At a conference of human resources managers in Abuja, Miriam, the HR manager of ZX Limited shared the story of her organisation, thus: “When I came on board, I discovered people had attitudes that could crumble the organization within a twinkle of an eye. I mean, the lackadaisical attitude of the workforce was so widespread that it felt as if I was thrown into a civil service workforce in some remote village. But when I looked at the company’s performance in the last five years before I joined, I discovered a robust clientele comprising blue-chip companies and multinationals which were doing businesses worth hundreds of millions. At the moment, unfortunately, the company is struggling to sustain two or three big companies and a litter of small and medium organisations. It’s a baffling situation and I feel like throwing in the towel even though I was brought in to, as the CEO said, revitalize staff morale.”
“Employees are the heartbeat of every organization”, offered a voice from the back of the auditorium. It was the voice of Nicholas, a people development consultant based in Port Harcourt. He remarked that, “All things being equal, a well motivated employee gives his or her all to see to the actualization of the set goals of the organization, whereas, an unhappy employee consciously or unconsciously, looks for ways to derail the organization’s road map.”
“But, how else would you make employees happy after paying their due wages and benefits?” queried Ahmad, a director of personnel in one of the government establishments. Nicholas continued, “Just like Anne Hodkin said, “A happy employee relates that happiness to customers, and vice versa for unhappy ones”.
“Oh. Now I get it.” Miriam interjected. “When we did a customer satisfaction survey, most of the company’s former clients mentioned poor customer experience, stating that they were not getting the right support from staff or that staff were impolite or gave hasty responses, among other complaints. Luckily, though, a few clients stayed because of some good experience they had in the past, hoping that company will get back its lost glory.”
Like similar organisations, the above scenario of workplace negativity at ZX Limited led to decreased productivity, bruised brand reputation, loss of clients and, of course, loss of revenue. So, how should your organisation make your employees happy apart from giving then a good paycheque?