The business world has begun to see the deep connection between employee engagement and customer experience, productivity and profit.
Simply stated, highly-engaged employees try harder and tend to drive business results!
They are twice as likely to work after their shift ends, twice as likely to do something good for the company that is unexpected of them, and three times as likely to make recommendations for company improvements, according to an Employee Engagement Benchmark Study by Temkin Group.
But despite the benefits of an engaged workforce, far too many organizations struggle to engage their employees, as evidenced by the fact that only thirty-percent of the U.S. workforce is engaged.
The 5 I’s
We’re all familiar with the quote, “There’s no “I” in team.”
Playing off of this adage, Temkin Group suggests there are actually 5 “I’s” in team, representing five ways to engage your team.
Here are five ways an organization can improve employee engagement and, consequently, the customer experience, based on their research:
Inform… provide the team with the information they need to understand the organization’s vision and brand values, along with how customers feel about the organization.
Following a thorough communication plan across multiple channels is a good way to implement this step, as is creating opportunities for employees to hear directly from customers.
Inspire… Connect the workforce to the organization’s vision and mission so they believe these things matter, and so they can take pride in the organization.
Defining, communicating and exemplifying the vision, values and mission are some of the best practices for accomplishing this step.
Instruct… Support the team with the training, coaching and feedback they need to be successful and to be confident in their ability to overcome day-to-day challenges
Involve… Take action with employees when solving problems, improving work processes or designing job descriptions. Involving the team creates broader buy-in and bolsters engagement.
Incent… Develop appropriate methods to measure, reward and reinforce desired behaviors.
Some proven methods include enabling peer-to-peer recognition, formalized incentive programs, and celebrating high-performing teams.
Mastering the “5 I’s” requires collaboration across many groups, Temkin Group warns, including managers, front-line supervisors, HR, IT and, most importantly, senior management.
Strong sponsorship and communication by company leaders is a must if we are to engage our workforce. The message starts at the top, and “what gets talked about, gets done.”