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  • Bridge generational gaps to optimize workforce management strategies

    Jeff Jokerst | Oct 23, 2018
    As a manager, your job is to provide a healthy, motivating, and productive environment for each of your employees. But when you consider the diversity in personalities, motivators, and working styles, developing an effective management strategy can seem like a daunting task.
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  • Employee recognition: A little can go a long way

    Mary Widmer | Sep 28, 2018
    It may seem simple—when someone does a good job, it should be acknowledged. Maybe it’s something small, like a note of gratitude from a manager. Or perhaps it merits a larger reward, like a bonus or promotion. But a recent Gallup poll revealed most employees feel their hard work is often overlooked.
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  • Making the connection: Employee engagement and CX go hand-in-hand

    Jeff Jokerst | Sep 27, 2018
    Employee engagement and the customer experience aren’t mutually exclusive. That’s why it’s so important to measure feedback from both and combine that data for holistic insights on your entire service culture.
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  • SMG Employee Spotlight - Alisha Laughlin

    Employee Spotlight | Sep 17, 2018
    Our Employee Spotlight series gives you a behind-the-scenes peek at what makes SMG work—our people. Learn more about our team and get to know Alisha Laughlin – Solution Analyst.
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  • Can you handle the truth? A good manager is a trustworthy one

    Jeff Jokerst | Sep 7, 2018
    In a series of upcoming blog posts, I will cover core management and life principles that were game-changers for me as a manager.
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  • Protect your brand: Establish trust with employees

    Brinda Swanson | Jul 19, 2018
    Employee engagement has many advantages: decreased turnover, better customer service, an increase in sales performance. But an often overlooked benefit to having more engaged employees is the decrease in employee theft. It’s an unpleasant thing for any employer to think about, but the reality is it happens and it needs to be addressed. But before you jump in and make any rash decisions, take a step back and ask yourself one question: Have I done what I can to foster loyalty within my employees?
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  • Bet your bottom dollar—low turnover is good for business

    Paul Tiedt | Jul 10, 2018
    Good news for the economy: unemployment is down. Bad news for companies: turnover is up. Many individuals in the workforce now have the luxury of being particular about what jobs they take (and keep), prompting more competition in labor. This is especially true for the more qualified, high-quality employees—the ones you’re hoping to have on your team for a long time.
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  • Employee survey frequency: Quality over quantity

    Jeff Jokerst | Jun 7, 2018
    There is a lot of buzz today regarding continuous employee surveys and how they provide the answer to better engaging employees in the workplace. Today’s technology allows us to connect with employees more easily and provokes some to conclude that “if we can, we should” when it comes to frequent surveying.
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  • Successful managers influence behavior every day

    Jeff Jokerst | May 1, 2018
    Your employees are counting on you to lead with consistency. Management/leadership isn’t a role where you can pick and choose which days you feel like being good at your job. A truly strong leader is one who is dependable—who creates clarity, serves, and invests in their employees and team members—every day.
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  • Don’t overlook the value of investing in your team members

    Jeff Jokerst | Mar 29, 2018
    Many understand the importance of financial investments and take steps to ensure a more secured future. They contribute to 401Ks, build up their savings accounts, establish college funds for their children, etc. Some even hire professional advisors to oversee their investment strategy. Where people put their hard-earned money is one of the most important decisions they can make and is often done with a detailed game plan in place.
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  • Break down company walls for team unity + brand strength

    Nichole Wright | Mar 6, 2018
    When it comes to customer experience (CX) measurement, it’s important each team member—from IT and HR to leadership and the field—has individual goals and a feeling of self-accountability. But it’s just as important for a person to integrate those specific roles and personal expectations into the big picture and know how they affect the company as a whole. Specific programs and initiatives are often delegated to a certain department and can send a “not my problem” message to individuals not directly involved. The goal should be to unify the team and demonstrate a “stronger together” mentality by showing everyone’s responsibility.
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  • Engagement + performance increase with service-oriented leadership

    Jeff Jokerst | Feb 27, 2018
    Every manager hopes to have hard-working, passionate employees who go above and beyond expectations. That’s the dream, right? Engaged associates make a manager’s job much easier. But simply closing your eyes and making a wish for dedicated team members doesn’t cut it. Good managers know they have to actively foster clear performance expectations, step up when it matters most, work toward positive relationships with employees, and be consistent in their leadership approach. Or another way to look at it: managers who go all in get employees who go all in.
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  • Your front-line employees wield more power than your CEO

    Jennifer McKenzie | Feb 20, 2018
    We’ve all been there. You walk into a store known for great service, only to be met by an employee who would clearly rather be someplace else. The best reputations don’t always match the specific encounter, and when that happens, it’s usually because front-line teams don’t feel personally accountable for the customer experience. But nothing could be further from the truth. They own it.
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  • Create clarity to generate engaged and accountable employees

    Jeff Jokerst | Jan 30, 2018
    A successful company isn’t just full of employees who work hard—it consists of people who care. The driving force behind motivation goes beyond the amount on a paycheck. It’s about employees feeling valued by their peers and, most importantly, by their leaders.
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  • Adopt the growth mindset + act already!

    Jeff Jokerst | Dec 21, 2017
    As a consultant to several restaurant, retail, and grocery brands, I have the opportunity to present employee survey findings to executive teams almost 50 times a year. This has provided some unique opportunities for casual data collection based on meeting observations. Through my observations, I have come to realize a great predictor of growth—not only related to employee engagement, but also to the business in general—is how the team responds to their data and commits to action. Whether those teams know it or not, they’re demonstrating many of the qualities of a “growth mindset”—a principle made famous by Carol Dweck.
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  • Who has the biggest impact on front-line employee engagement?

    Jeff Jokerst | Nov 10, 2017
    If you’ve held positions in workforce management, you’ve heard the phrase “Engagement starts at the top”—and you also probably know how true that is. Our research repeatedly shows top-performing organizations have highly engaged executives, and engagement levels tend to cascade accordingly across the organization. In other words, the further down the organizational hierarchy you go, the less engaged employees are on average.
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  • 5 qualities of high-performing managers—and why they matter

    Jeff Jokerst | Sep 21, 2017
    It’s unfortunate, but most of us have been there: working a job that leaves you uninspired, unfulfilled, and eventually looking for something more meaningful. On the opposite end of the spectrum, many of us have been fortunate enough to find jobs that feel less like daily grinds and more like careers that tap into our true passions. And if you think back to those jobs that fall into the latter category, chances are they all have one thing in common: high-performing managers.
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  • Millennials in the workplace: Myths, misconceptions, and tips

    Jeff Jokerst | Jul 17, 2017
    Lazy. Entitled. World champions of participation with trophies to prove it. A lot of unfavorable (and unfair) labels get thrown around when discussing millennials. And if you’re an HR professional, those labels may raise some alarms about what that means for you over the coming years.
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  • Understanding the relationship between employee engagement and customer loyalty drives brand performance

    Jeff Jokerst | Apr 25, 2017
    More and more, successful brands are coming to understand the relationship between employee engagement and customer loyalty. Brands with strong employee engagement better manage turnover, increase customers’ likelihood to recommend and improve comp sales. Not only do customers feel the difference, but in fact there is a direct link between highly engaged employees, highly loyal customers and financial performance.
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