- Employee wellbeing positively affects customer experience. Fact.
- The need to retain customers and create repeat loyal business is of utmost importance to the ongoing viability of businesses, large and small. Now more so than ever. Fact.
- Employee wellbeing has never been more vital for business and employees alike. Fact.
Focusing on employee wellbeing is not only the right thing to do for our employees, it is also good for business performance. This is especially the case now. Customer service professionals need to be on their game like never before. Whether to reassure concerned customers, respond to needs, or to identify what will help them the most in the future, it is necessary to build relationship with our customers. Employee wellbeing is the key to this.
The health of your employees is directly linked to the performance of your business.
Whilst the pandemic of 2020 has brought widespread fear and anxiety to the world, it has also heightened universal awareness for the importance of health and wellbeing. Add this to the already widely held belief that creating a great service experience is supported by engaged and motivated employees, and health and wellbeing becomes a board essential, an integral component of employee engagement.
The promotion of health and wellbeing in the workplace results in a more healthy and balanced lifestyle for its employees. This leads to reduced anxiety and less stress, which directly influence the way customer facing professionals handle the needs of your customers. The health of your employees is therefore directly linked to productivity and individual performance, and as a result, the performance of your business.
Without this, we waste time and resources through increased absenteeism and presenteeism.
“When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute”
According to the American Psychological Association, 91% of workers at companies that support employee wellbeing say they feel motivated to do their best. Companies with engaged employees outperform those without by 202%. Source: Gallup.
But how do employers achieve this? Like all human beings, employees like to feel safe, seen, heard, and valued. As Robert McNamara, the Former American Secretary of Defence to the Kennedys said: “Brains, like hearts, go where they are appreciated.”
An effective corporate wellbeing initiative needs to take account of all elements affecting the lives of their employees, including social, physical, mental, emotional, financial, intellectual, career, community and environmental wellbeing. It also calls for a work culture which encourages two-way communication, creates trust, and is flexible when it needs to be. This will help demonstrate to employees they are recognised as individuals, heard, listened to, respected and valued.
Showing employees that you value them and the work they’re doing is one of the easiest ways to boost their motivation.
“The concept of employee engagement is sometimes confused with happiness, but it’s really about an employee’s psychological investment in their organisation and motivation to provide extraordinary results” says Ken Oehler, Aon’s Global Culture & Engagement Practice Leader.
It is essential to build relationships with employees and to recognise them as individuals with human concerns, resulting from work-related and non-work-related issues.
The needs of all individuals will vary, although research undertaken by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the USA indicates that, specifically in relation to customer service professionals, the top 10 wellbeing needs are:
- Stress and anxiety
- Job instability
- Insomnia/sleep disorders
- Emotional exhaustion
- Physical health
- Interpersonal conflict
- Lack of resources
- Demanding schedules
Workplace stress is costly in more ways than one. It is important for employers and employees alike to recognise its implications and take steps to help reduce stress at work, as well as to provide support, where possible, outside of work. This helps the wellbeing of employees and the company itself, especially so where employees are directly interacting with customers. They need to feel supported and protected by their employers at all times.
Excellent customer service is only achievable when employees are motivated, eager to work, where they are in tune with the aims and objectives of the business, and they feel it is the right job for them. If this is the case, they will be more successful in creating relationships with their customers, with positive energy.
As the face of the organisation, the health and wellbeing of customer service employees is the ultimate game changer. Burnout will make them less motivated to work, it also affects the relationship they have with the customers.
Customer service professionals who are positive towards their job become more enthusiastic, energetic and confident in what they do. They will also be more likely to successfully help customers resolve issues and will provide overall higher standards of customer service.
“Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers” ~ Stephen Covey, author of ‘The 7 habits of highly effective people’.
This feature is written by Beverley Le Cuirot, Founder and Director, WellBeing World, WellBeing At Work and Leaders in WellBeing.
The ‘Leaders in WellBeing – Re-imagined Summit’ will be broadcast during Global Leaders in WellBeing Week – 2nd to 6th November 2020 – www.leadersinwellbeing.com