employee engagement mistake

The Big Mistake Most Organizations Make with Employee Engagement

by Colin Shaw on September 10, 2015

It seems most organizations have a Customer Experience program and an increasing number have started Employee Engagement programs. The issue for me is these are not combined nor complimentary, which is a huge mistake. Why? Because the experience you give your Customers is the same experience you should give your employees. It’s not only good for employee engagement, but it can mean your Customers are more satisfied with you—and how much they spend with your brand.

Foresee, a Customer Experience analytics firm, examined the results of two studies that used their analytics technology last fall. The first was looking at the employee experience for American workers at all levels of employment. The second examined the retail experience of 40,000 Customers. What they discovered was Customer Satisfaction was highest in retailers with high employee engagement. Furthermore, this translated into increased revenues for those stores by referrals; return visits and purchases from other channels. To see the full article, click here.

Clearly, the idea that employee engagement isn’t as important as Customer Experience is one whose time has passed. It’s critical to address both deliberately to create and experience that is good for both employees and Customers.

Combining the Customer and the Employee Experience

So how can you do this? The first step is defining the experience you want for both. Here’s a hint: It’s the same one. In other words, if you want your Customers to feel they can trust you, they are valued, and their experience was easy, then your employees should say that senior management trusts them, values them, and their experiences was easy, too. When you achieve this state, the Customer Experience program and employee engagement program are aligned and implemented simultaneously.

Employee engagement is the latest buzz phrase in the industry. It occurs when employees feel a strong commitment to the company’s mission, and motivated to contribute to the company’s success. Furthermore, engaged employees enjoy personal satisfaction for doing so.

Like Customer engagement, getting Employee Engagement rarely happens by accident. It is deliberately designed into the culture and is carried out by the leaders in the organization. In other words, if you want employee engagement, you have to design a work experience that produces it. Therefore the same principles about how you deal with a Customer Experience apply to how you deal with an Employee Experience.

One of the tools we deploy to help organizations create a better Employee Experience is an Emotional Signature for employees. An Emotional Signature for employees is how your Employees feel about their work experience, more specifically, the emotions they associate with work. If we are trying to create engaged employees, we need to discover what emotions drives the most value for them by undertaking some form of research, like that which we do for the emotional signature for Customers. Using these identified values, we then design emotionally engaging experiences for employees.

Many organizations we first meet do not trust their employees. Employee empowerment is woefully inadequate. When this happens, the employer sends a strong message that says, “We don’t trust you to make the right decision.” This is never a catalyst for employee engagement. By giving employees the tools to do the job and then getting out of their way while they do it, you create empowerment and foster employee engagement.

For my last corporate gig, I always said, “Happy people give you happy Customers.” Based on the findings by Foresee, I might now amend that to say, “Happy People give you Happy Customers that spend more money!” Who doesn’t want that?

Are your Customer Experience and Employee Experiences combined and complementary?

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Colin Shaw is the founder and CEO of Beyond Philosophy, one of the world’s leading Customer experience consultancy & training organizations. Colin is an international author of five bestselling books and an engaging keynote speaker.

Follow Colin Shaw on Twitter & Periscope @ColinShaw_CX

Colin ShawThe Big Mistake Most Organizations Make with Employee Engagement