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MAYBE IT SHOULD BE ENGAGED CUSTOMERS; NOT ENGAGED EMPLOYEES

On a recent project I discovered something that is the anti-research.

Gallop, Hewitt, Blessing White and many other consulting soothsayers claim that when worker are engaged, the results is high performance and more profitability. So then they sell you their employee engagement program for huge bucks and you, (and they) pray that their work will bring you immeasurable wealth, happy smiling employees and all will be groovy.

We found just the opposite. An organization with high scores in engagement, great managers, company profitable, low employee turnover, yet they were still losing customers, losing market share, all with a great product.

We discovered that the way, the manner, the process in which they were delivering their good and services to the customer were "messed up". In fact there was no process in place so everyone did their own thing. No data as to what the customers really cared about; or what happens at their "touch points."

Moral of the story-engaged employees is but a state of mind that seems to be a prerequisite for having "engaged customers."- the end game for business growth. Maybe there's a lot more to this engagement "stuff" than just the propaganda from these consulting soothsayers.

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Comment by Damian Davine on June 27, 2011 at 6:01pm

Stanley I agree with your observations and I disagree.

It's not an either/or with engaged employees and engaged customers - the goal is both and they are connected.

Our research shows that employee engagement is a lead indicator to customer satisfaction - after all, if your front-line employees aren't engaged, then the service they provide will falter and the customer experience will suffer.

The other key ingredient is alignment; Alignment of your workforce's daily activities to the company strategy. This appears to be the missing ingredient in the scenario of your recent project - everyone was engaged but were happily doing as they pleased. Again, our research shows that high alignment and high engagement lead to sustainable high performance.

So I don't think your experience actually was anti-research, but that engagement is only one of the keys.

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