There is a definite nexus between employee engagement and customer experience – the better the former, the more effective the latter. In line with one of Bruce Temkin’s 6 laws of Customer Experience, it is only an engaged employee who can create an engaged customer. An employee who believes that his organization nurtures him and enables him to grow will understand that it is his responsibility to make the organization reach new heights.
It is imperative for organizations to understand that satisfied employees are not the same as engaged employees. As Customer Insight puts it, employee satisfaction is the extent to which employees are happy or content with their jobs and work environment. On the other hand, employee engagement is the extent to which employees feel passionate about their jobs, are committed to the organization, and put discretionary effort into their work. An engaged employee will have a symbiotic relationship with his organization, as opposed to a satisfied one which is unidirectional.
Also, statistics point that fat paychecks don’t necessarily translate into engaged employees. Work-life balance, career advancements prospects, and employee incentive programs are what matter!
Here are some tips to understand and improve employee engagement within your organization:
Right and effective communication helps nurture and build any relationship, and the relationship between an organization and an employee is no different. Research has concluded that effective communication can certainly increase the productivity and engagement of employees substantially. A survey by Gallup states that managers who regularly meet with their employees almost tripled that level of engagement. The management of any organization must communicate the goals, aspirations, and expectations to their employees clearly and transparently and must encourage employees to do the same.
The cornerstone of increasing employee engagement is to get the right feedback from your employees. Use relevant questions and make genuine attempts at finding what is right and wrong with your organization. Don’t think of it only as a means of collecting data. Find out what really motivates your team to give their best output.
It is but natural to get defensive or give excuses about negative feedback. However, being defensive or playing the blame game leads nowhere. Instead, it is advisable that you focus on how to make things right.
It is often said that employees leave managers, not organizations. As per a research by Towers Watson, just by recognizing employee performance managers could increase employee engagement by almost 60%. Similarly, Gallup estimates that managers account for around 70% of the variance in employee engagement. Imagine what can happen if you have the wrong people in places of power!
Give employees the necessary resources they need and support their progress. Make sure that the nature of an employee’s work is in line with his skills. Give them the freedom to take their own decisions. There are few things that bring more happiness to an employee than the freedom to do a task the way they envision it.
Many a times, organizations underestimate the joy that recognition and increased responsibility bring to an employee. Remember to recognize and celebrate milestones of your team and team members. Also, encourage them to celebrate successes of their co-workers.
Be candid about your expectations of employees and build a relationship of mutual trust and admiration. It would help greatly if you create a culture of clear accountability and transparency – practice open communication. Make your employees believe that their opinion matters and that the management cares to listen to them. Respect your employees and they will reciprocate.
Just as building a strong customer experience roadmap requires an outside-in approach, so improving employee engagement requires an inside-out approach. It is critical to look from both the sides because only happier and engaged employees would go out of the way to create that exceptional customer experience.
What else do you think could create happier employees and thus happier organizations? Do let us know!
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