Your employees are the lifeblood of your business. More valuable than your bottom line, they are the true barometer of your success. And, if your employees are happy, then it’s more likely that your customers will be happy too.

We’re not saying that you should forget about the customer experience. Not at all. But by starting with the people that matter most – the employees who make your business tick over every day – then the customer experience stuff will come naturally.

Holding onto employees matters

Just a few years ago, Gallup declared a worldwide employee engagement crisis. Companies were failing to engage their most valuable asset, with “who cares” cultures pervading even the most forward-thinking companies.

Holding onto employees is getting more difficult, with nearly 33% of new hires looking for new jobs within six months of starting. It seems there’s a distinct lack of loyalty in the air – and the cost to business is growing. According to one estimate, staff turnover in the first 12 months in Australia costs a staggering $3.8 billion.

But it’s not just the cost of recruitment, onboarding and upskilling replacements that you have to consider. You’ve also got to think of the effect that unhappy employees have on customer perceptions of your brand. What message – overt or otherwise – are they sending out?

Happy staff, happy customers

A recent Forbes article states that employees who are engaged are more likely to improve customer relationships, with a resulting 20% increase in sales. Another found that companies with happy employees show 147% higher earnings per share than their competitors. Ker-ching.

What is it all about? Why does employee happiness matter? Put simply, bad moods are contagious. Psychologists call it emotional contagion – like the flu or the common cold, one person’s feelings can be passed on to those nearby. If you’ve got an unhappy employee at work, then their bad mood can spread throughout the office. Worse, if customers are interacting with these employees, then the negative sentiment can spread to them too.

 How to make your employees happy

Building a culture where your employees are engaged and happy is very doable. To get there, you need a mix of strategies from departments as diverse as HR and IT. For example, HR can ensure that staff are given clear pathways for growth and are suitably rewarded and recognised for their work. Your people are much more likely to become engaged and invested in their jobs if they know there’s a future there.

When it comes to technology, there’s some really interesting research out there that shows a strong correlation between employee satisfaction and tech. It makes sense – most people today have the latest technologies at home, flipping between their handheld device and their laptop while they yell questions at their smart speaker. Why should work be any different?

Equipping employees with modern devices matters more than ever. So does giving employees access to the productivity apps and platforms that will make their working lives easier. Recent research from DocuSign found that employees who still have to perform manual, paper-based tasks at work are feeling stuck in a cycle of repetition, are unproductive and “behind the times”. Survey respondents spoke of feelings of frustration and, significantly, said they’d look for a new job when employers don’t update their systems to align with the times.

In the same research, when asked about what makes them more likely to stay with their job, the three top answers were:

  • Implementing employee suggestions
  • Being given new technology to work with
  • Automating repetitive tasks

To hold onto their best employees, Australian companies must show their workers they are listening and provide them with the latest technologies for greater employee engagement. It doesn’t have to cost the earth. Simple changes – like switching from paper-based signing of contracts and forms to using eSignatures – can make all the difference.

Happy?

We hope this article has provided some food for thought and you’re inspired to inject a little happiness into your workplace. Bring in some cupcakes, crank up the feel-good tunes, and praise your co-workers for their efforts big and small. Remember, just like those bad moods you want to avoid, happiness is contagious too.

To see for yourself how you can use DocuSign to inject a little happiness into your workplace, sign up for a 30 day free trial.

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