‘Happiness is a way of life, that is what leadership is about’
By Selma Fehrmann | April 23, 2019
Work happiness, or employee happiness, is no longer the dusty subject of a few years ago. Influential studies show the positive impact that happy employees have on the performance of organizations. 2DAYSMOOD speaks with Marvin Deitz, professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology and founder of the Customer Happiness Institute.
As a marketing expert, Marvin Deitz has held various leading positions in international billion-dollar companies. He also teaches as a professor in the Service Leadership Innovation Masters program at various international campuses of the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). At RIT Dubai he is also the very first director of the Corporate / Customer Happiness Certification program of the United Arab Emirates.
He has recently become a partner of 2DAYSMOOD.
“A department, a team or the overall organization needs to be viewed as a living system made up of many individuals. They all want to feel happy and everything that comes with that feeling. Leaders need to create an environment to foster that so the system can thrive and flourish.”
With such a workfield you must feel happy at work every day.
“I feel euphoric and off the happiness scale!!
Many organizations still see “happiness” as a woolly subject. What would you like to tell these organizations?
“We have to understand that personal happiness affects many facets of our life, such as health, relationships, energy, and productivity. An organization is like a human being but made up of many individuals. If employees within the organization are unhappy then the overall organization is unhappy which will effect the health, energy and productivity of the entire organization. Everyone deserves to be happy in all areas of their life and work is no different as that is where we spend one third of our day.”
Employee and customer happiness are very closely related, which is recognized by an increasing number of organizations. Looking at the future of employee and customer happiness, what trends do you foresee?
“I see the following 3 trends:
- More focus from a organization on the happiness of employees outside working hours.
- KPI’s connecting customer and employee happiness to each other and the impact on sales and profit.
- Daily measurement for customer and employee happiness at every business transaction where it is quick and unassuming. “
You are the founder of the Customer Happiness Institute. What drove you to found the institute?
“I see many companies laser focused on acquiring new clients. In doing so, they specifically apply resources and budgets aligned with customer acquisition, not on the current customer experiences. Current customer get neglected and can become unhappy and not grow ultimately leaving for a competitor. Our mission is to help businesses focus on building customer life time value (CLTV) of current customers. It is 8 times easier to sell new products to a existing customer than a new customer. The longer customers stay with a organization, the more profitable they become. Helping businesses market through innovative technology and cutting edge marketing while providing a transformational journey for current customers can yield business success quicker and more effective. We want to change that paradigm and provide the knowledge and tools to facilitate this.”
And how does your institute take into account the trends you just described?
“For eight years I was the owner of marketing company Hospitality Connections until recently we rebranded to the Customer Happiness Institute. “Thanks to the repositioning, we are able to help companies create happier customers; for example, we focus on marketing services based on valuable and sustainable customer experience. ”
Employee Happiness Drivers such as Leadership and Appreciation are important indicators for people’s engagement at work. When was the last time you gave a compliment and what was it? And when have you stepped up as an engaged leader for your team?
“Offering encouragement or giving a big a smile, complimenting a sales person, thanking customers, thanking employees, being kind and empowering family and friends must be a daily standard in and out of the work place. I speak with people on a daily basis and always try to have a positive influence on everyone I meet. It should not just be a “work-only concept,” as a leader we should all lead our lives like this all the time. Happiness is a way of life, This is what leadership is about!”
“This is why I became a partner with 2DAYSMOOD as our values align and I want to help change the US to become a happier place to work. There is a very strong relationship between employee happiness and customer happiness. I have not seen such relevant and innovative tool, that measures employee happiness and engagement in realtime! The American market is untapped and timing is everything. That timing is now in this moment!”
Finally: what is your tip for a happy working day?
“Live in the moment!”