For most business owners, customer satisfaction is the number one goal – happy customers are loyal customers, right? Well, in order to make sure that’s always the case, you need to keep your employees happy too; after all, they’re the ones who sell the products and answer the phone when something’s not quite right, unhappiness can be contagious.

In fact, there are plenty of knock-on effects that come with keeping your staff smiling while they work, let’s take a look in more detail.

Maximum productivity

There’s plenty of research showing that the happier employees are, the harder they’ll work – so that’s the first obvious reward. A recent study by the University of Warwick, for example, found that happiness made people 12 per cent more productive on average. The same academics highlighted a productivity increase of 37 per cent at Google, a company famous for investing in employee wellbeing.

Dr Daniel Sgroi from the university said: “The driving force seems to be that happier workers use the time they have more effectively, increasing the pace at which they can work without sacrificing quality.”

Happiness radiates

We’ve touched on it already but the mood of your workforce really does rub off on your customers and partners. If a client calls to discuss an issue they have, and the person they speak to is obviously unhappy, they’ll get a bad impression of the company as a whole – and the more it happens, the bigger the problem is. The same is true for suppliers and business partners – they’ll soon start reassessing their agreements if working with your team becomes a regular chore.

Happiness in your employees, however, will translate into warmer greetings, enthusiasm and natural brand advocacy. The result will, more often than not, be stronger and longer-lasting relationships.

Staff retention

It’s often said that keeping hold of loyal customers is more cost-effective than finding new

ones, and the same is true for staff. Recruitment is an expensive and time-consuming process, so the higher your employee turnover, the more money you spend. It also doesn’t look good to outsiders.

If you want to see loyalty from your workforce, you’ll need to keep them happy. While money isn’t everything, salary is important – are your staff properly compensated for the hard work they put in? Is there equality across the company? People do talk, whether you like it or not, so discrepancies will get found out eventually.

It’s important to realise that engagement is about more than just money – staff should be able to communicate openly about their work and positions, and it should be possible to achieve a decent work-life balance. Flexible working may well encourage your important team members to stick around a little longer.

Of course, there needs to be a balance – work must be treated as work – but it is possible to be professional, productive and happy. In fact, the three go hand in hand pretty perfectly.

Attracting better employees

When your employees go back to their personal lives, they will inevitably speak about work from time to time – with their family at home and with friends in the pub. This chat will almost always be honest, so it’s important that the right things are said.

An unhappy employee will only spread negative sentiment about your company. This, of course, will influence brand image, but if it goes far enough, it could impact your recruitment efforts too. Who wants to work somewhere they know the current employees are unhappy? It’ll be especially difficult to attract talent if there are multiple job offers on the table.

On the other hand, word soon spreads about companies that treat their staff well. Perks get bragged about and positive conversations leave lasting impressions!

Where to start

If you’re worried about morale among your workforce, there are steps you can take – and you can begin today. The key really is transparency: be honest with your team, and allow them to be honest with you. If that takes a little anonymity, so be it. You could create a confidential survey to find out exactly what your employees think at present. You won’t be able to act on everything, and there will no doubt be a few unrealistic requests, but it should help you highlight the main issues. You can then devise an improvement plan. Just be sure to keep everyone updated as you go. Good luck!

At SF Group we support our employees through their whole journey with our business from offer to well into their career development and beyond. We really feel that a happy workforce is very important and want to ensure our employees are looked after, hence why we have been positioned in the Sunday Times Top 100 Businesses to work for 2017 for the 3rd year running.

Aside from offering the best remunerating in the industry and an uncapped and highly rewarding bonus scheme, we run many staff incentives and offer employee ‘thank you’s’ as a recognition for our employees hard work. Our ‘thank you’s’ vary from meals out, vouchers and weekends away. We are also sending all employees to various destinations this summer such as Marbella and Barcelona! We also offer time for charitable working which is a key employer driver right now.

If you would like to find out more about the job opportunities that we have available within SF Group or would simply like help with your next career move or filling a vacancy then please do get in touch on 0845 519 3655 or email recruitment@sfgroup.com.