Happiness equals happy employees, happy customers and happy stockholders

The “Ahh Haa” Moment

A few years ago, I asked myself: “How do I achieve business success?” Of course, you start by searching for answers on the web, in order to get some sort of direction. I asked Google “What makes businesses succeed?” Guess what Google answered? A ton of things like Company Culture, Customer Service, Unique Selling Proposition, Understanding the Buyer Personas in your Business, Attitude, Business Strategy, Great Processes… You get the point.

But after reading all these wonderful ideas and processing them, I asked myself: “What makes me happy?”

Family time, doing the correct thing, helping others, having time to do what I want without interruption, living a long life are answers to quickly followed this question. I was intrigued to find out that what I wanted was so obtuse to what the “experts” were suggesting I do to be successful.

That’s when I had an “Ahh Haa” moment: “What if what I want for myself is exactly what I am shooting for in my business?” And that’s when it hit me: my company, my employees, my customers and I need to be happy in order to achieve long-term success in our business.

If I’m not happy, how can my staff be happy? And if my staff isn’t happy, how can my customers be happy?

If my customers aren’t happy, revenues go down and my shareholders are unhappy. (FYI: I am a shareholder.)

Don’t get me wrong, successful businesses all have great employees, the right habits or processes in place to achieve success. But what really drives this is happiness at all levels? This sounds fundamental and simple at best but think about Apple and the simplicity of their products and how great they are. Sometimes the simpler the solution, the greater the reward.

Just Be Happy

That’s when I started acting happier. By becoming happier, I understood my employees better and, in turn, it helped me be happier and happier as time went along.

Now I know this sound funny (crazy funny), but let me share a fact with you. As part of my happiness initiative, I asked our employees what would make them happy, both personally and at work. They answered and, to my amazement, figured out that they were unhappy at both.

I knew I could control the business’ happiness issues, but how could I control the personal happiness issues? I realized I needed to act fast and start making changes; our employees we very unhappy.

The Transformation

We realized we had to do something because our employees were so unhappy. That’s when we decided to start involving employees in all office-related planning and conducted a pay scale/job position study to ensure our employees were well paid and not overworked, according to national pay scale and job position averages.

After performing the employee satisfaction survey,  it pinpointed the following problem areas affecting our employees:

  • They felt underpaid
  • They felt overworked
  • They felt underappreciated
  • They felt undervalued
  • They wanted more ongoing training
  • They felt they had no room to grow in the company
  • They believed the administration was not in sync with their needs
  • They did not understand their role and how it impacted the growth of the company
  • They were facing many personal issues
  • They felt the company didn’t care about them
  • They could not afford better healthcare or childcare

Once we recorded our findings, we addressed them by doing the following:

  • Created flexible work hours options, as long as production quotas were met
  • Increase salaries by 20% to match or exceed industry/regional salary averages, based on their job description
  • Created a clear growth path for employees that wished to grow within the company
  • Improved incentive plans, not only inspire greater quality and production but for employees to achieve time off, in order to spend more time with their families
  • Created a true vision for the company that took into consideration the shareholders, customers, employees, and asked our employees to create the values for us. They did.
  • Let the employees remodel their offices (within a budget) the way they wanted it

The Results!

In just 6 months after the implementation of our “happiness culture”, the changes were spectacular! Our focus on aligning our shareholder, employee, and customer happiness provided us with the following results:

  • COGS (Cost of Goods Sold) decreased by 5%
  • Revenue increased by 5%
  • Overtime decreased by 50%
  • Unplanned absenteeism decreased by 70%
  • Production increased by 12%
  • Production errors dropped by 50%
  • Employee satisfaction increased by 70%
  • Employee retention on an additional round of hiring had 100% retention (Previously 1 out of 3 employees would stay)
  • Employee laser-guided focus!
  • Just a better attitude towards the company by all employees

Now, don’t get me wrong. You must have a great business acumen to be great at business, but your results will not be what you expect without happiness culture.

Start with a Smile :) and truly be happy and successful!

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