Contemporary research continually places the importance of employee engagement front and centre. The latest Gallup poll suggests that only 30% of the workforce feel engaged … blah, blah, blah … I know … we have all heard the statistics about the lack of engagement. So how do you grasp the nettle of poor engagement? How do you encourage employees without alienating them?
While there are many routes to increased engagement, one overlooked approach is to value employees as you value your customers. This is a simple principle, but requires a degree of emotional intelligence to implement successfully.
To engage employees - make them feel as valued as your customers
Consider these six customer-centric tactics to greater employee engagement in your organisation:
- Be interested in me! If you know my name and the club I support you can speak to me as a human being. Look for opportunities to bump into me and discuss an issue that matters to me. Showing genuine interest in me will solidify our relationship and my loyalty.
- Incentivise me! I want to be recognised for doing a good job and rewarded for my efforts. This will boost my engagement and loyalty to my employer, which is similar to how loyalty programs can help to retain customers.
- Sort out issues fast! If you sort my problems quickly I regain focus and get back to producing excellent work for you. Use the same process you would when dealing with a customer issue. You know that they will leave you if you give poor customer service.
- Listen to my feedback! If you request my feedback on an issue ensure that you consider it. If I feel that it is valued I feel good about myself and about the company. If I feel ‘well’, my vitality will support and deliver not just today’s company goals but tomorrows, too!
- Go above and beyond! You want customers to stay - so you are always looking for ways to impress them. I expect my employer to meet certain standards, but I love it when their actions go above and beyond my expectations.
- Guide me! I appreciate good advice and guidance when making purchasing decisions. Employees need guidance in developing their careers. Help them to identify strengths. Give them the opportunities to grow with you
Engagement driven by Emotional Intelligence
An organisation can spend a great deal of energy engaging employees. Emotional intelligence suggests that treating employees like customers will lead to higher levels of employee engagement - as well as greater employee productivity and job satisfaction. This approach and these steps can, in turn, support organisations to remain competitive and have a positive effect on their bottom line.