With the competition for loyal customers ever rampant, one of your key differentiators is the service provided by your employees. Next to an extremely satisfied customer, your employees are your greatest customer loyalty tools for your business. Their level of engagement and satisfaction has a direct impact on how the experience received by your customers.
As a business owner or manager, one of your key priorities should be to constantly have a pulse on the level of engagement in your employees. Engagement (high or low) can be seen in everyday behavior by your employees.
Signs of Highly Engaged Employees:
- Happy to provide service regardless of the situation.
- Highly motivated to go “above and beyond”.
- Strong initiative to resolve issues or find opportunity for improvements.
- Strong desire to support the reputation of the business.
Signs of Disengaged Employees:
- Poor attendance.
- Has to be prodded to do the basics of their jobs.
- Lacks initiative to resolve issues or make changes.
- Speaks poorly of the business and the customers.
Environments that have highly engaged employees can see incredible profit increases and sustained customer loyalty. The key is to create an environment that allows highly engaged employees to be successful and manages those that are disengaged.
How do you increase engagement?
- Conduct and employee engagement survey. Get a benchmark for current state of engagement. This will also help you understand areas to focus on for increasing engagement.
- Ensure your HR policies and procedures (from hiring to separation) support key elements of engagement. An external HR Audit is often helpful in identifying the strength of your HR policies.
- Support managers. Provide training and tools to enhance the leadership abilities in your management staff.
Your employees can make or break your business as a result of their level of engagement. The strongest foundation you can put in place are HR practices that drive high engagement at all levels. Your result will be low turn-over, high customer loyalty and a direct impact on your bottom line!
Written by Cathy Loudon, Executive Vice President of Horizon HR Solutions