Every entrepreneur dreams of expanding their business, hiring more people and of course making more money. If they were to prioritize these goals, I’m confident the majority would say making a profit is the most important vision. I would imagine a number might even view some employees as a hindrance to that goal.
I don’t see it that way. The key to making more profit is taking care of your employees. Your people are your greatest resource and the secret to unlocking more profits is to turn inward. The secret is to keep your employees happy and engaged. When employees are happy and engaged, they give your customers better service, tend to work harder and readily promote your business.
Just as every business owner must think about marketing their company, every employee regardless of their position is also a marketer for the business.
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An essential aspect of marketing is the process of getting your customers to understand, like and trust your business. To be great at marketing, you must consider every way a customer can interact with your company. Every single employee is a possible touch point for your business, inside and outside of the office. Many conversations between strangers begin with the question “What do you do for a living?”
If your employees are unhappy with their jobs, their answer won’t be positive about your business, which inevitably results in one more potential customer gone.
If you have happy employees, they can’t wait to tell their friends, family and acquaintances, resulting in more leads and easy conversions.
So how do you make your employees happy? Some think it is as simple as providing them with good company perks and pay, but I would argue employee happiness is much more than that. The culture of your company makes a bigger impact on your employees’ happiness than pay or perks.
I recently spoke to David Long, an employee engagement expert and author of Built to Lead: 7 Management R.E.W.A.R.D.S Principles for Becoming a Top 10% Manager about this very subject. His company has a weekly book club meeting, and his employees have really responded positively. It has become an opportunity for his employees to bond as well as expand and learn.
I have taken a similar approach with my own employees, offering free kindle accounts to each of my new hires. This is more than just a perk of employment; it is a reflection of the culture I want to have at Duct Tape Marketing, one that pushes and encourages all of my employees to learn new things.
Happy employees are generally better at their jobs as well, and their happiness reflects upon their customer service and your business.
As you look to expand your business, try not to focus on the bottom line at the expense of your employees. Your people are your greatest resource and critical to the long-term success of your business – keep them happy and engaged.
John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, speaker and best-selling author Duct Tape Marketing, The Commitment Engine and The Referral Engine. His blog was chosen as a Forbes favorite for marketing and small business and his podcast, a top ten marketing show on iTunes was called a “must listen” by Fast Company magazine.