In 2017, a Gallup poll confirmed what most of us already knew – people are not happy at work. 85% of surveyed people around the world said they were “dissatisfied” with their jobs in the “State of the Global Workplace” poll.
That’s a depressing number in and of itself, says Kevin Mulleady, world-traveler and Entrepreneurial founder/co-founder of over 25 companies. But as a business owner, you have to think about what that dissatisfaction means in terms of lost productivity and turnover. The consequences are staggering.
“Employee engagement” is a buzzword that everyone in the business world is familiar with, and there have been shifts in company cultures across America in the name of further engaging employees with their work. So how do you address the fact that these measures don’t seem to be working or – worse – are backfiring completely?
Kevin Mulleady “says “It’s all about the difference between investing in ‘engagement,’ and investing in your employees themselves,” says Kevin Mulleady. “It’s a subtle difference, but it makes an incredible amount of difference. When you invest in your employees, you are investing in the future of your company period.”
Investing In Your People Expands Your Retention and Your Recruitment Reach Says Kevin Mulleady
Nobody wants to work for a company that treats them like a disposable asset. They want to work for a company that allows them to feel valued as an individual. “It’s very simple.
When people are happy, they stay,” says Kevin Mulleady. “And when they are happy, they tell their friends and their family – and these days their entire social network. You can’t buy PR like a happy employee posting about how much they love their job.”
The more ways you find to invest in your employees, the more collateral you have when you’re trying to acquire top talent. “Offering continued education, certification reimbursements, conference attendance – these are all ways you can invest in your employees and keep them engaged while they are improving their work skills.
Offer child care programs or reimbursement, give 6% to a 401(k), let people work flexible hours, or offer unlimited PTO – you’ll make your money back tenfold in your employees’ productivity and longevity,” says Kevin Mulleady.
The cost of replacing a top developer because you wouldn’t let her work from home on Wednesdays? That’s an incalculable loss of productivity for the team she worked on – measured in the code notes only she can decipher, the stress of her coworkers who are suddenly saddled with her workload, and the clients who are disgruntled that their new POC has no idea what’s going on.
The average employee stays with a company for 1 to 3 years,” says Kevin Mulleady. “That means that every 5 years or so, you are facing a completely new workforce. There’s no way to build and move forward when you’re teaching the basics over and over. If you can get your employees to stay for 5-10 years instead, you’re looking at a return on investment that almost can’t be measured. You can’t teach that kind of product knowledge and understanding of your culture.”
Happy Employees Means Happy Customers Says Kevin Mulleady
Richard Branson, the business magnate, once famously said “Customers come second, while employees come first.”
In a society whose business mantra is “the customer is always right,” this kind of mindset can come as a cultural shock. But the psychology behind this philosophy is both simple and sound.
Happy, engaged employees build deeper relationships with your clients, says Kevin Mulleady. Since employees are the first line of contact with customers, their interactions have more impact on your brand than any advertising and marketing campaign ever could.
Chick-fil-A is a perfect example of this. We love the cows, but what brings us back over and over is the experience. The “My pleasure!” and the efficient, smiling faces have done more for the fast-food mogul than any of their billboards or commercials.
“People can feel when you’re being genuine. You know instinctively when someone is smiling on the phone even though you can’t see them. When your employees are invested in the mission and they really believe in what they’re doing or selling, it makes a huge impact,” says Kevin Mulleady.