I would argue that there is not a lack of motivation in the workplace today, there is a lack of development. Employees consistently tell us that to feel more engaged in the workplace they want skills, training and development that will help them grow and make them more marketable now and in the future.
Some ways that you can develop your employees to increase their employee engagement are outlined below.
Skills and Training.
Give them the opportunity to receive formal training and learning through either an eLearning or on the job training program. This will give them tangible skills and tools they can add to their tool belt that will be able to be more competent with their customers and colleagues.
Give them projects and challenges that provide real life, hands on experience to practice their skills and grow their problem-solving abilities.
Give them a chance to shadow those in roles above them or in different departments so they can learn about different responsibilities in the organization. Provide them with ongoing learning, advanced training and support so that they can grow within the organization, otherwise they will grow someplace else.
Transparency and Coaching.
Provide your talent with clear information about how they can succeed within the organization. Clearly communicate your organizational culture and values. Be transparent about expectations and the direction they are headed so that they feel respected and valued for their contributions.
When you invest in the development of your employees by giving them learning, development, growth opportunities and coaching, they will be more enabled to do their job, and more motivated to create exceptional experiences for their colleagues and customers. This in turn will make your internal service cooperation stronger, and your workforce more efficient and productive – all of which will make your customers happier so that they want to stay longer, buy more and positively refer others.
Additionally, innovative companies who invest in their people through learning and development are viewed more favorably by employees than those organizations that don’t, which means you will have a positive reputation to be able to recruit and retain the top talent in your industry.
The Importance of Personalization in Development
If your organization’s learning and development is going to make a significant impact on employee engagement, employees must see the personal benefits of undertaking developmental activities. In order to harness the positive effects of learning, employees have to see the link between where they are now and where they want to get to, and how learning and development is going to bridge this gap. That is why it is important not to take a one-size-fits-all approach to your employee’s learning and development, but rather work with each individual to create a plan of how and what they want to learn. Read more about the importance of creating a personalized approach to development in this article here.
If you would like to find out more about create a custom eLearning program to train and develop your workforce, view my calendar here or get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a 15-minute discovery call.
With technology and automation booming in the service industry, personalization has become one element that will humanize your employee and customer service and differentiate yourself from other people, organizations and brands.
Your people, both internal and external, want fast, friendly, hassle-free experiences. They want authentic human-to-human interactions that they can’t get from a robot, app or kiosk.
It’s important for your company to have a personalization strategy or plan in place in order to continuously have fast, friendly, hassle-free, personalized service interactions and compete with growing technology and innovation.
Getting Started with a Personalization Strategy
When beginning to develop a personalization strategy, first ask yourself these questions:
- What does your company currently do to personalize your internal service with employees?
- What does your company currently do to personalize your service with customers?
- How have these practices contributed to better service inside and out (faster, friendlier, hassle-free)?
- What can you do internally to improve service cooperation and make it more personalized and authentic? (See 7 principles below for some tips)
- What can you do externally to improve customer service, loyalty and retention by making it more personalized and authentic? (See 7 principles below for some tips)
7 Guiding Principles of a Personalization Strategy
If you do not yet have a personalization plan or strategy in place in your organization, here are 7 principles you can follow to guide you in creating a plan that will make both your employees and customers stay longer, buy more and positively refer others. We believe that these 7 principles are mutually exclusive and that you need to have all 7 principles in place in your organization in order to have exceptional service inside and out.
- Authenticity. Are you real and genuine in everything you do? Authentic people speak the truth and communicate openly with their colleagues.
- Hospitality. Do you make your colleagues and customers feel welcome at every touch point? Start with a positive attitude.
- Empathy. Can you understand and share the feelings of another human being? When you have empathy for your colleagues and customers, you are better able to make decisions that are fair for both parties.
- Commitment. Are you willing to do whatever it takes, no matter what? Being committed means living your values each and every day, even when it’s uncomfortable or inconvenient.
- Competency. Do you have the skills and ability to excel in your role? Being competent means you are enabled with the learning and skills to do your job well and solve your customer’s problems.
- Friendliness. Friendliness is learned at a young age. Being nice and friendly to your colleagues and customers can create decades of loyalty.
- Fun. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Having fun at work can de-escalate stressful situations and make interactions with colleagues and customers much more fulfilling.
Making a Plan
Start your personalization plan by going through each of the principles above for both your internal and external service.
- Take stock in how you might already do things great in your organization and what areas could use improvement.
- Use the principles to brainstorm with your team about how you can improve in these 7 key areas. For example, if you find your service lacks competency, perhaps you might look at implementing a formal learning/training program or manager coaching.
- Create a plan of action for the next quarter for how you will begin implementing these ideas in your organization. Put steps in place that will make your employees accountable for providing this personalized service with both their colleagues and customers. Perhaps that takes the shape of a formal recognition program whereby you can recognize and reward your employees for positive personalized behaviours. This will reinforce a company culture of personalization.
You can read more about these principles in our latest book, The Seven Personalization Principles: Learn the Principles to Thrive in These Disruptive Times or read more about it here.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can put these principles in place with a learning or recognition program, get in touch with me to set up a quick discovery call to discuss your organization’s engagement goals and objectives at email@example.com more
Every business organization across the globe has one thing in common and that is, that they all serve a customer. Most organizations would prefer to stay in business, so they are looking for ways to make sure their customer service is exceptional.
Why do you want to create exceptional customer service? If you create great experiences for your customers, they are more likely to stay with you longer, buy more of your product /service, and positively refer others to your organization. And that means more business and more profits for your company! Who doesn’t want that?!
Customer Service Starts on the Inside
The best organizations on the planet know that exceptional customer service, starts on the inside of the organization with the way that they engage and develop their employees. If you treat your employees with respect, authenticity and transparency, they are more likely to understand the expectations of the organization and can deliver what leadership is looking for.
Train and Develop Your Employees to Provide Great Customer Service
Next, comes training and developing those employees to be enabled with the proper skills to effectively serve your customer. You should provide your talent with ongoing learning opportunities, coaching and mentoring.
You can do this with a formal learning program (and even incent their learning with a learn and earn rewards program). You could also provide opportunities for your employees to work on challenging projects that have them problem solve and trouble shoot new situations they haven’t worked on before.
Another effective way to develop your employees is to provide one on one coaching with their managers and leaders. This allows for a very personalized plan to continue their growth in the organization. A great way to integrate one on one coaching, is to make it a step or part of your formal learning program. For example, GES’s learning programs have a focus on action planning, where learners create a plan of action as to how they will implement that learning in real life scenarios. Those plans of action are emailed directly to their supervisors, who can then meet with them and play an important role in the follow up and reinforcement of putting those learning principles into action. If you want to learn more, check out Why Action Planning is the Key for Successful Learning.
Recognize and Reward Your Employees for Providing Great Service
Lastly, if you recognize and reward your employees for going above and beyond with their colleagues and customers, they are more likely to continue that behavior. It also reinforces that behavior within the organization and sets expectations for other employees to know what types of behaviors are being rewarded so they are more likely to mirror them.
And who doesn’t like a little healthy competition sometimes? Recognizing exceptional employees can spark a bit of healthy competition in the talent pool, and further motivate others to reflect those behaviours. For example, you could provide weekly/monthly incentives for top performers to be recognized, or you could simply reinforce a culture of peer to peer and manager to employee recognition where all positive behaviors are acknowledged and rewarded.
For more information on positive recognition and reward incentive programs click here.
I hope this blog gave you some helpful tips on how to engage and develop your team so that they can provide better experiences for your customers to make them stay longer, buy more and positively refer others! If you have any questions or want to start a program in your organization to put these principles into action, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’d be happy to have a quick chat with you and your team!