It’s Time To Engage Your Employees

As I was catching up on my reading, I ran across an article in BusinessWeek that discusses research from Gallup showing that less than 30% of the corporate workforce is truly engaged in its work. Why does this matter? The article points to some findings at Best Buy:

For every one-tenth-of-a-point increase in employee engagement, each Best Buy store increased profits by $100,000 a year.

My take: Less than one-third of employees are engaged in their work. Wow, that’s a huge opportunity! Companies that are looking to build more loyal customers need to look at their employees first. As I discuss in my eBook The 6 Laws Of Customer Experience: Unengaged employees don’t create engaged customers. Companies trying to improve the customer experience without figuring out how to engage the other 70% of their workers will likely fail.

That’s why I like what Alaska Airlines did with its North Of Expected campaign. Even with the backdrop of a difficult economic environment, the airline seized the opportunity to energize its workforce. Prior to rolling out its external marketing campaign, the company spent 10 weeks on an internal campaign called “Be North Of Expected” that engaged employees in Alaska Airline’s heritage of good customer service.

The bottom line: Employee engagement is a required path to customer loyalty

About Bruce Temkin, CCXP
I'm an experience (XM) management catalyst; helping organizations improve results by engaging the hearts and minds of their employees, customers, and partners. I enjoy researching and speaking about these topics. I lead the Qualtrics XM Institute, which is the world's best job. We're igniting a global community of XM Professionals who are inspired and empowered to radically improve the human experience. To achieve this goal, my team focuses on thought leadership, training, and community building. My work is driven by a set of fundamental beliefs: 1) Everything starts and ends with human beings, so you need to understand how people think, feel, and behave; 2) XM is a discipline that needs to be woven throughout an organization's entire operating fabric; and 3) Building the XM discipline requires a combination of culture, competency, and technology.

4 Responses to It’s Time To Engage Your Employees

  1. t1mi3 says:

    Alaska’s North of Expected campaign is actually kind of a slap in the face considering it promoted their first bag free policy that went out the door during the campaign.

    I like Alaska. They’re better than most carriers, but Southwest employees generally seem more engaged and their refusal to participate in the industry’s rush to charge fees for everything makes Southwest seem more like the answer to the customer experience problems illustrated by SkyHigh Airlines in Alaska’s prior campaigns.

  2. Bill Odell says:


    Great post. Frankly its a topic that not a lot of folks cover, yet its so critical to customer service. Another related topic is how customers who are engaged with a brand can also help other customers. Look at the case studies of how successful customer communities increase satisfaction. Natalie Petouhoff just profiled Infusionsoft in a case study that reflects this very well.

    Great topic.


  3. Michael A. Fina says:

    Bruce – I strongly agree with your position on this topic. I am continually amzed at how many organizations initiate efforts to change culture and strive for increasing engagement of the people that they already employ, with no focus on how to propel a culture of engagement during the onboarding process of new hires. What good is it to try to engage the people that you have, if at the same time you don’t try to create an atmosphere of high-engagement on day one. Every effort to increase engagement is a good one, but organizations should turn their focus to the people that they are hiring and find innovative ways to get them engaged quickly; before they even have a chance to move into the nonengaged category.

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