There are many elements involved in providing a top-notch customer experience, from making sure clients have all the information and assistance they need at the right times and in an easy way, to providing follow-up, ensuring products and services are at their best, and more.
However, one part of customer service that many businesses don’t focus on nearly enough is how staff interact with clients. After all, the people providing the support to customers are the ones you must rely on to keep clients happy and satisfied, so if they’re not interested, engaged and performing at their best, your customer service won’t be delivered optimally either. Sadly though, research shows that most employees (up to 70 percent of U.S. workers) are not engaged at work at all.
If you’re keen to increase engagement within your firm sooner rather than later, it’s important to do everything you can to ensure your team members are happy, challenged, motivated, and properly rewarded on the job. Read on for some tips you can follow today to help make this happen.
Create a Positive Corporate Culture
One of the most important ways to increase the engagement of your employees is to foster a positive culture within your organization. People do, after all, always prefer to work in a happy environment where they can feel part of a close-knit team, and be supported and trusted.
A positive workplace is one in which all employees (and contractors) are treated equally and with respect every day on the job; and where people don’t need to be constantly micromanaged because they are trusted to do their work well in the first place.
Environments which foster engagement are also those in which workers are given the chance to provide their input about ideas for new products or services, for ways of completing tasks, and so on. Giving workers the opportunity to have their say will make them feel much more included, and increase their engagement substantially as a result.
To create a good corporate culture, you need to teach everyone in a management position to lead by example, from the CEO down. Managers should not just promote, but also live by the mission and values put in place in the firm, and help to ensure that all workers feel that they’re valued members of a cohesive team, not just there to be ordered about.
Employee engagement will be increased through a positive work environment too if managers organize things such as special lunches, inspiring presentations, and group outings where teams can eat, learn, play and/or grow together. It also pays to try to stop issues which create negativity at work, such as gossip, personal criticisms, and judgements, pettiness, and unnecessarily-long work days on a regular basis.
Recognize and Reward Workers
Another way to keep employees happy and engaged on the job is to acknowledge and reward their efforts and results. Staff members want to feel that their contributions are noticed, at a bare minimum, through a simple thank you. If your company doesn’t currently take the time or effort to congratulate employees when they go the extra mile, come up with an innovative solution, or otherwise complete their job well, it is time to make a change.
Keep in mind that while all workers appreciate being rewarded with things such as vouchers, awards, bonuses, trips away, bottles of wine and the like, you don’t have to go to an expense to recognize employees. Verbally mentioning the achievements or efforts of staff members in front of their colleagues, or individually thanking them through a note, in-person comment, email, or phone call, can go a long way to making people feel valued and appreciated at work.
Put Employee Plans in Place
You can also significantly increase engagement in the workplace if you help your team to understand that they have a career path and growth plan within the company. People get stagnant and bored if they’re in the same role with no prospects of promotion for many years, and will often go looking for new opportunities elsewhere.
To reduce this trend, and help employees feel more settled and interested at work, it is a good idea for managers to sit down with their team on a regular basis (at a minimum annually) to discuss their progress and individual goals. Putting specific plans in place to help workers achieve their goals (such as providing training or other support), and taking time to discuss opportunities for advancement, is key.
Utilize HR Consulting Firms
Lastly, keep in mind that if you run a small business and don’t have the time to conduct a lot of these employee-engagement activities yourself, or if you simply want more support in doing so, you can outsource tasks to businesses which specialize in the area.
Top HR consulting firms can handle a wide variety of tasks. These include training staff members, finding out what motivates your team and putting programs in place based on this information, and hiring the right people so you have less turnover and more engaged employees from the start. Firms can also conduct exit interviews to find out potential areas of improvement, and organize health insurance plans for workers.