Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Employee Engagement & Customer Satisfaction

While there is no magic pill or instant solution for employee engagement, Insightlink’s years of experience with organizations of different sizes and spanning various industries reveals clear connections between employee engagement and organizational strength. One of the strongest connections (what we call the “Insightlink” itself) is often customer satisfaction.

The Insightlink is the bridge – whether it has the strength of a chain or the precariousness of a thin thread – that correlates employee engagement to organizations strength, most typically financial strength.

Employee Engagement ----> Customer Satisfaction -----> Organizational Strength

Engaged employees function as the beginning of the link and, ideally, the other side or end is the organization’s strength as a whole, In between, customer satisfaction is crux of the “Insightlink.” The Insightlink takes the strength employee engagement and leverages it into revenue growth and profitability. Engaged employees performing in a manner leads customers to act more loyally, which in turn, generally leads to greater profits and future growth. Non-engaged employees (such as what Insightlink’s 4Cs framework calls “Dissatisfied Compromisers”) do just the opposite.

So how do we help organizations build and strengthen this link? When it comes to employee engagement, the process and practice for appropriate alignment of survey results with subsequent action planning optimally includes:

Leadership involvement from senior executives, particularly the top executive
Clarifying and establishing overall objectives; determining drivers of engagement
Communicating internally the objectives
Aligning to objectives, including appropriate accountability
Measurement of the work-life environment
Acting on the results

The underlying premise is that successful organizations need to retain people who care about their work, who care about how they perform it and who care about the overall success of the company. When engaged employees are what customers regularly encounter and they create value internally that is felt by customers externally, customers gain an intrinsic sense of value in doing business with the organization and will stay loyal, purchase more and/or more often and tell others about their experiences.

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