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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.