The Satisfaction Formula – Invest

In this post, co-author Jayna Sweet explores the benefit INVESTING adds to the customer experience.

Is it an expense? Or is it an investment?

This is a vital question that any business owner should be prepared to regularly ask and answer. You never want to spend more than you have, or overextend your wallet—this is just common money sense! But often, business leaders assume everything is an expense and when they take the step to cut expenses, it could actually end up hurting their business. Why? Because sometimes what may be traditionally viewed as an expense, may actually be an investment.

Since we’re talking about why it’s important to “INVEST,” are you investing in your employees?

This can mean a lot of different things. Yes, it can involve monetary bonuses and traditional health benefits, but it also correlates to education, asking for (and listening to) ideas, and providing an exciting, engaging workspace. Investing in your employees also keeps the bigger picture in mind. Studies have shown that employees who are engaged and feel respected are more satisfied—thus improving any given company’s productivity and helping to reduce turnover. Therefore, you should consider how you’re investing in your people.

My best friend Ally talks a lot about how it makes her feel when those around her invest their time and trust in her in the workplace. When she was an Administrative Assistant, the superiors at her office continually entrusted her with more responsibility. She was on a “secret project” for a couple of months with one of the highest-ranking people at her office. While it was a tough project on top of all her other responsibilities, the fact that she felt trusted and valued was what motivated her.

Months after the project concluded, her boss asked her to come into his office. He told her he felt she was doing an amazing job and handed her two Yankees tickets. She was floored. Now, obviously the tickets did cost money, but it wasn’t the tickets that made Ally feel invested in—it was the words of affirmation from her boss and the recognition that she was working hard and doing well.

Around that time, one of her other bosses started coming into the office 30 minutes earlier than normal. When Ally asked why, her boss replied that she really enjoyed spending the mornings with Ally and seeing how she got things ready before the rest of the team arrived. Ally not only felt recognized and honored for the work she was doing, but she also felt the significant time investment—Ally got 30 minutes a day of one-on-one time with someone who was able to positively promote her development and growth.

Emotional currency is really the way to a millennial professional’s heart.

Everyone appreciates bonuses and gifts, but for millennials—it’s often more about how you feel about our performance. The greatest gift is knowing that you are happy with our personal investment.

I get it—you can roll your eyes at the idea of the “needy millennial” if you want, but leaders in the workplace should really embrace this. 38% of millennials want to see the recognition program at their work improved. In his article, Ryan Jenkins credited Rodney Mason of Blackhawk Engagement Solutions with the following: “Millennials… expect regular affirmation in the workplace. They are also prepared to switch jobs earlier and more frequently than previous generations, so employers need to take particular steps to maintain millennial engagement.”

For millennials, having a supervisor provide recognition and spend time actively and emotionally leading us makes us feel “invested in.”  And that’s important to us. “The more they invest in me, the more I want to impress them,” Ally said of her job. As a leader, isn’t that what you want? Employees who long to continue to do a great job? Employees who enjoy challenging themselves and taking on new projects and responsibilities?


Ryan Jenkins, “38 Percent of Millennials Want This Improved at Work,” Inc.

About the Author

As the daughter of Dave and Kathy, Jayna Sweet has been around customer service her entire life. An actress and writer with experience as a barista, dog walker, call center representative, and communications designer, Jayna lives smack-in-the-middle of the two biggest generations – Millennial and Gen Z – and provides a truly unique perspective on customer service.

Learn More

Interested in learning more or purchasing the book? Check out The Satisfaction Formula’s website and come back next week to learn the importance of VALUE!