Improve “Employee Engagement” In 2011

As I mentioned in the post Build Customer Experience Competencies In 2011, I’m highlighting each of the four customer experience competencies as part of my effort to help companies put together their 2011 plans. Today’s post looks at…

Employee Engagement: Are employees fully committed to the goals of your company?

I really like what Chris Nassetta, Hilton’s CEO, had to say about engaging Hilton’s 500,000 employees:

I want every team member involved in our enterprise, which is over half a million team members serving our guests, [to have] a common vision, mission, values and key strategic priorities so that [they all] understand why we exist…”

It’s hard to talk about employee engagement without bringing up Southwest Airlines. Herb Kelleher, the founder of Southwest, does a great job of clarifying why he built employee engagement into the fabric of the airline:

“If you create an environment where the people truly participate, you don’t need control. They know what needs to be done and they do it. And the more that people will devote themselves to your cause on a voluntary basis, a willing basis, the fewer hierarchies and control mechanisms you need.”

Leaders like Nassetta and Kelleher aren’t focusing on employees because it’s fashionable. They understanding that engaged employees drive business success; as shown below in my model of the “Employee Experience Virtuous Cycle.”

But most companies don’t effectively engage their employees, as you can see from the results below of 140 companies who took Temkin Group’s Customer Experience Competency Assessment.

Employee Engagement also plays an important role in a couple of my free eBooks:

Here are some other posts about Employee Engagement that you might find interesting:

The bottom line: Don’t underestimate the ENORMOUS value of engaged employees.

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.

6 Responses to Improve “Employee Engagement” In 2011

  1. Very true. We have done a lot in the area of Employee Engagement and in fact, we started our Client Experience Program efforts here first.

    Gallup’s “Human Sigma” covers this topic in detail yet it has been slow to catch on which seems surprising to me.

  2. Ray Brown says:

    Hi Bruce A timely reminder that it’s not all about the customer. As Dick Lee said to me recently “I’ve never seen a truly customer centric company with unhappy employees”. I believe it’s also about transparency and authenticity. OK to have these high ideals for your customers but if your values don’t go deep into your business, then the flaws will surely leak out. It’s not just your customer who is better connected and vocal, your staff are someone else’s customer.

  3. Bruce, great point, could not agree more.
    We just completed an internal “Innovation competition for improving customer experience” for our employees and got some terrific insights that are going into product development as well as developing next practices.

  4. Cameron Karr says:

    As always, Bruce, you hit the nail on the head. The guru’s of The Six Sigma Way have just released a new book with tips and great case studies on getting teams engaged to drive change. I’ve seen this in action and it really works to build team morale and impact bottom line. Here’s link:

  5. Pingback: Which Customer Experience Competency in 2011? « Customer Experience Matters

  6. Bruce, it’s really nothing short of ludicrous that you would use Chris Nassetta of Hilton Worldwide as an example of someone who “gets” employee engagement. With hundreds of employees laid off over the last year, and more layoffs to come – the reality is that corporate team members are seriously disengaged, angry, afraid, and disenfranchised. Talk to some of the employees that have recently lost their jobs (to outsourcing) or those that fear for their jobs and futures, and you would know better. Do your homework before you drink the Kool-Aid. Tsk tsk.

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