Organisations always look for ways to retain their client base because they are one of the main drivers of profit and business growth. They overlook the secret weapon right under their own roof – their current employees, forgetting that when you keep your employees happy, it will result to keeping your client base happy too.
Business owners and top executives need to realize that customer retention occurs with the employees that communicate with the company’s clients on a daily basis. Employees who are engaged and have an emotional commitment to the organisation are its biggest brand advocates.
The correlation between employee engagement and client retention is not a particularly new idea; the question is: Does engagement lead to retention and better outcomes, or do successful companies simply have more engaged employees?
Employers are now beginning to see the causal link and turning the focus inward, adopting company culture and employee engagement initiatives that will empower employees to provide even better customer service.
Engaged employees lead to brand loyalty
Employees who are consistently motivated by top executives tend to be more passionate about the brand and products they are representing. They have a personal investment in their work, which leads to an improved customer service experience and a positive representation of the brand they are working for. When these employees, who speak to their clients daily, provide a personal and positive experience, clients are more inclined to stay on contract or come back for more.
Employees who feel empowered will drive customer retention
It is important for business leaders to realize that they need to make their employees feel empowered. By giving employees important responsibilities and the ability to make decisions surrounding their jobs, they will feel appreciated and valued. Business leaders need to take the time to praise employees for doing a great job, and encourage them to turn their mistakes into learning opportunities
Financial compensation is not the main driver of performance
Of course, employees expect to be fairly compensated for their work, but engaged employees seek satisfaction and fulfillment beyond the paycheck. Motivated employees tend to identify with their work on a personal level, and are passionate about improving themselves and the entire organisation. Employees who work solely for pay are less inclined to put in the additional effort and go the extra mile, which is often what makes businesses thrive.
Additional perks to keeping employees engaged
Hay Group revealed that employees who are engaged are up to 43% more productive than those who are not. This is one of the important benefits of employee engagement. Disengaged employees will see their job as “just a job”, as opposed to engaged employees who will see it as a career from which they derive personal satisfaction. Employees who feel actively engaged in their work are more likely to remain in the same organisation for years and build their career there. This creates a loyal employee base and improves the overall perception of a brand.
In order to retain happy customers, organizations must also retain happy employees, and this begins on the front lines. Employees are the main point of contact between clients and the organisation. If customers have a positive experience dealing with employees, they are more likely to remain loyal. By shifting the focus inward and encouraging employees to feel engaged and empowered, businesses will increase their customer retention rate and drive business for years to come.
Culled from David Dourgarian write up on www.humanresourcesdaily.com
MOTIVATING YOUR EMPLOYEES – SATISFY THEIR PSYCHOLOGICAL NEEDS
Human thriving in the workplace is a dynamic potential that requires nurturing.
The workplace either facilitates, fosters and enables our flourishing, or it disrupts, thwarts and impedes it. In fact, conventional motivational practices have undermined more often than they have encouraged our human potential, according to Susan Fowler in Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work … and What Does.
The essence of motivating people lies at the heart of the science of motivation and the revelation of three psychological needs –– autonomy, relatedness and competence. Regardless of gender, race, culture or generation, the real story behind motivation is as simple and as complex as whether or not our psychological needs are satisfied.
Autonomy: Autonomy is our human need to perceive we have choices. It is our need to feel that what we are doing is of our own volition. It is our perception that we are the source of our actions.
Relatedness: This is our need to care about and be cared about by others. It is our need to feel connected to others without concerns about ulterior motives. It is our need to feel that we are contributing to something greater than ourselves.
Competence: This is our need to feel effective at meeting everyday challenges and opportunities. It is demonstrating skill over time. It is feeling a sense of growth and flourishing.
If a person’s needs for autonomy, relatedness and competence are satisfied, the result is an aligned, integrated or inherent motivational outlook. When a person’s psychological needs are not satisfied, the result is a disinterested, external or imposed motivational outlook.
Too many leaders do not understand how their underlying motivational beliefs shape the problems they face. Unexplored beliefs become the foundation for programmed values.
Then these programmed values become the basis for rules, processes, procedures, actions and your leadership behaviours. Your mission, as a leader, is to explore these workplace beliefs and examine how they tend to undermine your people’s optimal motivation and then consider alternative beliefs and best practices. Here are three of them.
The 1st Eroding Belief: It’s Not Personal; It’s Just Business:
Whatever your beliefs one thing is true: What you say and do feelpersonal to the people you lead! Considerchanging the belief that it’s not personal, it’sjust business to a belief more likely to activateoptimal motivation in others: If it is business, it is personal.Try embracing the idea that all emotions areacceptable, but not all behaviour is acceptable.Notice, acknowledge and deal with a person’semotions. Practice self-regulation by listeningto your heart and acknowledging the crucialrole that feelings play in your work and life.
The 2nd Eroding Belief: The Purpose of Business Is to Make Money:
Definitiveevidence shows that organizational vitalitymeasured by return on investment, earningsby share, access to venture capital, stockprice, debt load and other financial indicatorsis dependent on two factors: employee workpassion and customer devotion. It does notwork the other way around –– organizationalvitality is not what determines customerdevotion or employee work passion.When you focus on satisfying youremployees’ psychological needs so theycan serve customers’ needs, your organizationprospers. An old sports analogy worksequally well in business: Focusing on profitis like playing the game with your eye on thescoreboard instead of the ball.Challenge the belief that the purpose ofbusiness is to make money, and consider anoptimal motivation belief: The purpose ofbusiness is to serve –– both your people andyour customers. Profit is a by-product ofdoing both of these well.
The 3rd Eroding Belief: Leaders Are in a Position of Power.
A leader’s poweraffects people’s motivational outlooks. Evenwhen you don’t have intentions to use yourpower, just having it creates a dynamic thatrequires your awareness and sensitivity.The bottom line is that power underminespeople’s psychological needs. It’s not justyour use of the power; it’s people’s perceptionthat you have it and could use it. Yourpower demands that people need to exertmore energy self-regulating to internalize aworkplace where they experience autonomy,relatedness and competence.You can use all your power attemptingto motivate people, but it won’t work if youwant them to experience an optimal motivationaloutlook. Shifting to an optimal motivationaloutlook is something people can doonly for themselves. But the workplace youcreate has an enormous influence.We need to change the belief that leadersare in a position of power. Consider thedifference with this optimal motivationbelief: Leaders are in a position of creatinga workplace where people are more likelyto satisfy their psychological needs for thecollective power of autonomy, relatednessand competence.A great irony of leadership is that motivatingyour people do not work becausepeople are already motivated. What doeswork is helping people understand why theyare motivated.
Culled from Executive Edge Volume 06, Issue 02