Employee experience (EX) and customer experience (CX) are equally important. In fact, they are intrinsically linked. And as the impact of COVID-19 becomes more apparent, particularly for brick-and-mortar businesses, it presents an opportunity to really focus on employee engagement.
Employees will always be your first brand advocates. And employees are also the people who deliver your customer experience. So there’s a simple equation to remember… EX = CX (employee experience = customer experience).
As Richard Branson says, “Loyal employees in any company create loyal customers, who in turn create happy shareholders”.
Where is your focus? Is it time to step back and look after your employees before you do anything more?
General Manager of The Ritz-Carlton San Francisco, Yael Ron says,
"To create an exceptional customer experience, you don’t start with the customer; you start with the employee. This surprises a lot of people, and a lot of people get this wrong. The gemstones of our hotel are our Ladies and Gentlemen (Ritz-Carlton’s term for its employees). We embrace them and support them, and we know we can count on them to nurture and grow the interactions with our guests."
But in times of crisis, you need to start thinking differently. Research by Bain shows us that companies with highly engaged employees grow their revenue 2.5x as much as those with low employee engagement.
How can you improve employee engagement in this current environment and make them even stronger brand advocates than before? Here are some ideas to get you thinking…
Some of your employees might be at home balancing work with raising children or homeschooling teenagers. Others might live by themselves and feel isolated without any social office interaction. It’s time to dial up your communication, check in with one another and keep building your company culture. There’s no way productivity levels can remain the same with everyone working in silos. Let your people know that you’re ok with this. That you understand they may be distracted by their kids’ needs. Be caring and show your support.
Are you taking the time to request employee feedback? And more importantly, are you listening to what your employees tell you? Think like a customer. If you provide feedback to a business, you expect a response. And it’s that response that leaves a lasting impression - whether you speak highly of them in the future or not. Exactly the same applies to your employees. To see real results in employee engagement, take the time to listen and respond.
The same way customers want to know that their loyalty points will give them benefits in the future, employees want to know they have opportunities for their own professional development. Are they working hard for good reason? Show your employees a future pathway that inspires and excites them. Bring them on the journey and they’ll want to stick around.
As Confucius says “There is one word which may serve as a rule practice for all one’s life - reciprocity”.
We’re all in a rush to get through this crisis and get back to normal. But it’s not a sprint. It’s a marathon.
Take the time now to focus on employee engagement. Bring your people on the journey with you, make them truly feel part of the recovery mission, and empower them with that magic spirit that caused you to create the business in the first place.
Local Measure is a customer experience platform that helps you drive loyalty and personalize experiences at scale. For more information on how Local Measure can help enhance your customer and employee experience in today's virtual world, click here.