Column: Great service starts with engaged employees
Commentary by George Klein
Employee engagement receives a great deal of attention. What is meant by that? Employee engagement is broadly considered to be the relationship between an organization and its employees. Employees who are engaged are enthusiastic about their work and actively support the organization.
It makes sense then that employee engagement is linked to customer experience. Companies with engaged employees have been found to benefit by increased profits, greater productivity, decreased employee turnover and improved customer experience.
According to a recent KPMG study, 70 percent of engaged employees report having a good understanding of customer experience versus only 17 percent of disengaged employees. In the same study, companies with engaged employees experienced a 19 percent increase in income while companies with disengaged employees experienced almost a 33 percent decrease. That’s huge!
Engaged employees work harder for customers, both internal and external, and recommend their company’s products and services. That’s powerful!
Create a culture of engagement
Creating a culture of engaged employees starts with communicating clear goals and expectations. Employees want to know how they contribute to the larger organizational goals and at what level they need to perform to meaningfully contribute.
Understanding how they contribute leads to a stronger team environment where employees interact, work together and appreciate how others contribute to the organization.
Encouraging innovation engages employees to look for better ways to do things. This is especially true for touch point employees who see first-hand how to improve customer experience.
Encourage open communication
Create an environment of open communication that doesn’t criticize new ideas and set up easy channels for employees’ ideas to surface. Connect actions taken to employee suggestions so employees see and understand how their input is used.
Be transparent by sharing information. Let employees know what is going on in the company — good and bad. Keeping employees in the loop communicates that they are important to the organization and increases the sense of ownership.
Give employees ongoing feedback on individual, team and organizational performance. Annual performance reviews and company updates are inadequate for creating an engaged workplace.
There are many ways to foster employee engagement. Regardless of how it is accomplished, the rewards are tremendous.
George Klein is the CEO/Founder of Peoplocity, a customer feedback and communication platform. Contact him at George@peoplocity.com.