A happy and engaged workforce is a fundamental element in business success and forward-thinking business leaders are striving to gain and retain high levels of employee engagement. Not only are engaged employees more likely to work harder, ultimately having a positive impact on the customer experience, but it's human nature for customers to want to do business with a brand that is evidently treating its employees right.Last week 1to1 Media looked at the importance of long-term employee engagement and yesterday we discussed the findings during a one-hour tweet-up with the participation of Natalie Burgwin, the PR Manager of 1-800-Got-Junk?, a winner of Achievers' "50 Most Engaged Workplaces Award in 2012." These are some of the insights shared during the conversation:
It all starts with hiring the right people and 1-800-GOT-JUNK? looks for skill and culture fit in its new employees. Then, the organization uses employee referrals as a way to hire other great employees, Burgwin said. During onboarding, the organization uses stories as a form of training. "Teach them who you are," she said. As an organization that values employee feedback, 1-800-GOT-JUNK? doesn't have offices but everyone, including the CEO, sits together, allowing for information to be shared informally. Further, the company has a daily seven-minute stand-up meeting, Huddle, where everyone shares good news and feedback.
Employees are, after all, the face of the company and as such they constantly come into contact with customers, putting them in a great position to share insights about customers' experience with the business. Thus, employees, especially frontliners, should be looked at as customer advocates.
Recognition is an essential part of ensuring lasting engagement. As Afshar notes: "You don't need finance's approval to pay employees with respect and dignity." Sometimes all that's needed is a simple "thank you," showing employees that they're appreciated. Further, rewarding employees for positive behavior is a reaffirmation that they're doing things right.
Companies which want to improve their customer experience need to start with their employees, making sure that they're engaged. It starts with listening to them and showing them that they're appreciated.