is low employee engagement damaging your customer experience?

You’ve heard how important creating a killer customer experience (CX) is for your business’ bottom line. It’s so critical that we wrote a book dedicated to CX and have spoken at numerous trade events on the topic. But what tends to get lost in the CX discussion is the importance your employees. They’re really the advocates of your customer experience. Think about it — a vast majority of the way a customer comes into contact with your brand is impacted or delivered by your employees.

As a result, we need to put more attention on engaging employees. This isn’t just an HR assignment or a feel-good idea. Companies that promote solid Employee Experience (EX) throughout their organizations are positioned to have stronger business results. According to a FranklinCovey and Harris Interactive study, companies that dedicate themselves to a high level of employee engagement achieve up to 57% greater profitability than companies with low engagement. Take a moment to reflect on your profits and then add 57% growth. Does that give you a reason to focus more on engaging your team? It should.

Engagement is Powerful

As much as this concept makes sense and has the numbers to back up its validity, we found that nearly 50% of companies do not hold town hall meetings or discuss the business objectives of the business on a regular basis. This is a problem. Employees need to understand the company goals to understand what success looks like, and to align their daily operations to these objectives.

In the FranklinCovey study mentioned early, only 44% of employees clearly understood their company’s most important goals. Furthermore, only 19% of team members felt they had clearly defined work goals for their position and sadly, only 9% believed that their individual work had a strong link to the organization’s priorities. You cannot expect to get extraordinary performance from your team if they don’t know what success looks like.

You cannot get extraordinary performance from your team if they don’t know what success looks like.

Today’s customers have a very high expectation about the quality and frequency of the interactions they have with a brand. And you know what? Your employees do, too. Meaningful employee engagement cannot be a stereotype we thrust upon millennials. It needs to be a top priority for all your employees in your organization.

We recently wrote about the aging population and high retirement rate (10,000 a day) of the baby boomers and how this affects the construction industry. It’s leading to an urgent need for succession planning. Employers need to start recruiting candidates with long-term availability, such as millennials or gen Xers. The number one thing (even beyond salary) that potential employees look for is a cultural fit. If the benefits of your culture are not obvious to the candidate during the interview process, you will lose great talent to companies that have a strongly embedded employee culture and engaging environment.

Culture Defines Success Rate

Many mergers or acquisitions fail. It’s typically not because of product quality or operational efficiency, it’s more likely due to a lack of established company culture. If the organization being acquired doesn’t have a cultural fit with the acquiring company, issues will arise. And the most common situation is that the acquiring company’s employees haven’t been engaged, aren’t knowledgeable of company goals and therefore, don’t truly own the success of the newly merged organization.

Make your EX as important as your CX. Prioritizing engagement will help you create a strong culture, a sense of employee ownership and business results that will outperform your industry.

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