Employee Optimism Boosts Customer Loyalty!
In a Business Week article titled, “Is Optimism a Competitive Advantage?”, author Michelle Conlon examines the provable links between an engaged, happy workforce and the bottom line. She notes that companies don’t directly measure the optimism of their employees; however, they do collect data on employee engagement using questions like, “Does your boss support you in getting the job done?”, and “Do you have a best friend at work?”. Many companies see a relationship between these engagement scores and profitability. As an example, Best Buy says that a 2% increase in employee engagement at one of its electronics stores corresponds to an average increase in sales of $100,000 at that location.
Campbell Soup is an example of a company that had a reputation as having an extremely pessimistic workplace — its engagement scores were the lowest of any big company the Gallup organization, collecting the scores, had ever seen. When Douglas R. Conant became CEO in 2001, he decided that it was essential for Campbell to win in the workplace if it had hopes of winning in the marketplace. He replaced almost all of the 350 top managers in the company, and then he took steps to transform the company to run on a more employee-centric model. He improved the employee training program, upgraded the employee recognition program, and sent up to 10 handwritten notes a day to employees. With Conant’s management changes in place, Campbell’s engagement scores are among the highest of any company measured by Gallup, and the company’s earnings growth has outpaced its competitors.
Pessimism grows in a company when lots of people are laid off or fired. In fact, “From our perspective, any kind of layoff is a sign of mismanagement,” states Michael W. Rude, global HR chief at Stryker, a Michigan medical technology company. The article describes how Stryker HR executives transfered 30 engineers from a division experiencing a drop in orders to another division that was doing better. Engagement scores from both divisions rose rapidly, reflecting employee optimism about the way the crisis had been handled.
Employee optimism breeds customer loyalty. Customers like to deal with happy employees and they are unlikely to want to work with sullen, unhappy ones. When morale is high, your employees’ positive feelings about your business will create similar positive views of your business among your customers. Those customers will purchase more from you, and they’ll tell their friends and colleagues about you, building Word of Mouth about your business.
If you run a small business, you may not bring in the Gallup organization to determine your employees’ engagement scores; however, you can gather feedback at informal employee meetings, collect homegrown surveys, launch effective recognition programs, and watch your employees at work. If you do and if you respond effectively to any problems you uncover, your employees will be engaged in their work, and your business will steadily grow more profitable.
We can help you assess the optimism of your employees and then help you implement business improvements to bolster employee optimism and improve your profitability. Please contact IX Brand SEO Services Company for more information about building customer loyalty and business profitability with employee optimism.