A study found that happy employees are 20% more productive than unhappy employees. In sales happiness has a greater impact, happy salespeople are 37% more productive.
Organizational culture is the personality and the DNA of any organization; it’s the aggregate sum of the organization’s values, norms, expectations, happiness factor, and history. Healthy sales culture promotes company growth, innovation, creativity, and employee happiness.
In the B2B sales space, you depend on your sales rep’s job satisfaction and ability to create revenue, promote your company mission, brand, products, and services — however, only a few companies put in sincere effort measuring employee satisfaction and happiness.
Happiness? Yes, it’s vital. Unhappy employees are hands for hire, planning to jump ship the moment they find an employer that values their most critical free assets — hearts and minds.
Millions of employees hate going to work because they either despite the business culture, their managers, or the inadequate support and excessive pressure they have to endure. Consider this: “Work Institute estimates that 42 million, or one in four, employees will leave their job in 2018 and that employers could prevent nearly 77 percent, or three-fourths, of that turnover. Employers will pay $600 billion in turnover costs in 2018 and can expect that number to increase to $680 billion by 2020.”
Happier employees trust that their organization has their best interests in mind. Hence, they are willing to work insane hours and sacrifice everything to benefit the organization as long as they feel respected, valued, fairly compensated, and have access to the ladder of upward mobility based on merit.
A happy employee relates that happiness to customers, and vice-versa for unhappy ones. —Anne Hodkin
Healthy corporate culture has employees who are happy about their work because they feel they are part of an organization that supports its employees’ growth by promoting team-work, learning on the job, friendship, and fun.
Employees love to work in an environment where they consider their coworkers and management team as a second family. A healthy corporate culture requires transparency, uniformity, and a clear mission statement and value that are congruent across the board. The company should provide the same level of care to its customers, shareholders, and employees.
Investing In Happiness
A good example is Southwest Airlines practices employee happiness first policy. Gary Kelly, Southwest’s CEO said: “ Our people-first approach, which has guided our company does well, our people do really, really well. Our people work incredibly hard and deserve to share in Southwest’s success.” In 2017, Southwest Airlines announced it would be sharing $586 million in profits with its 54,000 employees, which equate to about a 13.2% average bonus for each employee.
In the case of Walt Disney, 80% of employees across the globe find their job both challenging and interesting. 87% say that they are proud to work for the Walt Disney Company.
Chevron promotes ‘the Chevron way,’ which consists of practicing safety first, being supportive, and always looking out for your team members. Caring makes happy employees.
To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace. —Doug Conant
Japanese companies invest tremendous resources in training staff to care exceptionally well for their customers and assure quality service every time. Good corporate culture is not accidental; it requires planning, training, and constant improvement. In the airline industry, ANA Airlines ranks consistently among the world’s top-rated airlines. Japanese and business travelers prefer to pay more and fly ANA than opt for cheaper competitors.
Japanese employees go above and beyond across industries to provide excellent service. They take enormous pride in doing their job to the best of their ability, knowing that they help their company to serve the community and grow and prosper. Additionally, Japanese companies invest in training their employees while ensuring safety and career stability. It’s common in the Japanese corporate culture that employees consider their coworkers like a real family and share a strong sense of bonding and team spirit. Many employees see the company and their coworkers as a central force and balance in their life.
Most employees spend more time at the job than with their own families, shouldn’t your coworkers be considered as an extended family why only a few companies try to create a pleasant environment for their employee. A job environment should not be synonymous with the feeling of being in a prison camp.
Global studies reveal that 79 percent of people who quit their jobs cite ‘lack of appreciation’ as their reason for leaving.
Fanatic Brand Ambassadors
Salespeople who believe in their company’s mission create more loyal customers than what the marketing department could ever achieve. An employee who is a true believer in the company values, vision, and mission is a passionate, tenacious person who radiates confidence and comes off as credible and trustworthy.
Your B2B salespeople have a considerable influence over the businesses they interact with. A salesperson who profoundly believes in the company’s mission is a powerful promotional tool that promotes the company’s reason for being along with its business solutions that improve people’s lives. Positive growth-driven sales cultures turn every employee into a walking, talking marketing billboard that promotes the company to their community and society.
Good brand promotion starts with your employees. If your employees hesitate to promote or use the product or services they represent, then you have a problem that requires fundamental structural changes. You don’t have to love the product your push, but you have to believe, at a minimum on the positive transformative benefits it does for your customers.
Happy, empowered employees who work for a company that fosters a healthy sales cultures take it on them to find solutions to challenges.
In a survey released in July 2010, IBM asked more than 1,500 global CEOs the following question: What are the essential skills for success in today’s world? 60% stated that creativity was a necessary quality over the next five years.
Creativity is the power source behind new ideas and innovation. Creative minds create new products and improve existing products, services, and ideas. Creativity is a valuable and desired characteristic of employees.
Yet in B2B, creativity is often suppressed by executive leaders who spend years working within a structured traditional system that focuses on rewarding salespeople for reaching specific objectives but ignore their creative abilities. People who are most exposed to the customer and market are reduced to boilerplate sales pitches and product demos. Personalization and creativity often cause concerns despite the fact that studies have shown that 82% of sales professionals are not aligned with the needs of the buyers.
Trust, Empower but Don’t Pretend
In 1909, Henry Ford famously proclaimed, “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants, so long as it is black.” This statement seems archaic, but it encompasses the current B2B dogma.
The salesperson will offer one business solution or one product with three pricing tiers ( Enterprise Silver, Gold, or platinum package), very little flexibility is allowed, everything needs to be approved by a manager(s). Exceptions related to delivery, warranty, and services are not perceived as creativity and ingenuity to create or save a transient opportunity but rather viewed as salesperson weakness. Problem-solving is encouraged but only when it operates within a limited preset box of rigid corporate policies.
Creativity is connecting the dots. Human are born with super creative minds and wild imagination, but they spend their time thinking otherwise—Anthony Chaine
Creativity is often left to the R&D or marketing folks — often perceived as creative functions. Salespeople are not perceived as creative people in general. The irony is salespeople are incredibly creative, finding gaps and ways to take advantage of these gaps. Salespeople create “wow moments”, many come from different backgrounds, have unique set of skills, and capable of both creative fluid thinking ( engineers, architects — people capable of imagining things are creating from scratches )as well as synthetic thinking ( writer, professors — people able to gather and connect information in a new and unique way)
For example, I witnessed salespeople taking advantage of gaps in the company compensation plan, pricing structures, business solution bundles, and competitors’ errors.
Salespeople can be brilliant and creative in overcoming obstacles. But most companies pay them for their hard labor and not so much for their creativity, which can be had for free.
Encouraging open creativity while providing some incentive to the sales force can promote new ideas, initiatives, and innovations that will yield creative efforts and better results.
According to a Harvard Business Review study, happy employees outperform their competitors by more than 20%. Additionally, their job performance exceeded industry standards by 2.1%. Happy employees increase company value and profit by retaining existing clients and acquiring new ones at a much faster rate than the employees who are just doing it for the money.
Happy Employees Are More:
- Productive and responsible
- Healthy and engaged mind, body, and soul
- Profitable and work more extended hours with no absenteeism
- Creative and innovative
How to Increase Your Employee’s Happiness Factor?
- Celebrate individuals and team wins often
- Establish activities that increase team cohesiveness
- Promote people based on merit
- Pay above market averages
- Demonstrate the value and impact of their work.
Happiness takes a collective effort to improve job satisfaction and mental satisfaction. Positive corporate or organizational culture has a direct impact on revenue, employee satisfaction, and retention.
It’s harder to evaluate a salesperson’s belief in the company values and mission. It’s even harder to measure your employee job satisfaction, because, it’s the aura in the air that tells you how people feel, work, and interact among themselves. Happy corporate culture is sensed, felt, and observed how employees interact between themselves, with their customers and managers.
Happy employees, work hard, but love it, smile, and mean it, sacrifice, but willingly accept it. Survey data and interviews may not always reflect real facts because unhappy employees hide the truth for fear of retaliation in their work environments from employers who pretend to care. Good corporate culture is not accidental; it requires planning, training, humility, empathy, and a genuine desire to improve employees’ lives.
Countless studies have demonstrated that happy employees outperform their competitors, increase company value and profit, and generate loyal repeat buying customers. Happy customers should be a corporate benchmark that is just as Important as revenue creation.
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