Long gone are the days of solely focusing on customer satisfaction. While nearly every company will agree that keeping the customer experience (CX) at the forefront of any business strategy is key to maximizing growth and overall success, it’s certainly no longer the only important factor. In recent years, it’s become more widely known, understood, and accepted that high employee engagement correlates to elevated customer satisfaction and gives a boost to many other signifiers of business success.
Maybe it feels as if your company already has a strong handle on employee experience (EE) and engagement, but the truth is that for many, there’s always room for improvement. While even more recent surveys show that employee engagement is on the rise, there’s still significant work to be done. Gallup’s numbers point to 33% of surveyed employees reporting they are actively engaged, leaving 51% of respondents admitting of disengagement in their place of employment. These findings hold weight for businesses, as companies with some of the highest engaged employees enjoyed improvements in several areas, including:
- A 10% increase in customer satisfaction
- A 20% increase in sales
- A 21% increase in profitability
If you’re beginning to think that your company should pivot to focus on EE, here are four trends expected to be huge in 2019.
Flexible Work Schedules
I know what you are thinking, “How can we possibly allow this?” It is not as difficult as it seems and can still fit the needs of the business. The ability to work on their own terms has shot to the top of the priority list for many employees. If business needs allow, this could take the form of employees choosing their own schedules based on the needed time slots throughout the day, thus oftentimes improving the balance between work and professional life. Many employees today appreciate and seek out companies that support the option to work remotely or from home, even if it’s just on occasion. Increased availability and improvements in remote work software cement flexible work schedules as a benefit worth looking into to raise the bar on employee engagement.
Going Above Engagement To Focus on Overall Employee Experience
Oftentimes, when a company first begins to dig into improving employee engagement, initial plans only manage to scratch the surface of EE. While asking for feedback and administering surveys is certainly a good first step, they do little to raise the bar if they aren’t backed by an effective plan of action. Today’s best course for empowering associates and impacting other areas of business success, including CX, is by focusing on the overall employee experience. This entails diving into and improving several aspects of your office environment, including:
- Opportunities for development
- Company culture
- Programs for recognizing and rewarding achievements
- Career paths
- Relationships among teams
Opportunities for Professional and Personal Development
Many companies have long thought of training and development as tools that simply prepared employees for a new position elsewhere, but this is quickly becoming an archaic viewpoint. Employees yearn to learn and grow, not only within their roles but also beyond them. Employers that provide ample opportunities for associates to spread their wings through training programs and continued learning often employ a workforce that is more content, harbors increased loyalty towards their company, and feels intrinsically tied to the continued success and growth of the business. On the flip side, companies lacking a focus on associate development may suffer from low employee engagement and higher rates of turnover. Simply put, if they can’t find a way to grow with you, they will go somewhere they can.
Programs Focused on Mental and Physical Wellness
Adding a wellness program to your company’s repertoire, or improving upon an existing one, is a great way to not only increase employee engagement but can also provide returns in associate health, happiness, and even productiveness. It only takes a look into the rise in popularity of wearables and fitness trackers to see that many enjoy taking an active approach when it comes to their health. The key to incorporating a wellness program is achieving buy-in from employees. If you have a solid plan that the workforce can get excited about, your company will be able to reap the rewards of increased health, camaraderie among coworkers, and engagement.
You may have heard it said before that if you make and keep your employees happy, they will, in turn, keep your customers happy. Not only will a focus on employee engagement impact overall customer satisfaction, but engaged associates take more pride in their work and often show more loyalty to the company they work for. Not to mention it will create a better working environment for all.
Etech understands the importance of engaging both employees and customers. Allow them to ensure your customers are engaged and satisfied while you focus on building engagement within your in-house teams. Reach out to Etech to learn more about their professional and effective customer solutions.
This blog has been published on LinkedIn.