Employee Engagement Equals Customer Satisfaction

Two baristas, a man and a woman, are preparing drinks behind a counter in a café. The man is shaking a cocktail shaker while the woman is focused on a coffee machine.

Customer satisfaction and employee engagement are intertwined issues, and improvement of each cannot be simplified to just a hiring issue. There are actually four employee engagement environments that you should consider investing in, which will be a direct investment into customer satisfaction. 

As society grows more and more digital, customers expect more convenient and instant consumer experiences which can put a potential strain on employees. For companies to keep up with the demands, positive employee engagement is necessary. Companies that fail to care for their employees the way they expect their employees to care for their customers risk being left behind. 

There are several positive effects of a workplace thriving in a culture of good employee engagement.

  1. Positive Attitude: Engaged employees are generally more positive, motivated and committed to their work. They are likely to exhibit behaviors that contribute to better customer service, such as being attentive, empathetic, and proactive.
  2. Better Customer Service: Engaged employees tend to deliver higher-quality service. They have a better understanding of their roles and responsibilities, possess product knowledge and are equipped to handle customer queries and concerns effectively.
  3. Higher Opinion of Employer: Engaged employees develop a sense of emotional connection and loyalty to their organization. They feel valued, supported and empowered, which translates into a positive attitude towards customers.
  4. Employee Empowerment: Organizations that foster high levels of employee engagement often empower their employees by giving them decision-making authority and autonomy within their roles, like scheduling their own shifts or deciding when they’d like to access their earned pay.
  5. Happier Work Culture: Engaged employees thrive in a positive and supportive work culture. Organizations that prioritize employee and manager engagement tend to foster an environment that values teamwork, open communication and continuous improvement. 
  6. Word-of-Mouth Referrals: Satisfied customers and employees are more likely to share their positive experiences with others, leading to positive word-of-mouth referrals, the oldest and a highly effective form of marketing. 

Historically, companies that invest in employee experience have been four times more profitable than those that don’t. This number is culled from the 2017 book The Employee Experience Advantage by Jacob Morgan, who interviewed 150 psychologists, economists, and business leaders and analyzed over 250 diverse organizations to understand the relationship between employee experience and company success.

In the book, he coined the phrase “experiential organizations” to describe those companies who invest heavily in cultural, technological, and physical environments for their employees. In other words, they are committed to employee engagement. In Morgan’s research, the experiential organizations he identified had more than four times the average profit and more than two times the average revenue than non-experiential organizations. They were also almost 25% smaller, which suggests higher levels of productivity and innovation.

So what are these investments? How can you get started on the path to  becoming an experiential organization to improve both employee and customer experience? Let’s dive into the three environments.

Cultural Environments for Employee Engagement

Jacob Morgan describes the cornerstone of company culture as its own separate mission statement that focuses on the impact your employees have on the world, one that is attainable and not focused on financial goals. It’s emotional in nature, and it’s the emotion behind a goal that can keep employees motivated.

One thing to focus on is supporting your employees so they feel they can do their jobs, and be sure that they know you notice their hard work and performance. Find your balance between training and trust — training will give them the guidelines, tools and confidence in their skills. Trust gives employees the freedom to bring their own personality to everything they do, which is crucial to feeling valued. Without this freedom, you run the risk of employees feeling like cogs in a machine.

RELATED READING: The 3 Levels of Employee Engagement & How They Affect Your Bottom Line

Physical Environments for Employee Engagement

With increasingly distributed and remote workforces, it’s easy to overlook the importance of the physical environment.

Writing for Workplace Insight in 2019, Serena Borghero, Director Media Relations and 360 Communications at Steelcase, laid out the major considerations for creating an environment where employees can feel at home. The simple equation at play here is that the more comfortable your employees are, the more they want to be at work.

Below are just three of Borghero’s action-plan points.

Give employees choice and control over when and how they work:

By accommodating a range of environments, you not only accommodate a range of personalities, but a range of moods and work modes. Though every industry is different, “to avoid [constant distraction], employees should be provided with a variety of spaces that allow concentration and personal focus.”

Create communal spaces for collaboration and informal connections:

On the flipside of quiet space is providing mobility within the office and casual spaces for collaboration and informal connections. Oftentimes departments within an organization communicate merely for functional purposes. Opening up rooms for informal connections, serendipity, and socializing builds an emotional bond among employees, which feeds directly to the emotional connection to your company. After all, for every individual employee, other employees represent “the company” as much as the CEO does.

Make your brand and company culture visible and give employees permission to be themselves

Space plays a key role in “a culture of trust, where employees feel they belong to the community and are free to express their ideas.” Here, Borghero focuses on how leadership spaces factor into culture and engagement. The leadership team spaces must be designed with the same balance of private and social areas, and the way leadership moves and works will provide cues to employees as to how free they should feel.

Technological Environments for Employee Engagement

Like the physical environment, the technological environment is largely contingent on your industry and workforce. The business goals of incorporating technology are, of course, to aid with day-to-day job functions and increase productivity. But the employee engagement goals boil down to flexibility, freedom, collaboration, open communication, and reducing the friction between an employee and a job well done.  

Encourage Collaboration

Technology very easily siloes even employees who are in the same room. Messaging apps like Slack, project management and collaboration tools like Trello or Asana, and company wikis for continuous education are all great for office environments. But even if your workforce isn’t in a single office, building collective resources and connectivity can keep employees engaged with the company and can help new hires get acclimated faster.

Gamify Onboarding and Training

When companies highlight their company culture on their careers pages, the standard-issue technique is to show employees having fun at offsites, holiday parties, and happy hours. But you can over-deliver on this promise by tweaking training and education programs to be more gamified: light-heartedly competitive, scored in a way that promotes small wins, and incentivizing collaboration and teamwork.

Peer-to-Peer Recognition

Even with the best of intentions, senior management can get busy and lose focus on giving recognition. It’s inevitable that even the world’s best boss, with all the many employees she has to monitor, will overlook a great performance here and there. Peer-to-peer recognition, like Salesforce Chatter, builds a layer of engagement security that doesn’t let hard work fall through the cracks.

The Fourth Environment: Financial Wellness

Reduce work-life stress with financial wellness programs

A fourth environment that we’d like to add is financial wellness. The goal of the three above mentioned environmental investments is to reduce friction between an employee and a job well done, and there’s no greater external source of friction than financial worries.

According to the American Psychological Association’s 2022 Stress In America Survey, 83% of respondents reported inflation as a source of stress, 69% said the economy, and 66% reported money as a significant source of stress. 

Of those who said money is a source of stress, most said that stress is about having enough money to pay for basic needs. 

Fifty-seven percent of respondents who indicated money was a source of stress said that having enough money to pay for things in the present—like food or rent/mortgage—is their main source of stress regarding money.

The study goes on to further state that 72% have experienced additional health impacts due to stress, including feeling overwhelmed (33%), experiencing changes in sleeping habits (32%), and/or worrying constantly (30%). All it takes is one financial shock — like a car breaking down or an unexpected illness — to destabilize a household.

Which is exactly why DailyPay was created. Offering a flexible payday solution like ours puts money back in your employees’ pockets, lets them tackle the financial curveballs life throws at them, and gives them greater control over their finances.

Today’s employees expect flexibility in all aspects of work, that includes scheduling, work location and how they get their pay. DailyPay helps employers empower their employees with on-demand access to their earned wages, as well as a full suite of educational tools that allows them to achieve greater control of their finances. Employees with financial control in their lives are less distracted and more motivated and productive at work.

See how DailyPay can help you improve your employee engagement.

All information herein is for educational purposes only and should not be relied upon for any other use. The information herein does not constitute the rendering of financial advice or other professional advice by DailyPay. No fiduciary obligation or duty exists, or is created, between you and DailyPay. DailyPay does not warrant the completeness or accuracy of any information provided to you.

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