In this blog we discuss the parallel between Employee Engagement and Customer Experience Strategies,
which are often both more similar and more connected than you may think.
Learn more about our consultation services that fuse people, technology, and performance to create harmonious, human+ workforces, or read on to discover our recommendations regarding employee engagement and customer experience.
There should be a clear alignment between Employee Engagement and Customer Experience as this excellent quote articulates:
To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace.
Doug Conant, former CEO of Campbell Soup.
Many studies have shown that there is a strong link between an engaged workforce and a satisfied customer base. One of these studies conducted by CX Measurement Experts, Foresee shows the correlation between these 2 measures:
The link between Customer Experience and Employee Engagement is clear Happy Employees = Happy Customers.
So, why do so many businesses approach their employee experience as a mission for command and control while saying they want to satisfy or delight their customers?Businesses with a command-and-control attitude toward their workers may expect unreasonable amounts of unpaid overtime or make decisions that directly impact workers (such as an office move) with low levels of transparency when engaging employees.
Unsurprisingly, this can lead to unhappy employees, who would prefer to seek employment somewhere more transparent and respectful of their time and effort. Staff retention rates and staff morale fall.
When asking organizations about their process for collecting useful feedback from employees, its common for them to have an annual employee engagement survey. They use this to understand how engaged their workforce is.
However, while such employee surveys are presented as anonymous, it’s often clear in practice that they are not. The responses to the questions in the survey deanonymize the worker. The questions can also be phrased carefully to elicit or influence results.
In instances where employee surveys are conducted and phrased fairly, are they enough? Is one time a year enough to conclude a business is doing a good job and to make improvements where it is not?
Reward and recognition feature high in most lists of things employees want.
Perhaps some employees don’t deserve it. If not, why not? Is there anything about the environment they work in that is driving their behavior? What can you do to improve results and create a culture of excellence?
Richard Branson, Founder of the Virgin Group famously said: “Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.”
The businesses that are most successful right now are inundated with job applications from happy customers who appreciate their products, services, or well-earned position in the B2B marketplace.
When those customers, or the former employees of other businesses are onboarded, they will expect employee engagement to have the same level of excellence that first attracted them to the business.
As an organization, you need to ensure there is a parallel between your employee engagement strategy and your customer experience one. A business cannot and should not have one, without the other, if they genuinely want to be customer centric.
Who wins the employee or the customer?
It is a complete win-win situation. Whilst engaged employees lead to satisfied customers, the opposite is also true. Satisfied customers play a large role in employee engagement.
Positive customer experiences and showcasing these back to employees is vital especially those responsible for delivering that specific experience. This can reinforce how employees feel about the value and purpose of their work. If done correctly it can also motivate them to continue to deliver to this level.
The key thing is how you approach change. Change is uncomfortable for many people. Whether it’s a child’s first day at school or something that challenges your comfort levels, it needs to be managed carefully.
A few pointers on how to effectively deal with change for employees
• Clearly articulate why there is a need for change but not from the perspective of the business. Explain how it benefits the individual. These messages may need to be adapted for different levels or areas of the business, but it needs to be centric to the individual receiving the message.
• Be inclusive where possible, after all, the person who does the work knows most about it, so why not include them in the discussions and development of any rewards and new systems. Where possible also include customers to ensure what you develop is fit for the employee and meets the specific needs of your customer.
What is needed to succeed?
With both Employee Engagement and Customer Experience, we believe the 4 critical success factors are:
1 – A shared vision
2 – Ask often
3 – Analyze results
4 – Act with purpose
How does this relate to Lean Methodology?
“Respect for people” and “Continuous Improvement” are the key principles of Lean.
A simple definition of the ‘respect for people’ principle cannot fully capture its meaning.
To exemplify respect for people, business leaders need to consider all people whether they are employees, suppliers, customers, communities, and competitors – ultimately everyone.
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