So employee satisfaction doesn’t matter?


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Once again, inspiration for a blog post came from an unusual place. This time, it came to me from two tweets I read from Chris Reaburn during a recent sleepless night. Chris posted two articles from One about the best places to work according to employee votes. The second, was a list of the companies rated lowest by employees.

These articles got me reflecting on a subject about which I’m insanely passionate; that of employee empowerment and satisfaction. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you already know we’ve connected the dots a few times between employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction. That link, in my mind, is indisputable. Some think the impact of employee satisfaction is too squishy and hard to measure. So, while not a statistical analysis, lets take a look at some of the companies on both lists and see if employee satisfaction makes a difference to the things finance types care about.

The Bad Return on Equity
#2 United Airlines (2,743.85)
#3 Spherion (27.18)
#9 Hertz (54.98)

The Best Return on Equity
#1 Southwest Airlines 2.97
#12 Kraft Foods 7.93
#15 NetApp 17.45
#45 Best Buy 21.67

One big thing popped out at me in building this list. If Southwest Airlines and Best Buy can generate these types of returns, in the year of the ‘Great Recession’ and in an industry that I wouldn’t wish on my worst unfriend, how do companies like Radio Shack and Kmart fail to deliver? Maybe their leadership needs to ask its rank and file.

Oh, and if you still think employee satisfaction, customer satisfaction and financial performance are unrelated, check out this list of top companies in customer service. You’ll see many of the same companies from the Best list according to employees.

Barry Dalton
Telerx Marketing
Consumed by the pursuit of delightful service. Into all things customer loyalty and technology. My current mission is developing new service channels and the vision of the contact center of the future.


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