A recent Harvard Business Review (HBR) survey revealed many companies view employee engagement as a key success factor. But less than half of firms tie engagement metrics to customer satisfaction or financial results. Even more disturbing: just 24 percent believed their workforce is highly engaged.
This research underscores what many business leaders know. Many organizations have work to do move from vision to action in the realm of employee engagement.
Another key finding: organizations that make employee engagement a top priority do a better job at measuring its impacts. Those “high prioritizers” comprised 48 percent of the study total. Thirty-eight percent (38%) of respondents were “moderate prioritizers” with 14 as “low prioritizers.”
What Employee Engagement Leaders Do Differently
As the figure below notes, high prioritizers see a stronger relationship between employee engagement and customer satisfaction compared to moderate or low prioritizers. And high prioritizers take concrete action steps to operationalize that knowledge.
Source: “The Impact of Employee Engagement on Performance,” Harvard Business Review
According to the study, brands that prioritize employee engagement showed some similar characteristics. Those include:
Engagement leaders also link employee engagement to customer feedback and satisfaction surveys. They also have strong recognition programs, which link employee performance to customer happiness and business results.
Creating an Engagement Culture
As the HBR study reveals, effective internal and external surveys are keys to fostering an engagement culture. Within the company, engagement leaders avoid packaged surveys and tailor data collection to specific needs within their environment. In addition, they look for meaning behind the metrics and identify latent pockets of employee dissatisfaction. They also craft external surveys to collect valid insight on customer perceptions and link results to individual performance.
Firms seeking to excel at employee engagement need to heighten focus in these areas:
Engaged employees are far better brand ambassadors—and this has a major impact on customer perceptions. As a recent Forbes article explained, “employees must not only be plausible representatives of your brand’s key attributes, but they must exude the company brand.” Top-to-bottom engagement and authentically listening to external and internal feedback are paths to brand alignment.
The Engagement Imperative
Business leaders now know that having an engaged workforce isn’t a good idea–it’s a strategic imperative. Enterprises must keep a pulse on customer and employee sentiment and have real-time insight into brand expression to thrive in today’s customer-driven world.
Engage with Us
Authoritative research has validated that employee engagement affects customer satisfaction and financial performance. Is your brand taking steps to operationalize this truth? We would love to learn from your experience:
Add a comment or ask a question in the space below. We welcome your input and insights.