Engaged Employees + Engaged Customers = 240% Increase in Business Outcomes


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Your brand may have the best products, the best technology, the most data and more money than your competitors, but if you don’t have the right people or aren’t engaging them, it’s your loss. According to the new Gallup State of the American Workplace report, “when organizations successfully engage their customers and their employees, they experience a 240% boost in performance-related business outcomes compared to an organization with neither engaged employees nor engaged customers.”

That’s right, 240%, based on research conducted with 10 million employees and 10 million customers worldwide, so it’s not a fluke. Gallup notes that the moment an engaged employee who knows, believes in and exemplifies their company’s brand promise connects emotionally with a customer, “it’s a source of untapped power that has profound implications for a company’s productivity and profitability.”

The report confirms that organizations with an average of 9.3 engaged employees for every actively disengaged employee experienced 147% higher earnings per share (EPS) compared with their competition. In contrast, those with an average of 2.6 engaged employees to every disengaged employee experienced 2% lower EPS compared to the competition.

Engagement Isn’t Easy

How can employee engagement be such a differentiator? Because it’s harder than you think to achieve. Currently, 70% of American workers say they’re either “not engaged” or are “actively disengaged” at work. Gallup’s research shows that this emotional disconnection from the brand they represent and its customers, plus lack of productivity and negative influence on co-workers, has an extraordinary effect on profitability and customer satisfaction. Median differences between the brands in the top quarter of employee engagement versus the bottom quarter showed a:

  • 10% difference in customer satisfaction ratings
  • 22% difference in profitability
  • 21% difference in productivity
  • and a 25% to 65% difference in employee turnover.

Across the United States, Gallup estimates that the cost of active employee disengagement is between $450 to $550 billion per year.

How Engaged Employees Create Engage Customers

Engaged employees create engaged customers who create more sales. It’s a fact. Gallup’s report shows that fully engaged customers represent a 23% premium in terms of share of wallet, profitability, revenue and relationship growth compared to the average customer. And when engaged customers connect with engaged employees, that’s where we get the eye-popping 240% stat from the first paragraph.

The trick to the whole thing is that even though brands may have a high number of engaged employees, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re engaging customers. Brands need to create a bridge or connection in both aligning engaged employees’ behaviors with the brand’s mission statement, and then ensure everyone in the company is involved so that engagement occurs at every customer touchpoint.

Building Brand Ambassadors

When employees make contact with your customers or potential ones, says Gallup, they should give meaning and dimension to your company’s brand promise, serving as brand ambassadors both on and off the clock. Not creating company-wide brand ambassadors, is potentially costing companies millions of dollars in lost opportunities, notes Gallup.

All employees, whether in IT, billing or support should know what the organization stands for and its differentiators, know the company’s brand promise and be empowered to deliver on it at every turn. In a corresponding poll of 3,000 employees, only 41% said that they know what their company stands for and what makes it different from competitors, leaving the most important span on the bridge between the engaged employee and the engaged customer incomplete.

Zappos remains a prime example of a company that has successfully bridged the gap between engaged employees and engaged customers by building a belief in the brand’s promise. CEO Tony Hsieh sums it all up by saying, “If we’re serious about building our brand to be about the very best customer service and customer experience; then customer service shouldn’t just be a department – it should be the entire company.

“Zappos is a customer service company that just happens to sell shoes.”

Want to learn more about how to create engaged employees, as well as customers? Click here to download the Gallup State of the American Workplace report.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Tricia Morris
Tricia Morris is a product marketing director at 8x8 with more than 20 years of experience at technology companies including Microsoft and MicroStrategy. Her focus is on customer experience, customer service, employee experience and digital transformation. Tricia has been recognized as an ICMI Top 50 Thought Leader, among the 20 Best Customer Experience Blogs You Must Follow, and among the 20 Customer Service Influencers You Must Follow.


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