Happy New Year! Has that phrase lost its usefulness? What kind of wish is that - really? Has it worked for you? No? You want to know why? Because, like everything else in life, our happiness is our responsibility. Sitting around waiting for that overused wish to kick in is not practical.
Now is a grand time to reflect on our personal happiness. But why stop there? Being an astute business owner like yourself, it would do you good to reflect on the happiness of your employees and your customers. There is a strong correlation between the two. If one isn't happy, then the other isn't either.
This concept hit me like an avalanche a few weeks ago. I was patronizing a cool, little grocery store. Okay, it was Trader Joe's. It just opened on my side of the city. I still remember opening day, it was if the gates of heaven had opened. With a smile on my face and my feet practically floating through the air, I pushed my loaded cart up and down each goody-filled aisle. I, along with everyone else in that store, was in a state of bliss. Every visit thereafter has been nothing short of pleasantness. Sometimes, I float, er, stop in if I'm in a bad mood, just so I'm happy again. On this most recent visit, I paid particular attention to what makes it such a happy place. The upbeat music? Bright lighting? Cool copywriting on the products? (I have a soft spot in my heart for that). Yah, sure. But that wasn't all. It didn't 'register' until I was at the cash register. I conversed with a TJ employee about working there. She listed several reasons for her thrill of jumping out of bed at 5am; job rotation, team atmosphere, respect for company and coworkers, motivation & support from management and just pure belief in the product.
Aaaah ha. The employees are so happy working there, they want you to see and feel what they do. They are happy to help you and make your visit both fun and fulfilling, because that is what their days are about. Ever been to a business with disgruntled, miserable employees? How does it make you feel going there or calling them?
This may seem like a lesson in Customer Service, rather than Marketing, but it isn't, totally. It's Marketing your brand, your image...through your employees. How do you want customers to see your company/product/service? Fun, quality, knowledgeable, respectful, committed, motivated? Or lazy, mad, disengaged?
Start investing in your employee's happiness. Then have a Happy New Year.