Happy Employees + Happy Customers = Happy Shareholders.

What does Sir Richard Branson and Ed Bastian (Delta Airlines, CEO) have in common. Besides the obvious, of wealth, and holding prestigious positions within their respective companies – they both believe in Happy Employees, are the most significant drivers in any company.

Camille Preston, PhD, PCC Forbes Councils Member, noted that happy employees contribute an additional 20% to productivity, compared to unhappy employees. The premise is based on the stock prices of Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work for” rose 14% per year from 1998 to 2005, while companies not on the list only reported a 6% increase.

Patrick Lencioni, in his book, The Truth About Employee Engagement, boils it down to wanting to feel like who you are matters (you want people to know your name), that what you do has an impact (that you’re engaged in relevant work) and you’re making progress (that your work is having an impact and leading you and your organization forward).

In 2017, Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group was voted the seventh best company to work for in LinkedIn’s top companies list. The lofty position should come as no surprise to those familiar with the company. Indeed,

Branson himself has numerous times said “that by taking care of employees at Virgin that everything else will take care of itself”, and with a net worth of approximately $5 billion, it’s hard to argue with him.

Recently, Ed Bastian, responded to a LinkedIn post calling him a rock star, with two short sentences:

“Appreciate the shout out…but Delta would be nothing without our 90,000 people. They deserve all the credit.”

“They deserve all the credit” is a strong direct message to his employees, I recognize you, I empower you and you are getting rewarded.

All qualified employees at Delta will be getting a 16.6% bonus or 2 extra months pay. WOW !

In an article written in April 2018, by Tiffany Funk, she compares various aspects of the experience between Delta and American Airlines. What was profound to me, was the key differentiator – the employees. While, they say to smile does not cost you anything, ask Ed Bastian, as Delta has been recognized for the past few years, as consistently ranked as “best in class” when it comes to U.S. airline

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