Should Companies Really Care About Some Disengaged Employees?
What happens when your employees don’t feel the love? According to research, your customers don’t either.
There have been many organizations that espoused the “customers first” approach that was prevalent in the last ten years or so. And, for many, it is the approach that supports their success. But there’s another way to think about how to win in this competitive environment…it’s putting employees first. The rationale is that, if your employees are not happy at work, they won’t care about making your customers happy. And if customers don’t feel as if their needs are being met by your employees, you will lose them; they will go elsewhere, probably to your competitors.
Here are some research-backed statistics from Forbes, the WSJ, Gallup, the USA Today and the Rand Corporation that should worry any leader who is concerned about engaging and satisfying employees and customers:
• Companies who have happily engaged employees outperform their competitors by 20%
• Engaged salespeople are 37% more productive than those who are disengaged
• Over one-third of employees would sacrifice $5,000 per year to be happier at work
• Fortune’s 100 Best Places to Work enjoyed a stock increase of 2.3-times the overall market
And the most telling is that almost one-third of employees don’t really care about what they are doing.
What do these employee engagement statistics mean to business leaders?
They mean that YOU should really care about your employees’ attitude toward their work. It is not rocket science to realize that if you are served by a lackadaisical employee, you are less inclined to buy. Employees significantly affect the customer experience…whether they work in customer service, sales or production. To truly succeed in business over the long-term, you need to be deeply concerned about whether your employees care enough about the customers they serve, the solutions they sell, or the quality of the products they make. Your organization’s business success depends upon it.
What can you do to find out the level of your employees’ engagement? Ask them.
You can do this in open forums or focus groups (though you may not get honest answers if they suspect there will be repercussions for negative comments). Or you can conduct an employee engagement survey that assures anonymity. But be sure that, if you ask your employees to fill out an engagement survey, you intend to act upon the results. Do not implement a survey out of simple curiosity; only conduct a survey if you plan to make meaningful and visible changes depending upon what you learn. This must be your promise as you ask your employees to participate in the process.
You need to select an employee engagement survey that fits your organization and enables important management action. Your engagement survey should be customized to identify the top employee engagement drivers that are most important to your workers and in your specific company and culture.
Put your employees first. Learn what they think, what they need and how they feel. Your success, and the success of your customers, depends upon their engagement in the work they do.