Involved employees matter
“When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute.” – Simon Sinek
According to Gallup, only 13% of the world’s 1.3bn full-time employees are involved in their business. But the organisations with involved employees, investing their discretionary energy in a business they care about, have 22% higher profits and 10% higher customer satisfaction. Involved employees are not just included, but actively participate in shaping the business agenda, feeling motivated emotionally and inspired to deliver in practice.
And there are penalties when people are not properly involved. When asked about the reason change initiatives had gone wrong, 71% of respondents in our recent Growth Drivers Study cited not being involved as a key reason for lack of change.
So, ask yourself, are your employees involved or only included?
Below we explain the difference, the importance of employee involvement for the customer experience, and examples of organisations going beyond inclusion to really involve their employees.
Does your company have: a top down culture; prescriptive leadership; and passive employees who follow instructions? Or does it have a culture where people have a voice, where leaders empower employees to take ownership and where decisions are made by active and energised employees.
Our experience at Brand Learning is that starting the journey to creating “involved employees” means helping employees connect what matters to them with what matters to the company. Connecting individual values to business purpose is crucial to creating effective and outstanding customer experiences.When we align with our values on a daily basis, we have more energy and feel more fulfilled because we are acting from what’s important to us. Involved employees find their values and purpose align with those of their company so that every day has meaning. Consequently, they have a positive impact on colleagues and customers alike. When personal purpose links to company purpose, passion and potential are unleashed. This in turn helps drive customer experience.
“Involved employees bring more to work each day and are better able to build customer relationships” said Coca Cola Enterprises’ Director of Global Employee Engagement, Ashley Jensen.
At Brand Learning we believe involvement relies on more than inclusion alone. It relies on individuals and teams feeling they personally can IMPACT their business and the customer. The drivers of IMPACT, developed by the team here at Brand Learning, include the following:
I = Individuality - where people can be authentic and bring their whole self to work
M = Meaning - where individuals feel their role has meaning in the business
P = Potential - where opportunities for growth and development are perceived
A = Autonomy - where people feel space to make decisions and drive opportunities
C = Customer Connected - where people feel they can impact the customer agenda
T = Team - where people feel supported by line managers and leaders and are encouraged to collaborate and communicate.
If your business is just starting on the journey to involved employees, take inspiration from these drivers and from those that are further ahead:
Airbnb make their purpose (“We believe in a world where people belong, anywhere”) meaningful by offering employees certain ‘belonging-type benefits’. These can range from $2,000 a year to travel anywhere in the world; the opportunity to bring your pet to work, every day or to go sailing together. They offer weekly Yoga classes at work, organic lunches and even create theme days like Mad Men or Moustache Monday.
First Direct’s purpose is Pioneering Amazing Service. This purpose and their corresponding values are at the heart of business. They recruit, train and reward staff and managers based on values and customer outcomes vs. sales. They work as a committed team with strong leadership and support. They have a dedicated People Experience team to improve the lives of their staff. They empower their people to make decisions for customers, send gifts and solve problems without referring onwards or upwards in the organisation. Employees are customer champions.
Virgin listens to its employees, to show that they are valued, hearing their opinions and taking care of their ideas, having healthy debates and continuously innovating. It’s a win-win; the organisation keeps learning and employees feel important and engage with the organisation. In the UK they even introduced a Photobot - a cheeky talking robot that sought employee opinion on their sustainability efforts.
Working with global businesses on Employee Involvement, we help employees align their values with company purpose. Inspired by IMPACT principles, we work together to improve the employee journey, ensuring it is consistent with, and shapes, the desired customer experience.
For more information about how Brand Learning can help you better involve your employees to create customer impact and business growth please get in touch.
 Gallup, State of the Global Workplace: Employee Engagement Insights for Business Leaders Worldwide, (2013)
 BlogTalkRadio Customer Experience Optimization, 2010, in ClearAction’s article: Employee engagement in Superior Customer Experience, (2010)
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