The Employee Experience: Motivate, Empower, Invest


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There’s a concern brewing in employers everywhere. If the economy keeps moving in a positive direction, employees may take their talent elsewhere. A trend for 2012 is improving the employee experience.

Douglas Matthews, president and chief operating officer for Right Management, reported in Chief Learning Officer that 80 percent of workers may now be actively seeking new jobs. In another article, Metlife reported “…only 47 percent of employees surveyed feel very strong loyalty to their employers. Just three years ago the same survey showed 59 percent of workers felt very strong loyalty.” It’s time for companies to respond by taking on a new mantra for 2012: motivate, empower, invest.


Employees need to be connected and engaged to enjoy working at a company. Goals and motivation help in this endeavor. Tim Houlihan, vice president of Reward Systems at BI Worldwide, says “…the stimulants that get us into high achievement are these: our ability to set challenging goals, our ability to get emotionally engaged in our work, and our ability to focus.”

Sit down with employees and find out what motivates them. Elaine Varelas, a managing partner at Camden Consulting Group, says “After a certain threshold of earnings, there are more things to motivate people – fun things such as trips, dinners at expensive restaurants, experiences…The VIP treatment may mean more than the actual cash value.”


Some companies are empowering their employees to make serving their customers the number one priority.

Southwest Airlines

I heard a story recently about a Southwest pilot that held a plane 12 minutes for a grandfather to make the flight. His grandson was ill and only had a few hours to live. Southwest teaches their employees to not hold a plane for anyone. Waiting for his customer was more important than meeting his requirement. The pilot made his own decision based on special circumstances.

Ritz-Carlton Hotels

Employee empowerment is at the forefront of Ritz-Carlton. When co-founder Horst Schulze was in charge, employees each had $2,000 to use to serve customers without getting prior approval.


When new employees start at Nordstrom, they receive an employee handbook that includes this single rule: “Use best judgment in all situations. There will be no additional rules.”


Investing in employees is the way to show them you value their contributions to the company. This can be shown in several ways. Consider training for example. If metric levels are difficult for an employee to meet, provide training opportunities to improve skills.

Lori Freifeld writes in an article for Training Magazine, “When it comes to training, the most important part of motivating is letting people know what the value of the training is to them personally – will they be more knowledgeable about the stock market; will they learn how to deal with conflict in the office, etc.”

Now that the New Year is well on its way, consider how you can incorporate this trend into your management strategy. Soon enough, employees will be saying “I HEART my job!”

Post #10 in the Top Ten Customer Service and Support Trends for 2012 series. Click here to view all trends.

Republished with author's permission from original post.


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