Happy Employees - A Competitive Advantage

Monday, 28 September 2009 18:02 by kpotvin


We recently ate at Texas Roadhouse with the kids.  As our hostess asked us if we’d like to select our steak from the butcher case of raw ribeyes, New York strips and filets, we learned she was a vegetarian.  How, we asked, could a vegetarian work at a steak restaurant?  She answered, “For the money – and it’s fun.”

We couldn’t argue with that.  This is the kind of place where you drop empty peanut shells on the floor, and where birthday celebrants perch on saddles as other diners shout, “Yee-ha!”  Also, you are bound to see the wait staff erupt into a “spontaneous” line dance – joined by customers.  All that and the food is pretty good.  One more thing:  The waiters wear black T-shirts which say on the back, “I (heart) my job.”  They really make you feel like they do. 

Employee happiness is important.  One study from earlier this year out of Kansas State University showed that happy employees could be an indicator of company success, an actual competitive advantage.  The study by Thomas Wright, Jon Wefald Leadership Chair in Business Administration and professor of management at K-State, found that “when employees have high levels of psychological well-being and job satisfaction, they perform better and are less likely to leave their job -- making happiness a valuable tool for maximizing organizational outcomes.”

Good pay, incentives for advancement, a motivating vision, recognition (see our recent story on the Art in Giving recognition program), training, a fun work environment – what are you doing to keep your team members happy and engaged?  Your customers…and business depend on it. 

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