Making The Case For Employee Engagement

If you want to improve customer experience, then focus on employee engagement. It might be your best path to success.
Employee Engagement

One of Temkin Group's Six Laws of Customer Experience is that unengaged employees can't create engaged customers. Any sustainable customer experience effort must include engaged employees. Our research shows that compared with disengaged employees, highly engaged employees are:

  • More than 2.5 times as likely to stay at work later if something needs to be done
  • More than three times as likely to do something that is good for the company even if it's not expected of them
  • Almost three times as likely to make a recommendation about an improvement at their company
  • Almost five times as likely to recommend that a friend work at the company

Think about it. How difficult is it to be successful if you're relying on a bunch of unengaged employees?!? It's no surprise that companies with above average customer experience in their industry have almost 2.5 times as many engaged employees as do companies that lag in customer experience.

There's a lot to gain from engaging employees, especially since only 50 percent of employees within large U.S. organizations are highly or moderately engaged. Despite the upside, companies aren't doing enough. In a recent Temkin Group research State of Employee Engagement Activities, 2014, we found that less than one out of five large organizations have strong efforts underway to engage employees. Even worse, this level has dropped since last year.

What Do Employee Engagement Leaders Look Like?

Using results from nearly 200 large companies that completed Temkin Group's Employee Engagement Competency and Maturity Assessment, we compared high scoring companies with their weaker peers. Seventy-three percent of employee engagement leaders had above average financial results for their industry in 2013, while only 55 percent of laggards can claim the same. Here are some other differences:

  • 59 percent of employee engagement leaders enlist the expertise of a CX group to help shape their engagement efforts, compared to only 31 percent of laggards.
  • Two-thirds of employee engagement leaders have significantly coordinated activities across their entire organization, compared with only 26 percent of laggards.
  • Eighty-one percent of companies with stronger employee engagement measure engagement at least annually, whereas only 68 percent of laggards do the same.
  • While 70 percent of employee engagement leaders have an executive team that highly prioritizes taking action based on the results of engagement studies, only 23 percent of laggards have an executive team with the same drive.

Five Employee Engagement Competencies

Hopefully I've piqued your interest in employee engagement. What does it take to improve make improvements? Focus on mastering what we call the Five I's of Employee Engagement:

  • Inform: Provide employees with the information they need to understand the organization's vision and brand values, along with evidence of how customers feel about the organization.
  • Inspire: Connect employees to the organization's vision and values, instilling within them a belief that these matter and encouraging them to take pride in their job and their organization.
  • Instruct: Support employees with the training, coaching, and feedback they need to successfully deliver the organization's brand promises to customers.
  • Involve: Take action with employees when designing their jobs, improving work processes, and solving the problems identified through customer or employee feedback.
  • Incent: Deploy appropriate systems to measure, reward, and reinforce desired employee behaviors and motivate employees to give their best.

If you want to improve customer experience, then focus on employee engagement. It might be your best path to success.