Happy Employees = Happy Clients: Strategies to Boost Happiness

by Eileen Monesson, CPC, MBA, PRCounts, LLC – April 10, 2024
Happy Employees = Happy Clients: Strategies to Boost Happiness

In today’s competitive business environment, success depends on consistently delivering exceptional service and nurturing employee happiness. Numerous studies have found that elevating employee happiness significantly impacts engagement, client service and brand loyalty. Gallup’s research found a direct relationship between employee engagement and business outcomes. According to Gallup’s “State of the American Workforce” report, companies excelling in client experience also demonstrate high levels of employee engagement. These companies report a 60% employee engagement score, leading to a notable 21% increase in profitability.

Regrettably, less than a quarter (23%) of employees feel genuinely engaged in their work. These individuals find meaning in their tasks, possess a strong team connection and take pride in their contri­butions, going above and beyond for both colleagues and clients. Engaged employees deliver exceptional client service because it is important to them.

Most workers (77%), however, are not engaged (“quiet quitters”) or are actively disengaged (“loud quitters”). Quiet quitters put in the minimum effort required and are psychologically disconnected from the firm. Loud quitters take actions that directly harm the firm. They actively undermine firm goals by challenging leadership and causing conflicts. Both classifications of quitters can harm client relationships, employee work interactions, stakeholder loyalty and brand equity.

Even so, Gallup found that nearly six in 10 quiet quitters can become engaged if things change. Quiet quitters said the firm’s culture was the top reason (41%) they were not engaged, not compensation or well-being. A few changes to how they are managed could turn quiet quitters into productive team members. They seek increased recognition for their work, better communication from firm leaders, clear goals, more robust guidance, expanded opportunities to utilize their strengths and enhanced overall respect.

Strategies for Enhancing Employee Happiness and Engagement

Implementing the following strategies will help cultivate a positive work environment and set the stage for a thriving and prosperous future for employees, clients and the firm.

  • Cultivate a positive work environment. Creating a positive workplace culture is paramount. Begin by fostering an envi­ronment where employees feel valued, supported and appreciated. Encourage open communication, recognize achievements and prioritize work-life balance. Gallup’s report underscores the significance of feeling appreciated at work, with employees who receive regular recognition being seven times more likely to be engaged.
  • Promote growth and development. Investing in employee growth and development is crucial for their happiness and loyalty. Providing avenues for upskilling, training and career advancement empowers employees. When they sense their growth is supported, they exhibit greater satisfaction and increase motivation to contribute positively to client interactions, aligning themselves more closely with the firm’s mission and values.
  • Foster meaningful relationships. Encourage camaraderie and team bonding activities. The World Happiness Academy emphasizes the importance of social connections in cultivating happiness. Create platforms for collaboration, encourage teamwork and organize team-building exercises to strengthen employee relationships. Research conducted in 2022 by Indeed revealed the social elements of work are far more important than compensation. Belonging is the top driver of well-being, while pay falls in the middle of the pack.
  • Embrace flexibility and autonomy. Empower employees by offering flexi­bility in work schedules and autonomy in decision-making whenever feasible. The World Happiness Academy high­lights that autonomy at work significantly contributes to overall happiness. Employees with control over their work tend to be more engaged, creative and committed to client success. While the debate continues over the advantages of remote or hybrid work, prioritize arrangements catering to employees and the firm. Everyone should consider how these choices affect workflow, deliverables and client relationships.

When employees feel genuinely content and engaged in their roles, their enthusiasm naturally extends to client interactions. The positive energy, dedication and passion they bring to their work invariably impact client relationships. Satisfied employees are more likely to deliver exceptional service, increasing client satisfaction and loyalty. A happy workforce isn’t just a morale booster; it’s a strategic imperative for firm growth and success. 

This article appeared in the Spring 2024 issue of New Jersey CPA magazine. Read the full issue.