Managers do a variety of things to keep their employees happy, healthy, and productive in their work environment.
But few (if any) managers probably have the foresight to predict an employee problem like this.
When thousands of Walmart employees gathered at the retailer’s annual shareholder meeting, a repeating theme (and joke) was the store’s overhead music that featured a whole lot of music by Dion and Justin Beiber.
“One of my fellow associates developed a serious eye-tic from hearing Celine Dion's greatest hits on loop in our stores."
While Celine Dion’s greatest hits didn’t actually induce a negative physical response in an employee, this joke made during Walmart shareholder’s meeting can teach managers something important about employee morale.
Repetitive, nonstop playing of overhead music (especially Celine Dion) can have a major effect on the job satisfaction on employees.
Why Walmart Is Kicking CD Players, Justin Bieber, and Celine Dion Out of Their Stores
It has long been recognized that overhead music has a significant impact on the customer’s experience, but Walmart has taken this fact a step further and now is taking into consideration the impact on employee satisfaction
At the shareholder meeting, employees actually cheered from the crowd when a pledge was made to ditch the CD that has been playing on loop for months.
Believing that a boost in employee morale can boost customer service, they vowed to improve their employee’s experience within their stores.
So the age of Justin Beiber and Celine Dion belting through the aisles Walmart is coming to an end. Gone are the days when employees can predict the next song to play or the feeling of dread (or a physical tick) when a despised artist (in this case Celine Dion) song begins to play.
Walmart’s overhead music will now be driven by a new Walmart Radio program, which includes a new stream of music played by a live DJ.
What It Means For Your Businesses & Employees
While overhead music certainly has an impact on the experience of your customer, it has an even larger impact on your employees.
Your employees are the ones spending eight or more consecutive hours working at your location immersed in the music (or in some cases, the silence) you play.
But Walmart’s stand is a prime example of how improving employee experience through overhead music can improve employee satisfaction and result in a better customer experience.
Providing engaging and varied custom playlists for your business can reduce redundancy for employees, decrease complaints, and make happier employees who aren’t forced to listen to the same song over and over again.
Bonus incentives. A safe and secure work environment. Cool company culture. Employee engagement programs.
While your business may not have the resources to create a custom program like Walmart Radio with live DJs streaming music, you can select an overhead music provider that remotely pushes updates to your players so the playlist is constantly evolving, eliminating the dreaded repetition (and Celine Dion tunes).
Take a tip from the Walmart playbook (which manages over 500,000 workers) and make the investment in your employees morale. Overhead music is a low cost investment with a very high return.