Sunday, January 11, 2009

Making Engagement Contagious

I read one of the best articles on the topic of employee engagement and the impact it has on customer engagement. The article is by Dr. Gary Rhoades, entitled, "The Spillover Effect." I highly recommend reading it.

We have all heard that "happy employees equal happy customers", even I have said that many times. We all know that it is intuitively true, but it is and has been very hard to measure and track. An analysis by the Allegiance group noted that companies that had high levels of engagement for both customers and employees were TWICE as effective in financial performance that those that had high levels in just one group.

As companies that have used linkage analysis are out- performing those that do not, I believe it’s time to move away from traditional employee surveys and think differently about engagement as a business outcome. The key is to understand those emotional drivers of employee engagement and how they play out in the customer experience. If your employees are emotionally engaged, that engagement spills over to your customers, which leads to better business results.

The first step is to pay attention to what makes emotionally engaged employees. You are not looking for just satisfaction. HR can play a significant role in this type of work by understanding the positive and negative characteristics in the working environment that drive emotional engagement so that changes can be made or best practices can be sustained. Those behaviors that customers value need to be identified so that they can be repeated over time. Repeat positive customer experiences are what leads to customer loyalty.  We all know that customer loyalty leads to better profits, revenues, and market share. 
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