Tag Archives: employee satisfaction

Behavioral Science: Meeting In The Ladies Room

Why, asked Stephanie Magnan of Kimberly-Clark in her
enthralling TMRE Day 2 presentation, does behavioral science stop at the
restroom door?
From moving candy out of employees’ way to incorporating
play and stress reduction, modern workplaces use behavioral science in all
sorts of ways. The concept is simple: discreetly ‘nudge’ people into behavior that
does them good and makes them happy. Small changes in the environment can make
a huge difference in this, because they shift people’s emotional response. As
Magnan put it, ‘we think much less than we think we think’. Emotions are the
driver.
But very few behavioral science studies look at workplace
restrooms. And that’s a bizarre omission, given how critical they are to employee
wellbeing and the fact that, well, everybody uses them. At Kimberly-Clark,
Magnan’s team made a few small changes ‘ adding lotions and boxes of Kleenex to
the restrooms ‘ and were wowed by the results. Restroom satisfaction jumped
from 17% to 77%. People reported lower stress and greater wellbeing. And there
was a knock-on effect on perceptions of workplace cleanliness as a whole. The
real insight? All these changes were most pronounced (by orders of magnitude)
among women.

Behavioral makeover required.

Something about restrooms was critical to women’s experience
of the workplace. But what?
With the agency Brandtrust ‘ specialists in behavioral
science based projects, who use psychoanalytical techniques to probe emotions
in far-ranging 1-on-1 interviews ‘ Magnan and her team vowed to find out. 
Standard satisfaction surveys are of very limited use when
you’re looking at emotional response, because they tend to play back
post-rationalised reasons instead of getting to the guts of an experience.
Magnan described how Brandtrust and Kimberly-Clark instead wanted to ‘ask the
bigger question’ ‘ getting to the difficult, perhaps uncomfortable truths
lurking behind such dramatic shifts in opinion. Empathy, she pointed out,
precedes innovation ‘ to respond to someone’s needs to have to walk in their
shoes, not just listen to their voice.
So in this case the bigger question turned out to be ‘ what does it feel like to be a woman at
work?
By answering that question Magnan was able to get a fuller idea of
the unique role the restroom plays in women’s working lives.
The women she talked to described a ‘cycle of vulnerability
and confidence’ ‘ working lives made up of small victories and disappointments,
including dealing with levels of workplace discrimination. In an open office
environment, women feel all eyes are on them ‘ meaning they are always somewhat
alienated from their authentic self.
In this context the bathroom is a vital space ‘ a place you
have permission to be alone in, where you can sigh, relax, and refocus
yourself. While American restroom stalls are perhaps too bijou for it, in other countries women talked about praying or
practising yoga in the restroom. It is a sanctuary ‘ a safe space of utmost
privacy. No wonder small changes made such a huge difference. The restroom is a
space where women ‘prepare and repair identities’ in the gendered panopticon of
the modern office. But it’s also a space where they can connect ‘ hierarchy relaxing
side-by-side in front of the mirror.
Magnan used her insights to refashion a Staples restroom,
adding Kleenex boxes, flowers, full length mirrors (to check outfits properly)
and slates with inspirational quotes. The results were a huge success. As one
woman put it, ‘it reminds me so much of my restroom at home’. Exactly.
Magnan’s presentation is an example of the power of
behavioral science. Not just to transform experiences and emotions, but as a
way in to asking far bigger questions which can lead to deeper human truths
emerging. She left the audience with four take outs. First, empathy precedes
emotion ‘ only by empathising can we find insights. Second, risk asking the
better question ‘ go wider, deeper, less straightforward. Third, know your
mission ‘ remember the ultimate goal of your behavioral project. And finally,
find your passion within the mission ‘ Magnan’s obvious love of and belief in
her work shone through this presentation.

Hospital provides customer service training at the request of employees

Recently in the Wichita Eagle, they reported on the efforts of the staff of Wesley Medical Center to improve their customer service. Human Resources Director Lisa Becker said that an employee engagement survey showed an overwhelming number of employees requesting training in the area. The hospital is now offering a one hour refresher course on customer service basics, and managers attended the course first. The employees could attend the session voluntarily, and 40% of the employees at the hospital already have done so. The course covers basics such as how they view customer service in other areas, attitudes in uncontrollable situations, and teamwork.

Are your employees asking for training? What have you done to educate them on customer service in your field?

What Makes YOU Feel Good at Work?

This is posted on behalf of JoAnna Brandi. It is co-posted on the Customers 1st Blog and JoAnna Brandi blogs.

According to my informal research people who feel good at work are more productive, like their jobs more, have better performance, are more likely to be creative, enjoy “going the extra mile,” and have more energy at the end of the day when they go home to be with their families or pursue hobbies and outside activities.

Help me with my research – every body has their own “Feel Good At Work Factor” and Amanda Levy and I are writing about it. Please help us understand more about yours.

Please go to our comments section after this blog entry and finish this sentence. “I feel good at work when…..”

If you’d like to see more of Joanna Brandi’s blogs, and comment on this post, visit JoAnna Brandi’s Blogs. You can also find out more by visiting her Customer Care Coach website. Joanna Brandi will be a keynote speaker at this year’s North American Conference on Customer Management, and has already been profiled on our Customer 1st blog. Stay tuned for her posts on the Customers 1st blog!

FedEx Ranks Highest in Customer Service in a Recent Survey

According to this article on the FedEx site, the premier provider of transportation services ranked number one in customer service in the 9th Annual Harris Interactive Reputation Quotient TM (RQ) Survey. FedEx also ranked high in other categories, it ranked number 12 as both a good company to work for and company with good employees. This goes to show us that there is a very strong correlation between employee satisfaction and levels of customer service. Happy employees and those who enjoy working for a company are more likely to give superior customer service than unhappy workers. The article also notes that there is a strong correlation between a company’s overall reputation and the likelihood that a consumer will purchase, invest, or recommend the company’s products and services. Robert Fronk, Senior Vice President, Reputation Strategy at Harris Interactive mentions: ‘For Americans to hold a company in high regards today, clearly more than just profits are needed ‘ companies need to focus on overall corporate social responsibility and how their employees are treated in order to build trust with today’s consumers. FedEx takes these responsibilities into account in how they behave as an organization.’