Treat your staff brilliantly and the rest will follow

It’s no surprise that in order for a business to deliver outstanding customer service, you need a workforce that’s both motivated and engaged. Through investing in this area, you ensure that staff are well looked after which impacts on customer service and ultimately the bottom line of a business. Throughout our series of blog posts we’ll look at the different initiatives that we’ve carried out at Vanarama, including our focus on health and wellbeing, charity days, our involvement in the non-league football sponsorship and our recent service ninja’s customer service program.

Staff wellness isn’t a buzzword, it’s a culture

We can’t help but notice that staff wellness seems to be the latest buzzword in business at the moment. Although it’s much discussed, it can often appear that companies see it as a tick box exercise rather than as a genuine desire to improve the wellbeing of their team. Our CEO Andy Alderson, is an avid user of the mediation app Headspace and his genuine interest in mindfulness techniques has impacted positively on the business.

With an increased interest in the media discussing the importance of being ‘switching off’, and conversations being more open surrounding mindfulness, it’s something that our staff have fully embraced. Whereas once you may have considered the ability to work through lunch as a skill, with the mindfulness ‘revolution’ and campaign’s such as Stylist’s ‘#reclaimyourlunchbreak’ we’re seeing more businesses taking pride in looking after their team and encouraging a healthy working life. As another example, we’ve recently implemented weekly wellness sessions where our staff take part in yoga and relaxation classes and receive complimentary massages. These sessions exist outside of the allocated lunch break, in order to ensure that staff have time to socialise with colleagues and enjoy their lunch. With a regular teacher attending the office there is the opportunity to request specific areas of focus and participation is always high. If you’re looking for new ways to motivate and relax your staff, massages are certainly a winner when it comes our staff satisfaction surveys!

It can be so easy to sit at a desk all day and this combined with the occasional snack can mean that the pounds will pile up. In order to try and combat this, our staff are offered a free gym membership to a local facility and to stay away from the traditional vending machines, we’ve found that daily fruit baskets are always well received. If a gym membership isn’t a possibility within your business, why not organise a team sports club? Not only is it a fantastic means of mixing with your colleagues but it’s a great way of making exercise fun and more bearable. Our weekly ‘Runarama’ running club results in much laughter and has prompted staff to sign up for charity fun runs and even marathons. Personally, I’ve lost four stone and my health has improved dramatically since working here and I believe that it is down to the great initiatives that are encouraged across the business.

And the result of all of this is?

A happy and stress free work environment

There’s a definite correlation between staff wellness and service, and we’d like to think that a healthy team is a happy team too. We recently secured our place as the 27th Best Small Company to Work For in the UK, and our employees told us that they had very low stress levels and felt that the business had high customer service values. Our staff form a large part of our fabric as a brand, which is an integral part of our marketing strategy. It makes sense that to deliver outstanding customer service we need a workforce that arrive and leave work feeling healthy, stress free and motivated which we seek to achieve through our wellbeing initiatives.