Disengaged Employees? It Starts at the Top

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Human Interaction Matters Most
The most important stage (or stages) of the customer journey almost always take the form of an interaction with a frontline employee. I’ve seen every angle of the feedback spectrum—from extremely positive or neutral to horrifically negative—and the most common thread in each experience is that it came down to an interaction with a staff member.

A solid proof point for this is an Empathica Consumer Insights Panel survey, which polled 5,000 consumers about their experience with a brand and the impact of associate and management interaction on their buying behaviors.

Trickle-Down Engagement
Mindshare works with companies every day to make customer-based operational improvements for gaining brand loyalty and advocacy. Part of our work with clients is helping them to understand exactly where employee engagement challenges lie within their organization. Having worked with hundreds of brands, I’ve seen that fully engaged employees become passionate advocates for their company, creating a positive effect on the customer experience. I’ve also seen the opposite side of the spectrum where disengaged employees become brand liabilities.

So what causes employee disengagement? In all my experience, there is at least one thing that is certain: Employee engagement comes from the top down. Last November, Gallup released their State of the Global Workplace Report 2013, which found that 89% of leaders within an organization are disengaged. If leaders are not engaged, we can’t expect employees to be.

Five Tips for Greater Employee Engagement

1. Senior leadership must articulate a clear vision to all employees
2. Encourage employees to communicate openly
3. Hold managers responsible for creating healthy relationships with their direct reports
4. Continuously show appreciation for employee feedback
5. Empower employees by acting on their suggestions

Today, employee engagement and loyalty are more vital than ever before to an organization’s success and competitive advantage. Engage your leadership, and your employees will naturally follow suit. In return, your customers will have positive experiences with your brand, increase their return visits and be more likely to recommend your brand to family, friends, and peers.

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