How to improve customer service through a meaningful workplace culture

As the saying goes, treat your employees how you would treat your customers. Employees who feel valued and appreciated are naturally better at customer service.

To do this you need to create a meaningful workplace culture so that employees feel like they are making a real difference during their time at work, rather than simply passing the time until they receive their next paycheck. Below we tell you exactly how you can create a meaningful workplace.

Encourage feedback and recognition

This is important as it lets your staff know whether they are doing a good job and confirms that their work is valued. It also creates a respectful culture where employees get used to recognising others when they do a particularly good job. Many companies aim to encourage feedback and recognition, however without a formal programme in place it rarely happens. Here are a few ideas to ensure that feedback and recognition happens regularly.

Use an employee engagement app such as Oplift Engage which includes achievements. These are stickers and trophies which you can hand out and align with your company values, goals and missions. To allow your staff to get 360-degree feedback, they can hand out stickers to recognise one another. These are quick and easy and are useful for when employees have done a good job, e.g. went an extra mile for their customer. This will make them feel worthwhile and they’ll continue the good service. If your staff have been really hard at work, managers can hand them trophies which they would be given for bigger milestones such as continually hitting their sales targets. The platform also allows you to hand out bulk achievements, which is useful if a whole store of employees has done particularly well. We have had customers who handed out monetary rewards to encourage employees, which is a very expensive way of creating a meaningful workplace culture. By using achievements you create exactly the same culture and effect but at no extra cost.

Include photos of employees of the month around your workplace and in your internal communications.

Write up internal communication posts that explain to employees the kind of behaviour they should demonstrate to receive recognition.

Arrange spontaneous informal chats during the working day. You can do this by pulling employees to the side if you think they are doing a good job. Explain what you are happy with and why they should keep it up. A face to face conversation will go a long way in making your employees feel appreciated.

Do regular one to one meetings. Ensure every employee gets one meeting per month. This will keep them on track with their performance and allow them to keep on top of their feedback. “But I don’t have enough time” I hear you say? With new digital appraisal solutions, you can carry out staff reviews in a quarter of the time. Our platform, Oplift Review allows you to easily capture insights, write notes, include photos and create reports all on the shop floor. This means you no longer have to schedule time in the back office to manage all of the paperwork, saving you a significant amount of time.

Be more positive in your general language. For instance, in your morning meeting catch ups, mention the kind of behaviour and service which you appreciated the day before and why it was good. This sets your staff up for the day with a positive attitude and helps them remember what service you are expecting from them. Some managers like to start the day by telling staff of all the bad things that have happened and that they need to ramp up their efforts. However, this can simply have a negative effect, making staff feel deflated and resentful.

If you follow all or just some of the steps above, you will create a positive cycle of happy employees, who in turn will make your customers happy.

Other posts that may be of interest to you:

Are you giving your employee’s information overload or useful knowledge?

The real reasons your staff aren’t taking responsibility

Simple guidance for you on how to manage your retail staff

Written by Hayley Lloyd

Published 25th October 2018