So what if we simply treat employees with the same level of respect, concern and urgency we give our customers?
Doing so would allow us to build more meaningful and engaging relationships to deliver major ROI. Here are 5 tips for getting there.
- Care about their perception of you. Companies reach out to their customer base with surveys and immediately adjust to the data. Similar to the regular feedback we seek from customers, a fluid communication between management and employees should exist. An approach that aligns with the millennial workforce incorporates mobile-enabled recognition and communication tools that reinforce business objectives. Employees are able to understand how their work makes an impact and where they can improve in real-time.
- Build an internal community. We recently polled new hires and tenured employees across industries that included tech startups and financial services companies. Two-third (67%) of respondents said a connection to their coworkers and team collaboration on projects was the primary factor that impacts workplace engagement. Company-facilitated events, like group yoga sessions or happy hour, can build a sense of community within the team through the shared experiences that employees desire.
- Speak their language. Speaking the same language as customers is crucial for developing brand loyalty. Brands know how to connect with their audience, so why not use similar strategies to engage with your employees? From mobile apps to social media, consider integrating digital systems that expedite communication and collaboration to see a strong ROI in retention, happiness and engagement.
- Reveal their purpose, and remind them of it daily. According to our survey, the factor most often considered to increase personal engagement at work is “working on something that impacts the success of the team.” Global advertising agency Team Detroit uses technology to create a culture of public appreciation where anyone can openly recognize employee behaviors that have an impact on the business.
- Make rewards relevant and personal. Customer loyalty programs are large business expenditures that strengthen the relationship between consumer and brand. Employee loyalty is often overlooked because the “one-size-fits-all” model does not work. According to our survey, employees prefer “Personalized Rewards” rather than standard plaques or anniversary awards.
Companies like GE, Accenture and Adobe are responding to the different sets of expectations this generation brings to work by incorporating frequent, mobile-driven collaborative review processes. This provides an opportunity for constant coaching and validation for employees. Others are using technology to increase engagement through real-time, peer-to-peer recognition and personalized rewards.
Employees shop just as customers do, looking for an employer who listens and responds to their needs. Business leaders must invest in employee attraction and retention just as they do with customers.