Businesses are becoming increasingly tuned in to the importance of high employee engagement. Not only does it lead to better CX, it can also help improve staff retention – and at a time where talent seems to be in short supply, that’s a reality no brand can afford to ignore. A recent Forrester report predicts that: ‘In 2019, low unemployment and high quit rates will further magnify the importance of talent’. Nope, we don’t mean the latest X Factor stars – rather, skilled workers are going to be in greater demand than ever before. In turn, brands are going to have their work cut out for them, trying to attract, retain and engage the most valuable talent.
It’s the talent’s world – we’re just living in it: strategies for employee engagement
Putting out some beers on a Friday and hoping for the best won’t cut it. With talent in such high demand, every company needs explicit Employee Experience (EX) strategies. As we discussed in our recent blog on improving staff retention, there are a number of overarching employee engagement strategies to bear in mind. One is to make sure that staff feel like their work is meaningful and has an impact. Another is to ensure employees feel appreciated, whether that’s respect from leaders in your organisation, or the ability to see feedback from customers.
A brand like HomeServe is a great example of how both of these objectives can be achieved. HomeServe introduced an initiative that gives frontline agents the ability to nominate customers in need of special assistance. As a result, Homeserve has spent half a million pounds helping over 3,000 customers in need with a free repair, job or policy. By empowering frontline agents to nominate customers for this assistance, staff are able to feel like they’re having a meaningful impact. Combined with using the Rant & Rave platform to collect feedback, HomeServe has now boosted its Glassdoor rating significantly, as well as minimising complaints and significantly improving its Trustpilot rating – yet more proof that employee engagement leads to customer engagement.
The measure of a man(agement strategy)
However, while it’s all well and good coming up with employee engagement initiatives, this isn’t the end of the story. If you’re going to implement new strategies, you need to measure how effectively they’re working, and it’s here where the best-laid plans of EX professionals often go awry. The same Forrester report mentioned above found that a worrying 85% of EX measurement efforts will fail in 2019, meaning just 15% are getting it right.
The dangers of this are apparent to… well, pretty much anybody that’s ever had a stakeholder ask them to justify the ROI of an initiative. If you’re not measuring the effectiveness of your EX strategies, chances are, it’s going to be pretty difficult to calculate exactly what value you’re getting from them - but this doesn’t mean you should dump your EX strategies altogether.
EX that measures up
For inspiration, look to the world of Customer Experience (CX). Poorly thought-through customer feedback requests can be a source of serious irritation. We’ve all been subjected to a seemingly endless (read: boring) questionnaire-style survey at one point or another. Likewise, most of us have given feedback and then never seen it acted upon making us wonder why the brand wasted our time in the first place.
All this is just as true in EX as CX. As Forrester puts it, ‘an onslaught of misguided and incomplete employee measurement efforts will degrade, rather than improve, employee experiences.’ Your team are likely to be a busy bunch, so forcing them to spend hours filling out a twice-yearly company survey will diminish their experience, rather than improving their engagement.
A blended approach is a smarter strategy. A deep-dive annual survey can be very revealing and offer you valuable insight, but you should also offer options like always-on Listening Posts and Triggered Requests. Listening Posts can help you capture the Voice of the Employee throughout the year and at every stage of your EX strategy roll-out. Meanwhile, Triggered Requests can be used at particular stages of your employee life-cycle, helping you to regularly check-in and tackle disengagement in the moment.
How do you solve a problem like EX measurement?
It’s well established that investing in EX can improve CX, but if you’re going to spend time and money improving employee engagement, you have to be able to measure it. While effective EX measurement is certainly a tricky area to navigate, it’s a crucial part of ensuring your team actually are happy and engaged – not to mention improving your initiatives moving forward. So, if you’re in charge of improving EX and measuring employee engagement, make sure you go about it in a thoughtful way. Get it right and you could score yourself a coveted spot in the 15% whose EX measurement succeeds. That means happy staff, happy customers and happy stakeholders – sounds like a win to us.