"They only care about the customers."
That was my friend's expression after I asked her how she feels about the company she works for. Her comment, accompanied with tears of frustration, expresses the feelings of many people who feel undervalued in their jobs.
The perception of my friend regarding her employer is that if they have an employee engagement strategy, it's unbalanced, fundamentally aligned for customer satisfaction, and ignoring the well-being of employees themselves.
"It's not fair" she said.
Now imagine that like her, at least a third of the company feels the same way. A disaster! This troublesome idea of having an engagement strategy that produces poor results, is a reality for some organizations. According to Gallup poll, 53% of U.S. workers are not engaged, meaning that they are generally satisfied but are not "cognitively and emotionally connected to their work and workplace," leaving open the opportunity of finding another job.
The success of a business depends greatly on what happens inside of its walls. If the employees do not have the desire and motivation to contribute to the company's development and growth, the success of the organization can become compromised.
Evaluate this simple model that communications professional Jennifer Day created and named as a vicious cycle:
"Unhappy employees lead to unhappy customers. Unhappy customers lead to lost revenues. Lost revenues affect paychecks and lead to unhappy employees," Day said.
It's an impact that has been studied several times, but researchers from Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania uncover its relevancy in a very clear way:
"Researchers randomly divided university fund-raisers into two groups. One group made phone calls to solicit alumni donations in the same way they always had.
The second group—assigned to work on a different day—received a pep talk from the director of annual giving, who told the fund-raisers she was grateful for their efforts.
During the following week, the university employees who heard her message of gratitude made 50% more fund-raising calls than those who did not."
A candid thank you can be the very beginning of lifting up your business by boosting employee engagement and morale in an impactful way.
Customers are Important Too
Of course, customers also require service and attention. They are, after all, the reason why the a business becomes sustainable by driving revenue and growth within their industry. They are the best advertising method: a happy customer is willing to share positive experiences about businesses that have treated them well.
At MAU, for example, we see our clients as partners. To make our relationship succeed, we strive to enhance our partners' workforce through an in-depth understanding of their organization, culture, and industry. Our goal? To become a trustworthy partner by offering customized solutions to their needs.
It's critical to evaluate service to customers at a regular cadence in order to continuously improve levels of service and customer satisfaction.
The Right Balance
The fact is that one is not more important than the other. Companies must always show gratitude to the people who keep them on track. And these people are those who ask for magic, your customers, as well as those who make the magic happen, your employees.
A healthy business plan must value each party involved, taking into consideration the key elements that have helped the business grow. For this reason, every component must intermingle effectively in order to have a cohesive balance.
Bottom-line? Be thankful for each person that contributes to your and your organization's success.
If you need some help on how to enhance your employee engagement strategy, you can start by implementing these tips for gaining your workforce's commitment.