Many successful massage therapists own clinics or spas, and supervise employees. Massage-clinic and spa owners might take note of a new study that shows business leaders who pay attention to employees’ job satisfaction are able to boost both customer satisfaction and the number of customers that intend to purchase repeatedly from a business.

“We found that keeping your employees satisfied with their work experience, providing them with challenges and allowing them to have a sense of ownership in the business can have a tremendous effect on customer satisfaction and loyalty,” said Christopher Groening, assistant professor of marketing in the Robert J. Trulaske, Sr. College of Business at the University of Missouri.

“The link between customer satisfaction and customer loyalty is almost twice as strong when you have high employee satisfaction compared to when they are not satisfied with their jobs,” Groening added. “This double-positive finding stands in contrast to the idea that a firm can neglect to satisfy their employees as long as they pursue customer satisfaction.”

In their study, the research team reviewed a European retail franchise system that has approximately 300 outlets with 933 employees and more than 20,700 customers. Satisfaction data was obtained from employees and customers regarding either working for or buying from the business.

Following his study, Groening recommends the following actions, based on answers from the employee survey questions, to increase employee satisfaction:

• Train and empower employees so they have the tools to make decisions. This allows them to make decisions that are beneficial for the company and each individual customer.

• Hire managers who serve as examples and also can be mentors to employees. If a company policy is established, it should be honored by managers as well as employees. Additionally, managers should help employees know what is expected in order to advance in the company.

• Create good working atmospheres. Offer incentives or intangible benefits, such as flexible working hours, if possible.

The study was published this month in the Journal of Service Research.

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