The 3 key elements to building employee engagement
I work with many businesses who want to be customer focused. Many of them are confused when I recommend starting with their employees – until I explain why.
You need to think of your employees as customers and consider their needs before you think about any other type of customer.
Why? Well, your employees are the ones who deliver your customer experience. To your customers, your employees are the largest part of your business that they see. If you don’t offer a good employee experience and have a high level of engagement from your staff you will never get your customer experience right!
The 3 key elements to building employee engagement:
First, employees want to be respected. This means having open and honest pay and reward structures, clear career paths with the right training and support – but most of all they want to feel that their opinion matters to you!
Second, employees want communication. They need to know what is happening in the business, where are you going, how will you get there, what issues or challenges does the business face, what progress (or not) are you making. And most of all they want to be able to help!
Third, employees want to be involved in the business. By making them feel part of a team that is building the business, they automatically become more engaged and will help drive the business faster.
So, how do you do all that?
Start with a simple communication to all staff – deliver it in person if possible. Tell them where the business is now (turnover etc) and where you want to be in 1 year and 5 years. Explain that to get there you are going to focus on delivering what your customers want and that you need their help as they are the ones that know the customers best. This works best when you announce it as a large project and give it a name for your future reports.
Ask for their ideas – ideally in a small workshop where they can see other’s ideas as this creates synergy and generates even more ideas for you.
Ask everyone to vote on the ideas so you end up with a list of your top 10 priorities. Ask for volunteers to help assess and pilot the ideas and remind everyone that you will always be open to their suggestions.
Work with the volunteers on the ideas (or establish small working parties) and test some out. Keep communicating to all staff – at least weekly. This just needs to be a quick update on what is happening, any successes or failures, plus a reminder that you are always looking for new ideas. In each communication, head it up with the project title, remind them of the aim, mention past successes in the project, explain what has happened since the last update and mention what you are still to deliver.
This creates a clear sense amongst employees that the business is going places and that they are fully involved in driving it forward.
Keep communicating, keep listening and keep making changes – you will be surprised at how many brilliant ideas your employees have and how engaged they become when they are delivering change for you!
Customers are front and centre of all successful business models … so implementing strategies to improve their experience is always a smart move – seek out independent help from customer service experts who can help you turbo charge your results!
Straight talking advice on customer service and employee engagement from Yorkshire Powerhouse
Have you any questions?
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