If there’s one thing we’ve learned since the economic collapse ten years ago, it’s that big salaries and gold-plated benefits do not guarantee a happy or productive workforce or amazing employee engagement. In order to nurture the bottom-line, companies have spent decades figuring out ways to improve the customer experience. After all, happier customers means more business and higher revenue.
Turns out the solution was under our noses the whole time: the key to maximizing the customer experience is improving the employee experience.
But how do you do that? The key is building a crystal-clear understanding of your staff and their connection to the company. Armed with this knowledge, bosses can boost the employee experience and, as a direct result, provide even better service to customers.
Does it really matter how “engaged” employees are?
In a word, yes. According to the research conducted by Wellable, companies which invest in employee experience are four times more profitable than those that don’t. This is intuitive, and it confirms what we know already: engaged employees will always add extra value to a business.
But what do we mean by ‘engaged’?
There’s no fixed definition. Loosely, we can say that it means that employees have an emotional commitment to work, and willingness do their best at the job. If staff are positive, happy, satisfied at work, and feel like a valuable cog in the business machine, then you’re doing the right thing. The trick is making it happen.
A Transformation of Work Culture
Engaging employees is no longer about paychecks and the 401(k). The Temkin Group’s latest Employee Engagement Benchmark Study says that engagement largely boils down to feeling a real connection with the values, vision, and brand of the company.
And how do you build that connection? Talk to your employees about your values, vision, and brand.
Instead of superlative-ridden PDFs that gather dust in inboxes, send personalized messages to staff explaining the brand values of your company in the simplest way possible. Show employees how their contribution makes a difference, implement changes based on their feedback, and share a tangible vision for the future.
This is only one step in building employee engagement for the long-term, but it’s the most immediately crucial.
Understanding Your Employees
The trouble with businesses is that they’re full of human beings, and we’re all terribly different. When looking at engagement and the employee experience, the problems aren’t just unique to every company; they’re unique to each individual.
So how do you gather enough reliable data to bring your insightful, actionable lets-boost-employee-engagement plans to life? You ask for it.
One-on-one meetings are a healthy way of hearing some concerns, but when your boss is staring you in the eye it’s hard to admit that “Well actually, I don’t have any idea how my job relates to the company vision”. It doesn’t really work. One reason that surveys yield such reliable and actionable data is anonymity.
Accurate Data Tracking
As long as no one is lurking over their shoulder, employees can express themselves with total honesty through surveys. Our Employee Engagement Survey questions are designed to help you identify the factors that drive employees to perform their best at work. You’ll learn what positive challenges they face, why they become demotivated, and get a precise reading for how engaged each employee is with your brand.
Don’t forget: asking the right questions is only half the battle. You also need the right answers. And good formatting, and an clean user interface. Without all the right inputs, it’s impossible to pool reliable data.
If you’ve never done a business survey before, we might have lost you slightly. We’ve built a sample engagement survey you can check out if you’d like to visualize this a bit better!
Let’s do a quick survey of our own. Just two questions:
- Do you currently track employee engagement data?
- Is it transforming your business?
Data tracking isn’t a hobby. It’s a tool designed to increase the productivity of your business. If you didn’t answer “Yes” to both questions, then something isn’t right.
Do you currently track employee engagement data?
Not everyone is using expertly-developed surveys to get maximum information out of staff, but “tracking data” can be much simpler than this. Are you having conversations? Do you offer one-to-one meetings? Does the company act on the end-of-year feedback?
This is all data, and even these small insights can be acted upon. If your business is asking the most basic questions (Are you satisfied with the work you do?) then you’re moving in the right direction.
But in a medium-large firm, individual voices are rarely heard and good intentions only get you so far. The reality is that in a company with 500 employees, every single doubt or problem experienced by one person will be shared by many others. It’s inevitable. But with ten levels of management and quarterly face-to-face meetings, the data usually gets stuck. Worse, it can be ignored.
You’re currently making an effort to track employee engagement data. That’s good. But could your approach be more proactive or professional?
Is it transforming your business?
When a company surveys its employees and summarizes all of the findings – our customers benefit from automatic survey result reports to make life a bit easier – it should be armed with an immensely powerful tool. The results should detail every major grievance and problem affecting your staff, offering insight that’s impossible to gain any other way.
You indulge in a cheesy grin, implement a bunch of changes – and nothing happens. Worse, you notice that some employees are even less satisfied than before! What went wrong?
The data. Because it’s anonymous, almost every employee will answer questions truthfully. If your actions didn’t create an improvement among employees, then either you implemented the wrong solution (possible) or you asked the wrong questions back at the start – more likely.
You’ve surveyed your employees and taken action, but it didn’t quite work out. In hindsight, could you have done things more effectively?
Doing things the right way
We meant what we said earlier: when it comes implementing internal changes, every business is unique. The changes you implement are specific to the concerns, ambitions, and personalities of your own employees. What fuels those changes, however, is the same for every company in the world: data. And as we’ve said, acting on bad data can lead to even worse employee engagement.
But that’s the thing – every business in the world can guarantee getting the right data. An official employee engagement survey is tried and tested extensively before being put into action. Using our templates, all the data you need (but which you might not yet be tracking!) will be at your fingertips; all you have to do is put it to action.
Exceptional employee experience defines the most successful companies in the world. Will you be one of them?