Studies from the last few years, even decades, prove that having happy personnel increases the productivity and earnings of a business.
As demonstrated by a study published by the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom, happiness increased the productivity of workers by 12%. Harvard Business Review also published a study demonstrating that a business with happy employees can increase both its productivity, by 31%, and its sales by 37%.
But even with this knowledge, the happiness of one’s employees is not often made a priority in the majority of organizations. And putting a smile on your employees’ faces is dependent upon many different factors. Today, I want to mention those which, based on my experience, I can verify as vital in order for your employees’ smiles and happiness to flow in a natural way.
What Are The Factors That Make “My People” Smile?
Why do I use the expression, “my people”? Treating employees with a sense of importance or familiarity and worrying for their wellbeing gives birth to the first factor. Valuing and caring for the personnel which make it possible for you to achieve your business’ mission should form part of the organizational culture and values of your business, and should be a priority as an entrepreneur or team leader who’s in tune with “your people”.
In order for your personnel to grow professionally within your company, create a pleasant work environment with allotted areas in which they can disconnect—spaces of designated relaxation, meditation or physical exercise. Showing genuine concern for the work conditions of your employees will positively impact results and performance, and also increase their loyalty, commitment, and sense of belonging to the business. (In addition to having competitive and attractive wages and benefits, of course.)
Another important factor is constantly reminding them of the company’s vision and mission, and inviting them to blend their job with their lifestyle. In order for those who work together to achieve their objectives, there needs to be constant feedback, both of the obstacles and of the successes. “Dream and grow together.”
Another factor of importance is that your staff can count on having the necessary tools and a well established standards operating procedures. Having an efficient operation with a clear game plan of how to reach the proposed mission will make your personnel be more productive and feel more confident and secure; and in addition, provide the basis for the best, continued and sustainable growth of your company.
Leading by example is another key factor in having employees who are not only smiling and happy, but also connected with their leaders. “You should be the first to smile and transmit happiness”. A leader not only serves as a guide of the road to follow, but should be its fountain of inspiration—that person who wakes up with their own personal motivation and opens the floor to creativity, contributing new ideas that create an organizational culture that is pro-innovation—but also should be there sharing the work “shoulder to shoulder” with their employees. You form an active part of the team. But above all, just as you should be the first to smile, you should also be the first to transmit kindness and closeness to your employees so that they will do the same with you and your clients.
By re-creating this environment everyday, it will begin to form part of the culture and the brand of your business, which will flow 100% naturally into the service you provide for your clients. That smile, happiness, kindness and closeness will be perceived, leaving an indelible print on your client’s memory and granting them an authentic experience when they buy your product or service. “Business is all about people” (R. Sharma).
I am sure that by covering each of these bases, you will generate smiles amongst your personnel and reach success in your business. I’m also sure that years will pass and still people who no longer work for you will continue to call you “boss”—and not just out of formality or to feed your ego, but out of respect and admiration for you as a mentor. And it’s then that you will know you’ve achieved your objective to “leave a footprint on both your people and your clients”.
Ana María Pittaluga
Hotel consultant, founding entrepreneur of AMP Hotel Consulting and mentor, with more than 20 years of experience in the tourism and hotel sector, leading business innovation and business development plans in Latin America and Europe.