciated.

4. Motivated Employees Contribute More

More than merely serving as your business’ workforce, employees can be encouraged to be creative, innovative, and resourceful. It’s all about providing opportunities for employees to excel and rewarding them for work well done. Innovation and creativity are powerful forces that can empower your business’ performance to rise to the next level.

5. Employees Are Long-Term Investments

Companies in highly competitive industries can sometimes have staggeringly high employee turnover rates. In effect, this forces management at those companies to have a fully staffed recruitment team at all times. Continuously recruiting and training new employees to replace older ones that have left your company is expensive, and it doesn’t provide the main benefit to employers for training employees: organizational efficiency. 

The cost of hiring and training a new employee is more than the upfront costs; it’s also the opportunity cost of losing the more experienced employee the new one is replacing.

Another negative impact of high employee turnover is its detrimental effect on employee morale. If one employee decides to quit due to unbearable working conditions, other employees might follow suit.

This is why it is so important for business owners to meet and talk with their employees to air out grievances and open the floor for suggestions and workshop solutions.

The Difficulties of Hiring

People new to the job market and those in between jobs are getting more discerning. It’s more difficult than ever to hire dedicated and competent people. The global market has shifted to a greater focus on flexible and remote working conditions. Workers are becoming more tech-savvy; they are learning to leverage their skills to work remotely.

There’s nothing wrong with this; it’s the natural end of a rapidly globalizing economy. “Office hours” start to make less and less sense the more you consider the possibility of truly global teams of people working behind the scenes to support a business operating locally in a single major city.

To continue to hire competitively and to attract the best talent available on the hiring market, employers need to evaluate their hiring terms. Consider granting employees more autonomy and reducing oversight —some employees really do work best if given a goal and a deadline. What’s great about veteran employees is that they’re usually the ones who’ve worked with your business for long enough to know the best way to go about achieving your business goals within your deadlines.

But —again— it’s important to listen to suggestions from your employees. Even after you’ve filled out your team, hiring is a continuous process. Retention is a part of hiring, and it’s a process that never ends. Your employees are your best resource on whether a given goal or deadline is feasible.

Employers should remember that collaborative relationships with their employees contribute so much to their businesses.

How to Treat Employees Well

Workplace studies have shown that employees who feel they’ve been treated unfairly exhibit decreased productivity. These employees are also more likely to engage in deceptive behavior when dealing with the companies they work for and far more likely to quit.

It’s important not to hold these behaviors against demoralized employees. Employees are usually only reacting to their working conditions. The best way to remedy these detrimental effects on a business is not to crack down on employees’ lack of motivation but to resolve the root causes of employee dissatisfaction. Solving the root cause provides the dual benefits of resolving the issue and showing your employees that you really care.

When employees are treated well, they get more done, and with more enthusiasm, the companies they work for get more value for the resources invested in hiring, training, and retention, and customers’ business experiences are improved, leading to increased satisfaction —everyone wins. At this point, I hope I’ve been able to drive home the massive role employee satisfaction plays in the success of your business.

Now, the big question is: how do you actually create employee satisfaction?

Employee satisfaction goes beyond the simple decision to pay for vacations, meals, or parties; the foundation of employee satisfaction is fairness in the workplace.

A fair workplace fosters trust between an employer and its employees. Employees feel more secure; they feel less afraid to act if they feel they are treated fairly, regardless of the effects of their decisions, as long as they act in the interest of the business.

Providing your employees with benefits helps to incentivize excellence, but building trust in a fair workplace involves honoring those incentives, especially when employees succeed beyond your expectations.

How to Find Companies That Value People

If you’re looking at a company’s job posting and wondering if that company is the right kind of organization for you, the best way to start making your assessment is to understand what values are important to you. It can help to put pen to paper for this self-assessment. The first thing you need to do is settle on your answers to the following:

    • Consider what you think is a good work-life balance.
      How much time do you want to be able to spend on yourself and your personal relationships every week? How about every day? How much sleep do you think you need?
  • List your core values. This is an important first step, but one that many people have never committed the necessary amounts of time and introspection to really have put into words. It can help to list the qualities you admire in your personal role models. Another way to gain this understanding of yourself is to ask others. Asking friends and family, mentors, and colleagues can let you see yourself from the outside looking in. You may discover something new about your values that you’d never noticed before.
  • Understand your work style. This will help you give your employer more accurate estimates for deliverables, and it can help you maximize which times of day you’re most productive. Let’s face it, some people are just early birds, while others can’t help but be night owls.
  • Am I willing to sacrifice for what my employer needs me to do? Not everything that needs to be done at work is just a question of how much time and effort you throw at it. Some duties can require employees to resolve ethical and moral dilemmas —if you don’t think it’s ok to sugarcoat a product to make a sale, you probably shouldn’t be working as a used car salesperson.

Conclusion

At the heart of every business are its relationships with its employees. Good employer-employee relationships are built on mutual trust and fairness; the best ones closely resemble the relationship between a mentor and their student. And that should be the main takeaway; employees have a duty to their employers to learn and improve. But employers also have a duty to their employees to foster professional growth.