I’m sure you’ve heard the sayings “Our employees are our greatest asset” and “Happy employees are productive employees”. And, more often than not, these phrases amount to nothing more than a lot of lip service from the individuals or companies that are sharing them. However, we’re here to tell you the research shows that these statements are both very true. If you make better hiring decisions, it will lead to happier employees which will lead to happier customers. And, once you build a workforce filled with happy employees, the results will be clear on your balance sheet.
With that being said, it is possible you may have a bit of work to do before you can realize any returns. A recent Gallup report shows that 69% of your employees are unhappy, disengaged, and are not motivated to do their best. Let that sink in for a minute...a large majority of your employee population is simply going through the motions. Doing just enough to stay under the radar and possibly even looking for another job while on the clock.
On the flip side of this, a happy and engaged workforce has tremendous potential to increase company revenue growth and shareholder value.
In his book, The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Achor makes the case that the single greatest advantage in the modern economy is a happy and engaged workforce. A decade of research has proven that happiness raises nearly every business and educational outcome: raising sales by 37%, productivity by 31%, and accuracy on tasks by 19%.
In fact, a study from Yale researchers Nathan Yang and Ahmed Khwaja has revealed that more engaged salespeople drive more sales. Specifically, Yang and Khwaja found that over the course of 150,000 car rental transactions with over 100,000 customers, highly engaged sales reps in the rental car industry are more likely to successfully upsell their customers to higher class cars with wider profit margins and leave their customers more satisfied.
The facts are hard to dispute but creating a happier workforce is much easier said than done. You may be asking yourself right now, where do I start?
The easiest place to start is with the people that you are bringing into your organization and it’s imperative that the people you are hiring are a fit in the following three areas.
Culture – Every company has a unique culture. Some are collaborative. Some are entrepreneurial. Some are highly structured (bordering on micromanaging). Hiring an employee that thrives in one and falters in another can set up an employee up for success (or failure) depending on how the match is made.
Job – We often hire people into entry-level positions that do not require specific experience on their resume. Because of this, it’s important to understand some of the nuanced aspects of the job in order to determine whether or not an employee will remain engaged. Is it monotonous or repetitive? Are they required to think on their feet? Hiring an employee that gets bored very easily can be disastrous if you put them in a job where they are doing the same task all day every day.
Expectations – Is there an opportunity for growth, promotions, etc.? Does the employee want or need this? Properly setting and delivering on expectations is crucial to making and keeping your employees happy. If the employee you are interviewing sees his or her self rising through the ranks and climbing the proverbial corporate ladder but your current need is for a shift supervisor and you can’t see any near term opportunities beyond that, it would be a disservice to you both.
We’ve established that happy employees can lead to a more profitable company and there are some simple steps you can take to ensure that you are hiring employees that have the best chance of success. However, there’s one other piece of the equation that you may want to consider – partnering with a staffing company to help broaden your reach. Companies like KeyStaff have a vested interest in finding the perfect fit for your open positions. They take the time upfront to understand your culture, the job, and your expectations. Then, they work hard to bring the right people into your organization. Many are even able to take this one step further and test for fit.
None of these solutions are terribly difficult to implement. The key is to recognize the power and importance of a happy workforce and start taking steps now to hire only the best.