Much has been written about corporate culture and the happy workplace. Although the advice dispensed is ostensibly to make the work environment more pleasurable -- or just plain tolerable -- the suggestions given are most always from the point of view of the boardroom or higher levels of management. Far less thought is given to how things are perceived by the rank and file other than to somehow produce a cadre of engaged employees, whatever that means. The inspirational quotes below from business leaders come from many years of experience working in, and with, leading organizations.
Customer Service Turned Inward
"[E]mployee relations is nothing more than customer service turned inward, and customer service is nothing more than employee relations turned outward. The skills you use to resolve issues with employees are the exact same skills you use to resolve issues with customers, and vice versa."
-- Scott Warrick, Solve Employee Problems Before They Start: Resolving Conflict in the Real World
Foundation of Great People
"Your employees are the soil and nutrients in which your Customer Experience grows. If you have a workforce of engaged people who feel respected and appreciated, and if they trust their leaders enough to take risks and invest emotionally in the organization, your CX will take care of itself. Conversely, if you don't have that foundation of great people who care about providing a terrific experience and making customers' lives better, all the technology and systems in the world won't keep your CX from being a money-losing mess."
-- Tracy Maylett & Matthew Wride, The Employee Experience: How to Attract Talent, Retain Top Performers, and Drive Results
More Than Just a Job -- an Experience
"[I]t's time to shift our focus from our current path of engagement into what today's workforce is desperately seeking: a career that's more than just a job -- an experience. I define employee experience this way: all of the ways in which your employees interact with your company, leaders, and Human Resources, leading to one consistent, pre-defined experience. This experience shapes each employee's perspective about the company as a whole -- including their personal attachment/loyalty, engagement, motivation, drive, and desire."
-- Melissa Anzman, The Employee Experience Solution: Transform Employee Engagement, Improve Workplace Culture, and Drive Results
Leading by Example
"If you are a parent, you have probably already realized that your children are always watching what you do. And just as children watch their parents and emulate their behavior, so do employees who are watching their bosses."
-- John C. Maxwell, leadership expert
"Your employees want a relationship with you that is professional and personal . . . The greatest compliment I have ever received as a leader was when an employee would say, 'You are so approachable. I can talk to you about anything.' I really worked hard at that throughout my leadership career. I wanted to be seen as a leader that my employees could come to and I would problem solve with them, not do something for them or to them."
-- Jane McLeod & Sue Tetzlaff, The Employee Experience: A Capstone Guide to Peak Performance
Fear Is a Terrible Motivator
"Fear inhibits learning. Research in neuroscience shows that fear consumes physiologic resources, diverting them from parts of the brain that manage working memory and process new information. This impairs analytic thinking, creative insight, and problem solving. This is why it's hard for people to do their best work when they are afraid."
-- Amy C. Edmondson, The Fearless Organization: Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace for Learning, Innovation, and Growth
Employee Engagement vs. Employee Experience
"Let's say you buy an old car at a junkyard and then spend thousands of dollars on new paint, upholstery, rims, and interior upgrades. Even though the car will look beautiful, it will still drive like the same car you brought home from the junkyard. If you want to improve how the car performs, then you need to replace the engine. Organizations around the world are investing considerable resources into things such as corporate culture programs, office redesigns, employee engagement initiatives, and well-being strategies. Unfortunately, these things make the organization look better but have little impact on how it actually performs.
Many organizations today use employee engagement and employee experience interchangeably without any distinguishable difference, which is incorrect. Employee engagement has been all about short-term changes that organizations have been trying to make to improve how they work. If this approach doesn't work for a car, then it certainly won't work for an organization."
-- Jacob Morgan & Marshall Goldsmith, The Employee Experience Advantage: How to Win the War for Talent by Giving Employees the Workspaces they Want, the Tools they Need, and a Culture They Can Celebrate
Happy People Attract More Happy People
"We spend an obscene amount of time at work or working on work. Yet stress and burnout cause unhappy lives, unhappy families, and lead to all sorts of health-related illnesses. On the other hand, happier people are healthier, more satisfied with their own lives, their relationships, and tend to be more successful in their careers. They produce a ripple effect; happy people attract more happy people."
-- Dana Wright-Wasson, founder of Take Action Inc. and The Work Happy Project