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Engaged Employee = Satisfied Customer

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Engaged Employee = Satisfied Customer 

Happy Employee2  

Every business wants satisfied customers. But many don’t realize the secret sauce is right in front of them—their employees.

Over the years, several studies have examined the link between engaged employees and satisfied customers. Perhaps most notably, Gallup’s 2013 State of the American Workplace found a strong correlation between highly engaged employees and customer loyalty, along with increases in productivity, sales, and profits. Clearly, engagement is not something to be ignored.

But how can we tell if our employees are engaged? And what does that even mean? Recently, attendees had the chance to hear first-hand from Karen Case, vice president of human resources at Wyndham Vacation Ownership, who spoke at ARDA’s Southeast Regional Meeting held in Charleston, SC.

Karen described engaged employees as those who have an emotional commitment to their organization and its goals. They are passionate about their job, often going above and beyond their responsibilities for the greater good of the company—as opposed to the not-engaged employees, who are essentially phoning it in, putting the time but not the energy or passion into their work.

On the flip side is the actively disengaged employee. These are the employees who aren’t just unhappy with their jobs but have a toxic mindset that, if left unchecked, could spread throughout your business like wildfire. They do the bare minimum to get by, constantly undermine their coworkers, and even sabotage projects. While you should still do your best to find out why they’re so disengaged, in some cases the best option for everyone is to part ways. But that doesn’t mean you should dismiss all of them. In fact, given the right tools and attention, you may still be able to turn many of these employees from actively disengaged to engaged.

So what steps can you take to increase engagement in your organization? Karen offers these tips:

  •  First and foremost, it has to start at the top. If your leadership isn’t engaged, you can’t expect your employees to be.
  • Next, ask them for feedback. Once you’ve surveyed your organization, define a few key themes within the results so you can report back out to them.
  • Communication is key—you want them to know you’ve heard what they have to say.
  • Then, develop action plans around those key themes, continuing to communicate to them as you make progress against the plans.

Ultimately, doing what’s right for people proves to be what’s right for the organization. When you start by making employee engagement a goal and focus of your business, you’ll reap the rewards—a successful business with happy employees and happy customers.

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