Engaged employees leave their mark on more than just compa- ny culture. Research shows they
are 17 percent more productive and 21
percent more profitable than their less-engaged peers. But it doesn’t end there.
Aiming to improve customer service?
Look no further than employee engagement. Highly engaged employees can
increase customer metrics, such as brand
preference and loyalty, by 10 percent.
But creating this type of workplace can
be easier said than done. Here are four
ways managers might be hurting employee
engagement, and how to avoid them.
1. Fearing feedback
Not all feedback is good feedback. But
while criticism may be tough to take, it’s
an important part of improvement. The
problem is that some managers aren’t willing to listen — even when the end result
could be a better workplace. Only 6 percent
of employees say good suggestions or valid
complaints always lead to important changes at their organizations.
Rather than guessing what’s on an
employee’s mind, just ask. Surveying
employees may help shed light on minor
problems before they become widespread.
Keep survey questions short and direct to
avoid overwhelming busy employees. The
easier it is to respond, the higher participation rates may rise.
2. Normalizing stellar work
As much as managers may want great work,
treating it as the new norm can prove problematic. After all, exceptional work stands out
partially because of how rare it is. Recognize
stellar work for what it is — an unexpected
surprise, not a regular occurrence.
Saying “thank you” for such work may
seem like a small gesture, but it often makes
a big difference. Half of all employees would
leave a company if they weren’t thanked
and recognized for their efforts. Next time
an employee does something special for a
customer, offer a token of your appreciation.
3. Skipping training
Make no mistake: Proper training takes
time. And for many managers, the extra
investment isn’t worth it. As of 2016, more
than 70 percent of hospitality workers said
they had not participated in any type of
training within the previous year.
But by focusing on customer service
training, you can pave the way for
While you may have a few
ideas about what to include in a
training program, it might also
be helpful to gather feedback
from other industry leaders. In
addition to steering you away
from training techniques that
may not be effective, your peers can point
out new ideas or topics that are worth
4. Failing to establish trust
A little trust can go a long way. Far too often,
however, managers aren’t willing to give
employees the benefit of the doubt. Failure
to trust or empower workers is a hallmark
of bad bosses, and this lack of trust can ultimately leave workers feeling frustrated and
ill-equipped to do their jobs.
Instead of requiring employees to constantly ask for a manager’s approval when
addressing customer issues, delegate some of
that power back to the employees themselves.
A small discretionary spending limit can
empower employees to surprise and delight
customers at a moment’s notice.
When it comes to employee engagement,
standing on the sidelines has its consequences. Use these four tips to foster the right
Chris Powell is a 20-plus year HR veteran and CEO of Talmetrix, the employee feedback and insights company. Powell built Talmetrix around his perspective
on HR — that organizations are human systems, not machines, and should be managed accordingly. To learn more, visit talmetrix.com.
By Chris Powell
4 Employee Engagement
Mistakes to Avoid
Feedback and training are two things that
should not be skipped