Excerpts from “From People to Profits: The Business Case for Employee Engagement”


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Last month I had the opportunity to give the keynote speech at MindSurf, From People to Profits: The Business Case for Employee Engagement. This 4-minute video gives some of the highlights. Read below for more information.

The description: Employee Engagement is not just a feel-good program. Companies are seeing significant productivity and profitability gains through building a culture of engaged employees, as reported by Gallup, Towers-Perrin, Hay Group and others. The worst economic downturn in decades left many employees afraid to leave their jobs. Now that the economy is loosening up, experts warn we may see increasing turnover as employees leave for greener pastures. How will you keep your best people? This session will focus on best practices to engage employees, including the ROI of engagement and how you can get started at your company tomorrow.

The Three Keys to Great Employee Engagement:

  1. Point to a clear direction
  2. Develop your coaches
  3. Let your employees find the way

Learn more in, “From People to Profits: The Business Case for Employee Engagement!” Contact Jim at Heart of the Customer to learn more about how he can help you improve your employee engagement. Or visit here to see another sample video and download speaker information.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jim Tincher
Jim sees the world in a special way: through the eyes of customers. This lifelong passion for CX, and a thirst for knowledge, led him to found his customer experience consulting firm, Heart of the Customer (HoC). HoC sets the bar for best practices and are emulated throughout the industry. He is the author of Do B2B Better and co-author of How Hard Is It to Be Your Customer?, and he also writes Heart of the Customer’s popular CX blog.


  1. …but, to really understand how to leverage customer behavior and employee performance, the next stage of measurement and actionability (beyond Gallup, Hay, Towers Watson, Mercer, and a host of other companies) is employee advocacy and ambassadorship: http://www.customerthink.com/article/linking_employee_behavior_to_customer_loyalty_advocacy.

    Also, as noted in one of my earlier blogs, and in my 2011 book, The Customer Advocate and The Customer Saboteur, in 2006, The Conference Board published Employee Engagement: A Review of Current Research and Its Implications (John Gibbons). In a total of 12 studies on employee engagement that were evaluated over a multi-year period, each company used different definitions; and, collectively, they came up with 26 key drivers of engagement, none of which had anything to do with customers. So, a measure of engagement may be sufficient for HR managment to help assess cultural health and employee alignment; but, it will only incidentally uncover the drivers of employee behavior where customer-centricity and experience optimization is the goal.

  2. Michael,

    I agree with a lot of your contentions. You are right when you say that employees need to understand their role as customer experience ambassadors. And while satisfaction is often not a sufficient bar, dissatisfaction is a killer.

    But your statement that “as one major study concluded: ‘Researchers have been unable to confirm a relationship between employee satisfaction and business performance.'” is misleading. Gallup’s meta-analysis finds significant linkage between employee ENGAGEMENT and business results, as do other researchers. And while Gallup’s engagement questions do not specifically mention customers, they are critically important. Having the “tools to do your job” does not specifically mention customers. But watch an employee who can’t look up the information needed to serve a customer, and you can certainly see the impact!

    But, actually, we do align if I read your argument correctly. In MOST situations, employee satisfaction is not sufficient, nor is it with a customer. There is actually a continuum (I go into more detail at http://www.heartofthecustomer.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Dunn_Bros-the_Non-Chain_Chain-White_Paper.pdf, although this argument is customer rather than employee-focused).

    Those on the low end of either customer or employee experience need to focus on satisfaction. A health care plan or internet provider needs to get customers off of dissatisfaction first. Similarly, a poor workplace needs to focus first on satisfying employees.

    Only once customers or employees are satisfied can they truly become loyal. From there, engagement is the next step. Advocacy is a logical extension. But throwing out satisfaction is a short-sighted argument.

    Your turn!

  3. …are up to the organization to design and provide; however, employee satisfaction (i.e. happy employees) shows poor correlation to actual customer behavior. To your point, however, employee dissatisfaction, played out in negative attitudes and behaviors, will result in customer negativity.

    There’s not a linear satisfaction, loyalty, engagement, advocacy employee attitude/behavior continuum. Just ask Zappos, Wegmans, Baptist Health Care, Zane’s Cycles, The Container Store, Amazon, Virgin America, and on and on. What I’m suggesting in my response is that empirical employee behavior research (including my own, conducted through The Harris Poll), especially among front-line staff, has long since taken us past the customer-centric actionability that more antecedent employee satisfaction, loyalty, and engagement study results can provide: http://www2.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=109&STORY=/www/story/06-12-2007/0004606834&EDATE= I can provide a lot more detail, if desired.


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