Take Good Care of the Team that Serves Them
You’ve probably heard this or something similar before; “Take care of your people and your people will take care of your customers.” There’s a reason you’ve heard it before. It’s TRUE!
But…just because something is true doesn’t mean it’s easy.
Whether you’re a surgeon, a practice administrator, a business owner or in upper management at the corporate level, you’ve experienced unhappy team members. You know the ones. They’re negative and unproductive. They do the bare minimum. They bring down team morale and often refuse to be a team player.
You’ve also likely experienced many happy, engaged and inspired team members. They are positive and productive. They do more than is asked of them and do it with excellence. They boost team morale at every turn and are the definition of a team player.
Whether you’re dealing with more of the former or the latter type, believe it or not, the formula is basically the same. To improve your team’s productivity, reduce turnover rates and drive increased revenue for your company, it’s critical you take the time to focus on your employees’ job satisfaction.
A new study out of the Department of Economics at the University of Warwick shows that people are more productive when they are happier at work. Specifically, they determined that happiness made people about 12% more productive.
Umm, who doesn’t want more productive employees? Right. So let’s get busy. Let’s call it The Workplace Happiness Project.
Five Great Ways to Boost Job Satisfaction (Happiness)
- Offer opportunity. Career development should not just be a nice perk. Offering career development and actively seeking out opportunities to help your employees grow lets them know you care about their long-term success. Not to mention that training your team members and allowing them to expand their skill set will help your team become more successful and well-rounded. It could also help with employee retention. Win-win.
- Give focused praise. In my experience, most employees don’t feel they receive enough recognition for the work they do. This should not be! Praise is free and costs your bottom line nothing. But what a difference it can make for your team members! By consistently telling people when they’ve done a good job (when they have, of course), they’ll feel more proud of their work and it will provide them with the incentive to work harder in the future. What’s focused praise? Not just a token “great job” or a thumbs up, focused praise tells the recipient they did a great job but also how that great job impacted the team, the customer, the patient, the bottom line.
- Care about the whole person. It’s easy to focus on an employee’s role, tasks, responsibilities and performance. And to be fair, it is important to focus on these things. As long as it’s not the only thing you focus on. It’s also important to care about the physical and mental wellbeing of your team members. To boost job satisfaction, find ways to show you care about these important areas of your employee’s lives. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Allow time for mid-day workouts, offer flexible hours for someone who has a stressful morning commute. Check in regularly about stress level and workload.
- Foster an environment of friendship. Statistically, most people spend more time at work than they do with their families and friends. To boost job satisfaction, find ways to help your team members connect with one another as friends. Periodic team lunches, happy hours and team-building activities can go a long way toward helping individual employees feel connected to one another outside of work-related projects. Celebrate milestones like birthdays, births and engagements.
- Be open to feedback. Yes. You must. Ultimately, you’ll never know if your efforts are working if you don’t foster feedback channels to see how happy and satisfied your team members are. Conducting regular job satisfaction surveys can help you identify areas of improvement you hadn’t thought about. As important, job satisfaction surveys show your team members that you care about how they feel. When you can freely voice your opinion, you feel more invested in the organization.
If you’re not already convinced of the importance of investing in and caring for your employees, consider this. Organizations with engaged employees outperform those with low employee engagement by 202%! That’s 202 percent!!
By Cyndi Miller, CEO of Miller Public Relations