You may well have heard them playing on the radio or in shopping centres for a little too long but there can be no denying that most Christmas songs are upbeat encouragements to have a good time and be good to your fellow man. And, the festive season really does seem to bring out the best in people.
I love that about Christmas but it always makes me wonder why we can’t all be a bit more ‘festive’ during the rest of the year? The world would be a much better place if we didn’t just limit our thoughtfulness and cheer to one month (or one day). And, think of the increased levels of customer satisfaction that would be achieved as a result!
Recent research around employee engagement, by the Institute of Customer Service, highlighted the fact that customers have a much better experience, and are more likely to return, when they deal with a friendly, genuinely happy person. It makes the whole interaction and customer journey that much more pleasurable.
This seems like basic common sense when you say it out loud but based on the results of the research, it’s not always the case. Engaged team members, those who have an emotional commitment to your organisation and its goals, will go the extra mile, empathise with your customers and always be looking for solutions – they are those ‘festive all year-round’ people that I love.
These are the kind of team members we all want working for us but according to the report employee engagement has never been more challenging, nor more crucial to business performance. They recommend focusing on six essential elements to make it happen:
- Bringing your vision and values to life
- The critical role of first line managers
- Authentic, regular, relevant communication
- A genuine employee voice
- Enabling and developing employees
Alas, there is no quick-fix approach to improving engagement levels with your employees. But, by making sure they know where they fit and what value they bring to your business, empowering them to really care about your customer and recognising them when they do it well will definitely improve both employee and customer satisfaction.
So, let’s make 2017 the year we keep the festive spirit alive and take that ‘go the extra mile’ attitude with us.
Julia Orr is Head of Communications for Mitie Client Services