Report Shows Employee Engagement a Priority, but Still Room for Improvement

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Employee Engagement
Employee Engagement
A new study reveals that companies are tracking employee performance, encouraging collaboration, and even implementing gamification as a performance incentive, but opportunities to solicit feedback and instill ownership are plentiful.

Today's competitive culture often makes companies believe that they must adopt the latest technologies and strategies in order to get ahead in their industries. However, many fail to recognize that their greatest asset isn't something they have yet to implement. In most cases, every company's secret weapon lies in the power of their employees. Instead, companies often neglect to solicit feedback from their frontline employees or create ownership of service levels.

NICE's "Systems Performance Management Benchmark Study" report explores how performance-driven companies create an enterprisewide culture that not only focuses on behaviors and activities that drive better customer experiences while reducing cost of care, but also enables frontline employees to take daily action to self-correct while holding supervisors accountable for targeted coaching. This study, which surveyed performance management professionals from more than 130 countries across industries, looks to help companies compare their approach with others and identify specific opportunities for competitive advantage. If organizations hope to improve their performance, they must first understand where they stand in comparison to their peers, along with the trends and best practices in the space.

The following statistics highlight several opportunities for organizations to augment their performance, as the report breaks them into two themes:

Improving Customer Experience

  • Currently, 72 percent of those polled use multiple systems to track employee performance, with Excel and Homegrown solutions serving as their primary tools.
  • While 57 percent named complexity as their biggest pain point, highlighting the risk "multiple sources of truth" pose to the average company, 38 percent reported their primary concern as spending too much time rationalizing data and not enough time coaching the frontline.
  • Forty-one percent of companies struggle to instill ownership of service levels, while another 41 percent find issues with timeliness and data not always being available to inform decisions.
  • Organizations using commercial performance management technology are nearly 20 percent more likely to exceed customer experience and employee satisfaction goals, emphasizing the benefits of aligning the company around common data and goals that efficiently drive results.

Driving Employee Engagement

  • Employee engagement offers thought leaders a huge opportunity to collaborate, yet only 12 percent of organizations have programs designed to solicit ideas and best practices from the frontline, while 65 percent develop and communicate ideas from the top down.
  • Eighty-eight percent of organizations run performance-based contests, with two-thirds doing so monthly or less frequently. Of those polled, 78 percent use public recognition incentives, such as traditional trophies, 57 percent use activity rewards, such as paid social lunches, 57 percent offer financial incentives, and 50 percent reward employees with goods, such as t-shirts or mugs.
  • Those companies that offer daily contests meet or exceed employee satisfaction goals 78 percent of the time, while only 55 percent with monthly or less frequent contests exceed their targets.
  • By implementing gamification techniques, such as levels and badges, companies have the potential to motivate employees to onboard up to 90 percent faster and increase new skills by 70 percent, further encouraging the frontline to take action and contribute ideas.

Key takeaway: Overall, the employee turnover and low productivity of disengaged employees costs the average 1,000 agent contact center more than $2 million per year, as these agents are typically three to five times more likely to leave their job. For companies looking to enhance performance management, success lies in bringing the entire organization together, thereby creating a collaborative environment that promotes superior service and employee involvement. Many companies recognize the need to align data sets and goals as they look to consolidate disparate systems into one enterprisewide platform. However, organizations must also look to motivate bottom-up input, allowing employees on the frontline to contribute ideas. These customer-facing agents hold much untapped insight into direct customer interactions and have the potential to impact and improve daily operations. Throw gamification into the mix, and employees will have even more incentive to learn the new skills necessary to keep their company moving forward and customer satisfaction in peak condition.

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EXPERT OPINION