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Counselor Commentary: Get Engaged

A new report just released by the Performance Improvement Council of the Incentive Marketing Association shows a clear connection between employee engagement and the level of customer service that a company provides.

A new report just released by the Performance Improvement Council of the Incentive Marketing Association shows a clear connection between employee engagement and the level of customer service that a company provides. In other words, corporations with highly-engaged work forces tend to offer clients significantly better service than those with more disengaged staffers. And, yes, we all know that good customer service tends to translate to higher revenues and profits for most companies.

“We know from a variety of sources and studies that companies with high levels of engagement have better customer satisfaction scores,” said Beau Ballin, president of the Performance Improvement Council. “This report connects recognition, employee engagement and customer satisfaction to bottom line results.”

Ultimately, the study shows that engaged employees are more likely to “go the extra mile and ensure the customer has the best possible experience” and that “delighted customers” are “10 to 30 percent more loyal” than those who aren’t completely satisfied. So, while many people tend to criticize corporate culture and employee engagement as soft disciplines, there’s actually a clear connection between those so-called nice-to-have things and the need-to-have increases in sales and profits.

What can be done? Get your employees more involved in the everyday doings of your company. Connect the dots for them, so they understand the company’s overall goals and they don’t just feel like cogs in a corporate machine. And, probably most importantly, give them some rope. Employees are most engaged in their work – and the company they work for – when they feel like they own it themselves. Do they need to run every last idea up the food chain of corporate bureaucracy? Are they afraid to fail at a new endeavor or make mistakes? Do they simply say “yes” to their bosses all the time?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you surely have an employee engagement problem. And, worse, when you have an employee engagement issue, then you most certainly also have a customer service issue. What happens in this equation? Bad employee engagement leads to poor customer service which leads to falling revenues and profits.

Don’t come out on the wrong end of that. Make strides now to increase the engagement of your employees.