As a talent management leader, your job is to make sure that all your employees at your company are happy and thriving. You do your best to keep employees engaged, which keeps them developing stronger relationships with your customers and working harder behind the scenes.
Sometimes that is just not the case. Has an employee gradually started to put less effort into their work? Have you received negative feedback from customers that an individual was disrespectful during a call? All of these signs point to a broken employee experience, which could be impacting your customers.
When employee satisfaction begins to decline, the negativity can trickle down to the customers you serve each and every day. The employee and customer experiences go hand-in-hand—when an employee is disengaged, it affects your customers and ultimately impacts your company’s bottom line.
How Does the Employee Experience Impact the Customer Experience?
The employee experience includes every interaction internal talent has with your company as soon as they walk in the door on their first day. From their work environment to health benefits to learning and development opportunities, their experience is completely shaped by your organization.
When employees are happy, they are more likely to perform better in the office—which means more happy customers for you, and higher ROI in the long run. Gallup reports that engaged employees are more likely to improve customer relationships, with a resulting 20% increase in sales. The more engaged they are, the more they will want to come to work ready to deliver incredible experiences to customers.
Every interaction a customer has with your employee—whether good or bad—contributes to their overall impression of your brand and the customer experience. Just as engaged internal talent can improve customer relationships, unhappy employees can deteriorate them. According to Sapling, actively disengaged employees cost the U.S between $450 billion and $550 billion per year. You could also encounter a significant drop in customers if they share their poor experience with others.
To prevent negative energy from extending to your customers, it is in your company’s best interest financially and culturally to make sure employees are engaged.
Improving the Employee Experience
A closer look into the internal morale and culture at your company will help shed light on areas where you can improve the employee experience, both motivating them to stay engaged and to stay longer at your organization.
Plain and simple, employees want to feel like they are of value to the company, and one way to do that is through support initiatives. In fact, employee satisfaction rose by 37% as a result of employee support initiatives. As a result, focusing on keeping employees engaged will motivate them to stay long-term at the company and continue to reinforce customer relationships.
Here are a few ways to help boost engagement at your company:
1. Establish an Internal Mobility strategy
The harsh reality is employees will leave a company they might really love to pursue a new avenue in their career if they are not aware of opportunities that might be available internally. They want to determine what’s best for them in their career moving forward.
An internal mobility strategy helps employees pursue these opportunities at your organization—and the first step starts with opening career pathing dialogue between you and your employees, or encouraging team leaders to start this discussion with their direct reports.
2. Invest in the right technology
With any new strategy, you need to ensure you have the right tools in place to execute it smoothly. A platform that focuses on improving the employee experience is a great way to make new job opportunities easily accessible to your employees.
It can increase employee engagement significantly, and also provide an easy way for your employees to refer friends and family to your company. As you search for the right technology for you and your organization's needs, consider must-have functionality like an internal career portal, chatbot, referrals, and analytics.
3. Show your gratitude for your employees regularly.
One of the easiest ways to boost engagement at your company is to make sure your employees know just how grateful you are for them. Offering competitive benefits is something that is very important to your employees, and it goes beyond the desire to have unlimited vacation.
Companies like Salesforce and Workday have done just that. Salesforce was voted the #1 company to work for in 2018 for all their hard work, all the while making sure their employees are happy and healthy. For every dollar a Salesforce employee donates to charity, Salesforce will match it by $2,500. Workday was voted the #7 spot for best companies to work for in 2018. They offer discounted childcare, unlimited time off, on-site services like manicures, massages, and oil changes—just to name a few perks.
Other ways to boost engagement:
- Conduct surveys to see what your employees wants and needs are
- Hold regular social gatherings/team building exercises to increase team bonding
- Actively set attainable goals with your team members
- Consider offering benefits like mental health breaks/days
Fixing a broken employee experience is vital to the continued success of any company and their customers. Whether it’s providing just a couple more vacation days, giving out free breakfast once in a while, or setting goals with your employees, you will see the benefits for your customers and company as a whole. You have to be able to think outside the box and be agile in the pursuit of what makes your employees happy.