In this article, Steve King, director of Gifts International, shares the three things you need to start doing today to if you want to improve your client and employee relations.
Keep your staff and clients happy and success is sure to follow. Of course, this is a lot easier said than done — there would be a lot more Richard Bransons walking around if the subtle art of human psychology was easy to master.
That being said, there's plenty you can start doing today that will put a smile on your staff and clients' faces and help keep your business running smoothly. Read on for my three top tips for building stronger bonds with the people who are essential to your business.
Give Your Staff Autonomy
Research has uncovered 11 key factors that affect employee wellbeing, which Acas reveals in its guide to improving workplace wellbeing. At the top of this list is autonomy — the freedom to perform your job the way that works best for you.
If you want to keep staff happy in the long run, avoid being overly prescriptive with your company processes. Instead, give your staff plenty of discretion when it comes to how they achieve the results you demand of them and they're sure to be happier and more productive as a result.
This is sure to keep clients happy as well, as this company culture will encourage your staff to be proactive in solving your customers' problems. Your clients will appreciate working with a company that doesn't need to run every little decision down the chain of command, helping to build a strong relationship with them that is sure to last.
Another key contributor to the all-important feeling of autonomy is having some kind of say in the big-picture organisational decisions. While it would be a mistake to get every last member of staff involved in high-level decisions, your team will tend to be happier if you give them a say in decisions that directly affect them. For example, getting their opinion on new protocols and processes they'll be expected to follow will let them know you value their opinion and want to provide them with the autonomy they need to excel in their role.
Lean workspaces devoid of any warmth or personality can seriously affect your staff's wellbeing and productivity, new research suggests. In fact, a study by psychologist Dr Craig Knight revealed that enriching a sparse office with houseplants increased employee wellbeing by a massive 47%, creativity by 45%, and productivity by 38%.
So: fill your office with houseplants for a simple and affordable way to make your staff happier and more productive. Pick your plants from the Telegraph's roundup of the best houseplants to clean the air and your office greenery will also help reduce illness throughout your company too, making them well worth the investment. Just make sure there's at least one plant in each employees' eyeline so everyone feels the benefit.
Nothing quite puts a smile on an employees or client's face like a thoughtful gift. The little things really do make a big difference, and marking Christmas and birthdays with a bottle of their favourite tipple or a beautiful bunch of flowers is the perfect way to show you value your relationship.
If you want to show your clients you see them as more than just a monthly paycheque, send them a considerate gift to mark each anniversary of your relationship together. No matter what business you're in, this kind of attentiveness is going to put you in good stead with your clients.
Gifts are a great way to show your staff you care too. Whether it's at Christmas, their anniversary in the role, or as a reward for some particularly great work, a little something can show your staff you care and really increase their pride in their work.
Keeping every one of your employees and clients happy is no easy task, but following these three tips will get you well on the way to building strong bonds with the people that make your business tick.
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