Focus on Your Employees for Exceptional Business Outcomes

Focus on Your Employees for Exceptional Business Outcomes

If you’re a leader, it’s tempting to want to focus your efforts on profit margins and business processes, which are obviously important for any business. However, I believe if you focus on recognizing your employees, removing obstacles that get in the way of their service, and creating an exceptional experience for them, that these things will come as a result.

 

Remove Obstacles in the Way of Superior Service

We live in an experience economy, where customer and employee experiences are so important in shaping their motivation, buying habits, and loyalty.  As a leader, your primary function is to enable your employees to achieve a desired customer service experience and exceed customer expectations.

One of the key factors in achieving this is to remove obstacles and barriers in the way of your employee’s service performance.  This could include removing outdated rules/policies, unbalanced performance measurements, lack of resources, inadequate learning and development, influences of compensation, and other areas that would inhibit their superior performance.

Improve Internal Service Cooperation

Once you have evaluated your workplace culture and removed obstacles in the way of service, you want to focus on improving your internal service cooperation.

Here are a few ways you can look at improving your internal service cooperation to make your employees more productive, motivated, happy and prepared to serve their customers:

Stay positive and polite. Nobody wants to work with someone who brings down the team, and customers especially do not want to spend their time and money to interact with someone who is negative.  When you are positive and polite with your colleagues, they will be more responsive and efficient, which results in better service for your external customers.

Honor your commitments with both your colleagues and customers.

Communicate transparently about any obstacles you encounter that might delay your service.  If you communicate honestly and transparently you will set their expectations and be able to over deliver on your promises!

Step out of your silo and learn about the organization and service workflow.  This will help you to discover how your output can be a better input for your colleagues and customers.

Be helpful by directly or indirectly supporting a customer or co-worker.  It’s easy to play the “It’s not my job” game, but when you have a servant attitude that puts your colleagues and customers first you will find much more joy in your service interactions.

 

Recognize and Celebrate their Service

Once you have removed obstacles and improved your service cooperation, you want to recognize and reward those employees who are doing exceptional work.

The best organizations catch people doing things right and recognize and reward them for it.  Celebrate great business outcomes and recognize employees who create value for customers and others will follow suit.

An employee recognition program can also be very effective at supporting this employee focused proposition.  When you recognize exceptional internal service cooperation with both monetary and non-monetary rewards through a formal recognition program, your talent is much more likely to invest their energy and motivation in the form of exceptional service, leading to better profit margins and business processes (full circle moment!!).

 

If you’d like to learn more about implementing a total recognition program in your organization focused on your employees, get in touch at jenn@globalengagementsolutions.com or book a 15-minute window in my calendar here.

 

Employee Recognition is the Key Driver of Engagement

Employee Recognition is the Key Driver of Engagement

Employee engagement expert and author Kevin Sheridan recently reported that the number one key driver of employee engagement is recognition!  He also reported that there are hundreds of millions of workers worldwide who feel unappreciated and have not hear a “thank you” from someone in a long time.  The thing we have consistently found in our research on employee engagement is that the top organizations in the world recognize their employees at every touch point, every day, not just once a year in their performance review.

 

Tips for Recognition in Your Workplace

When it comes to engaging all individuals in your organization, you must recognize and reward them in a way that they want to be recognized. That being said, there are a few overarching ways to recognize your talent to create employee engagement.

Non-monetary Recognition.

Non-monetary recognition addresses the emotional needs of individuals. It reinforces behaviors that can change corporate culture permanently, and it is values and principle based.

Examples include:

  • a formal certificate of appreciation,
  • publicly acknowledging an individual at a team meeting
  • a quick and personalized thank-you in person
  • a personalized email message.

 

Monetary Rewards.

Monetary rewards address the rational needs of individuals. Rewards can be used to recognize high performers in your organization and motivate others.  Most people love to be recognized financially. 


Some examples include:

  • a performance bonus,
  • a raise,
  • spot cards,
  • spa gift certificates,
  • points in their employee engagement portal


Learning Opportunities.

Learning and development are two of the other key drivers of engagement. When you invest in your talent by enabling them with new skills and competencies, they are more likely to give you their energy and loyalty. Your talent does not want to stay stationary – they want to grow their skills that make them more marketable NOW and in the future. Providing your leaders, employees and sales reps with learning opportunities shows that you’re committed to their continued growth in the organization and makes them feel valued.  Read more about why I believe there is not a Lack of Motivation in the Workplace Today, There is a Lack of Development.

Examples of learning opportunities can include:

  • formal eLearning,
  • manager training,
  • shadowing colleagues in roles above them,
  • giving them a challenging project or problem to solve.


Coaching and Feedback.

Managers play a significant role in the day-to-day work experience and engagement of their direct reports. Your talent wants honest and ongoing feedback and communication so that they know your expectations and how they can achieve success. One-on-one coaching shows your talent that you have a vested interest in their development, growth and overall success. When they feel they are enabled to do their job to the best of their abilities and you give them the tools, guidance and direction to do so, the outcome will be immeasurable!  Read more about the Senior Leader’s Role in Employee Engagement here.


Your people want to feel recognized and valued.  If you want to really make an impact on employee engagement in your organization, focus on creating a world class engagement culture focused on recognizing and rewarding your people for their great work. Your engagement and recognition must be personalized for every individual inside your organization. The above ideas are just a few ways you can start to create engagement inside of your organization.

 

If you want to chat more about how to implement a personalized total recognition program in your organization, get in touch at jenn@globalengagementsolutions.com or book a 15-minute call in my calendar.

What’s Your Company’s Personalization Strategy? And Why It’s Important

What’s Your Company’s Personalization Strategy? And Why It’s Important

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.

  1. Authenticity. Are you real and genuine in everything you do? Authentic people speak the truth and communicate openly with their colleagues.
  2. Hospitality. Do you make your colleagues and customers feel welcome at every touch point? Start with a positive attitude.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Friendliness. Friendliness is learned at a young age. Being nice and friendly to your colleagues and customers can create decades of loyalty.
  7. 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 jenn@globalengagementsolutions.com.

A Proven Way to Create Exceptional Customer Service

A Proven Way to Create Exceptional Customer Service

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 jenn@globalengagementsolutions.com and I’d be happy to have a quick chat with you and your team!

5 Questions Your Leaders Will Ask About the Value of a Recognition Program

5 Questions Your Leaders Will Ask About the Value of a Recognition Program

  1. How much will it cost?

The cost of a recognition program will surely range across companies, their offerings and service. Typically, the price will vary depending on how many users of the program.  However, one thing to keep in mind when you are evaluating a recognition program is whether the vendor employs Embedded Margin pricing or Software as a Service.

Embedded Margin vs. Software as a Service

From our experience on both sides of these models, typically it is most cost effective as well as most transparent for your employees to go with a Software as a Service vendor.   In a software as a service relationship, you will typically pay a subscription fee per user of the program versus marking up the products to pay for the costs of the program.

Benefits of the SaaS Model

In a SaaS model, rewards should be delivered at cost with no mark up.  This means your talent not only gets the maximum value, but they also get the maximum selection for what they can redeem, further enhancing engagement for your global recognition efforts. Embedded margin providers don’t do that – they mark up their items.  It’s also important to ask about any set up, customization or implementation fees (at GES we do not charge any of these fees).

Other additional costs to consider are what your vendor support and staffing will look like.  For example, at GES our SaaS costs include a concierge service team who handle every program detail to ensure hassle-free service for your employees.  This includes supporting employees interacting with the system and helping program administrators managing the recognition program.

These are just a few questions and service features to keep in mind when evaluating your recognition service provider.

 

  1. How will we measure results?

Results of a recognition program can be measured in various ways both qualitatively and quantitatively.  Some of the ways you can measure the results of your recognition program include: increased employee engagement levels, productivity, loyalty and ambassadorship to the company, net promoter scores, health and wellness of your employees (including absenteeism and sick days), increased customer experience and customer retention, and last but not least, increased profits!

Reporting

Your recognition provider should be able to track whatever metrics you want, such as performance, service, sales and behaviours.  For example, GES’s recognition portal’s real-time reporting tracks every transaction that occurs in the system and all data can be pulled to determine engagement levels and use.

You may also want to be able to survey your employees internally in the program so you can pull some qualitative data about their experience with the program and their levels of engagement.

Measuring ROI

Year over year data should be compared to show the overall ROI of the recognition program.  You should be able to see positive gains in productivity, efficiency, wellness, etc., that can be translated into a dollar value for your program.

 

  1. How will it improve our organizational processes, profit, productivity, etc.?

An engaged employee is a more productive employee.  An employee recognition program will help increase your internal service cooperation, which translates into better customer service, thus helping improve your top or bottom line.  A good recognition program reduces the complexity of your overall employee engagement strategy, by allowing you to drive 6 or 7 programs under one umbrella and one budget (for example, safety, wellness, on the spot recognition, recognition campaigns, service anniversary, etc.).

The Stats to Back it Up

According to a recent report by OfficeVibe, “disengaged employees cost organizations between $450 and $550 billion annually,” (OfficeVibe, 2017). In their roundup of employee engagement stats, they make a very compelling case for the profitability of engaging your employees:

  • Highly engaged business units result in 21% greater profitability.
  • Highly engaged business units realize a 41% reduction in absenteeism and a 17% increase in productivity.
  • Highly engaged business units achieve a 10% increase in customer ratings and a 20% increase in sales.
  • Companies with engaged employees, outperform those without by 202%.
  • Customer retention rates are 18% higher on average when employees are highly engaged.

Engage All Your Stakeholders

An effective recognition program will engage all stakeholders in your organization including leaders, employees, sales partners, and your customers.

Leaders – It will allow your leaders to build an emotional connection with your employees, increase their own engagement levels (as well as others), attract and retain the best employees for your company, and provide skills that will make your employees more valuable.

Employees – An effective recognition program should put your employees at the centre of the program – allowing them to have a personalized experience where they can choose how they are rewarded (for example, with GES’s program employees can choose the rewards they want from our global online gallery).  You want to be able to have comprehensive reporting to track awarded points and redemption rates, which will help you understand what motivates your team so you can continue to encourage and reward those positive behaviours.  A good recognition program will also take advantage of non-monetary forms of recognition, such as peer-to-peer nominations, social news feeds and fun gamification elements.

Sales Partners – You can use an effective recognition program to motivate your sales people to achieve their goals, including maximizing cross-selling opportunities and increase lead referrals.  You can use a recognition program to create friendly competition with built-in leaderboards, which also give high-performing sales teams’ recognition with their peers.  These types of recognition programs help to reinforce positive desired behaviors among your sales staff and encourage higher achievement levels.

Customers – You can even integrate a great employee recognition program with your customer recognition program.  A customer recognition program should provide tools to influence, motivate and engage your customers to create sustained loyalty. Like your employee program, a points-based system should allow customers to choose their own rewards.  You can also use it as a tool to conduct surveys to gather new information and influence change in your customer’s behaviors and buying habits.

 

  1. Why should we buy from this vendor?

Selecting the right recognition provider can be overwhelming and tricky.  On top of evaluating all the features, capabilities, etc. one thing that is critical to pay attention to is that they do what they say they will do.  Trust your gut when you’re connecting with them.  Do they follow up on time? Do they provide you with the materials or information you asked for in a timely manner?

It’s also important to be able to get recommendations from their current and/or past customers.  They should be able to provide you with several contacts that you can connect with directly to ask about their experience.

Ask organizations if they have any customer case studies or results that you are able to review to see their proven track record.

You can check out some of GES’s customer results we have achieved with our 400,000+ customers, achieving billions in engagement ROI.

 

  1. What are the capabilities of the program?

You want to find a recognition program that is completely customizable for your business goals and objectives.  It should reflect the distinct voice for your brand and unite everyone in your organization when it comes to the company’s culture, mission, vision and values.

Features

When evaluating a recognition provider, some of the program features you might be interested and should ask about include:

  • Peer to Peer Recognition
  • Manager to Employee Recognition
  • Spot Cards
  • Leaderboards
  • Social Recognition
  • Surveys
  • Learning
  • Budget Manager
  • Badging
  • Birthday Awards
  • Service Anniversary
  • Wellness
  • Safety

Global Functionality

Depending on the needs of your organization and whether you are a global company, you might also want/need global functionality.  Some things to consider include:

Are the rewards culturally relevant?

Can the program be offered in multiple languages? (For example, GES’s global recognition programs are available in 16+ languages including Arabic, Chinese, Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, and growing!)

Are the rewards sourced and fulfilled in country or will you have to pay shipping, taxes and tariffs on the rewards?  Keep in mind this might eat into your recognition budget. (GES’s global rewards are fulfilled in country in 170 countries across the world).

Mobile Capable

In this age of technology, mobile capability is critical to have for your recognition program. Not only does it allow for leaders and peers to recognize in the moment, but it also assures that the participants have the same user experience no matter where or how they login to the site.   Our research has shown that companies who recognize their talent day-to-day and in-the-moment have much higher levels versus those who only recognize at certain milestones or tenure events.

 

If you’d like any further information on how to evaluate a recognition program, feel free to reach out to me at jenn@globalengagementsolutions.com or you can request a demo of our solutions here.

10 Opportunities to Improve Your Employee Engagement

10 Opportunities to Improve Your Employee Engagement

We talk about Employee Engagement so often in the workplace, but many manager and leaders are unsure of how they can really know if their employees are engaged.  Our friends at OfficeVibe have derived 10 metrics that are great indicators to whether your employees are really engaged.  Luckily with this data Global Engagement Solutions has many opportunities to help you achieve better engagement in your organization.

  1. Growth –  Every employee wants to feel like they have an opportunity to learn and grow in your organization.  If you invest in their growth through learning and development you will get their discretionary energy, engagement and loyalty.  Find out more about How to Enable Your Employees with Learning.
  2. Happiness – Happiness can sometimes be a tough measure to gauge.  General indicators for happiness at work are if an employee feels like they have autonomy over their work, if they feel supported and not overwhelmed with their workload and if they feel like they have a good work-like balance.
  3. Ambassadorship – Do you know what stories are being told inside by your employees?  The level of ambassadorship is really a measure of your employee’s loyalty and what they say about your company.  It’s important for your employees to be engaged because the stories being told on the inside, can be felt on the outside by your customers.  Read more about how to create better loyalty in your organization in Are You Loyal About Creating Loyalty?
  4. Relationship to Peers – Do your employees have good relationships with one another?  It is important to focus on peer to peer relationships in order to keep your internal service cooperation in peak performance.  You can also foster great peer to peer relationships with opportunities for peer to peer recognition.  For example GES’s Total Recognition platform has an internal social media function so colleagues can create a community of acknowledgement and engagement.  Find out how you can improve your internal service cooperation in If Your Internal Service Sucks, Your External Service is Doomed.
  5. Relationship to Manager – Leadership is paramount in any organizations.  It’s been said that many employees stay (and thrive) not for the organization but for their manager.   Are your leaders creating great relationships with their direct reports? Are they providing them with one on one coaching and clear and open communication.  If you are a leader, you might want to check out Egoless Leadership: Serve Your Way to Success.
  6. Recognition – Recognition in the workplace can take on many forms. It can be as simple as a non-monetary Thank You or acknowledgement in front of their peers.  It can also include monetary recognition such as bonuses, a salary increase or a Total Recognition program where you can reward employees at every touch point with rewards.  These points can be redeemed for things such as merchandise, gift cards, travel and much more.  Giving your employees personalized rewards that are unique to what they want is crucial.  Read more about how to Take Your Employee Engagement Program from Meh to Hell Yah here.
  7. Feedback – Feedback is an important element to your employees growth and happiness. Do your leaders have frequent and open communication with their direct reports? Are they transparent in their expectations and work with employees to help them get there?  Feedback and coaching is an important element for engagement because your employees will feel like they are valued in the organization, they will know what they need to do to improve, and they will see that you are dedicated to their growth.
  8. Wellness – It is easy to tell if you have a culture focused on wellness.  You can measure this with many indicators such as overall absenteeism, productivity and employee health.  In addition to employee engagement, when you have a culture of wellness you will see many benefits, including lower turnover, increased attraction of new employees, decreased absenteeism, greater productivity, and a decrease in health disorders including lack of sleep, anxiety and obesity. Find out more about how to Improve Employee Wellness Metrics with Recognition and Engagement.
  9. Alignment – Whether or not a person is aligned with your organization starts from the very minute they are hired.  That’s why it is important to hire employees who are a cultural fit.  For example, personalization traits such as friendliness and fun can rarely be trained, so it’s crucial to make sure your new hires are a good fit, or it’s unlikely they will thrive in your environment.
  10. Job Fit & Compensation – Satisfaction is really an overall indicator of employee engagement.  This can include elements such as compensation, work environment, and fit of role for the employee.   Some ways you can improve the overall satisfaction of your employees include providing them with fair and competitive salary, offering them flexibility to work remotely or flexible hours, providing them with autonomy and authority to do their role to the best of their ability (i.e. not micromanaging).

 

When you focus on the indicators of employee engagement that were discussed above such as learning and development, coaching, wellness, cultural alignment and rewards and recognition, plus factor in each individual employees needs and desires, you will have great satisfaction in your organization, which will be felt on the outside by your customers.

Find out more about how you can measure these indicators with a free 30 day trial of OfficeVibe.

If you’re ready to put these principles into action check out our Total Recognition and eLearning solutions and get in touch for your free demo today!

Millennials and Motivation at Work

Millennials and Motivation at Work

There’s a generation in the workforce that will soon play a very important role in leading your organization into the future.  In fact, Forbes reported that by 2030, Millennials will comprise 75% of the workforce. 

There has been a slew of articles lately about millennials ‘killing off’ various industries.  This attests to their immense buying power and control in the markets.  And, it is another reason why it is very important for you to treat your millennial employees well – because what is being felt on the inside of your organization can be felt on the outside by your customers.

All generations of talent want to feel valued in the workplace.  Millennials have reported several things that help to motivate and engage them in the workplace and turn them into loyal employees (and customers).

Here are some of things millennials look for in an organization to keep them motivated and engaged:

Flexibility.  This comes at the top of the list for many millennials. Many would even forgo a pay increase or bonus in lieu of more remote work, flexible hours, vacation time and a better work life balance.

Mentorship.  Millennials want to receive feedback and one on one coaching with their managers.  They want to have a good relationship with their direct supervisor and learn from them so they can move up in the organization.

Autonomy. Along with flexibility, millennials want to have some autonomy and say in how they execute their role. They don’t want a supervisor who micromanages them.  Some examples of ways they can get autonomy include, working remotely or flexibility, and having authority over making certain decisions within their scope of practice.

Transparency. Millennials want to know what is going on in the business and how they can contribute to the growth. They want you to be clear about what your business goals and objectives are and to communicate that with them.

Impact.  Millennials want to feel like they are contributing to the betterment of the organization.  This could be with a special project, by supporting their colleagues, or by serving their customers on the front line.  Whatever way they serve your organization, they want to know how their contribution is making an impact in order to feel valuable.

Skills. Millennials are a generation that are very dedicated to continuing their education and learning new skills that make them more marketable.  They want to know that you are investing in their future by providing them will skills and development that will make them more marketable and allow them to grow in the organization.

Recognition & rewards.  Millennials (and other generations of talent) want to feel like their great work is being acknowledged. Recognition and rewards can come in many forms including non-monetary recognition such as praise and thanks, or monetary rewards and recognition such as bonuses, time off, gift cards, and total recognition points that can be redeemed for merchandise, travel and many other rewards.

For more information on how to support millennials at work read What Millennials Want in the Workplace.

5 Effective Ways to Motivate and Engage Your Remote Employees

5 Effective Ways to Motivate and Engage Your Remote Employees

With the rise of virtual and remote workers, organizations are paying more and more attention to how they can utilize this great opportunity to offer their employees more flexibility.  However, just as important is keeping those same employees motivated and engaged as if they were in the office daily having one on one face time with their colleagues and managers.

As a remote worker myself, I can attest to the fact that the tips below work to keep me motivated and engaged during my workday.  I should mention though that not everyone is cut out for remote or virtual work.

When I tell people I work from home, I’ve had countless people tell me “Oh, I couldn’t do that.”  I think it’s true that some people are just not cut out for remote work.  You do have to be self-motivated and disciplined enough to cut out the distractions.  Additionally, it’s important to make sure you allow yourself the time to step away from work to take short breaks — perhaps get outside for a walk – as it will help you to reinvigorate your energy for the rest of your workday.  If you just plop down in front of your computer screen for 8+ hours straight you’re going to drain yourself both mentally and physically.

Here are some of the top ways that you can motivate and engage your remote and virtual workers:

1. Establish Your Company Culture.

Be sure to communicate your expectations and company culture up front with your remote workers.  You want to make sure that they’re a good fit for your organization and that they will be committed and competent to perform their duties.  If you find that an employee isn’t cut out for remote work, give them opportunities to connect in person with their colleagues and leaders.  For example, when I first started at GES I would go into the office so I could get to know who I was working with.  It was important to establish those in person connections and get to know a little bit more about the company and culture before I began working remotely.

 

2. Keep in Touch Often.

It is so important to communicate often with your remote workers.  Establish a meeting frequency that is best for your team and be sure to touch base on activities, deadlines and updates that they might require in order to perform their job best.  Keep in touch daily via email and be sure to communicate very clearly and efficiently what your expectations are for work completion.  Establish deadlines together and come up with an action plan on how they will execute their duties.

 

3. Opportunities to Grow.

Make sure to offer your remote employees the opportunity to learn and grow within your organization.  If they stay sedentary for too long and aren’t developing new skills, they are likely to find somewhere else where they will.  This can include formal learning opportunities such as eLearning, one on one training and coaching or work related courses/certifications that will teach them new skills.  You can also send them to industry conferences where they will have the opportunity to keep their finger on the pulse of the industry and bring back relevant opportunities to implement in your workplace.

 

4. Give Them Challenging Projects.

Keep your employees motivated by giving them new and challenging projects.  It will give them the opportunity to learn new things, and exercise their problem-solving skills in a new way.  This will also help them to develop a new set of skills that they may be able to transfer into other parts of their role in your organization.

 

5. Recognize their Achievements.

It is so important for you to recognize and reward your remote workers for their great work!  Recognition can take on many forms such as non-monetary recognition such as a verbal thank you or acknowledgement, or a peer to peer recognition note, etc.  You can also recognize them with monetary rewards such as points to redeem in your total reward program, monetary bonuses or paid time off.  It is important to recognize your remote workers in a personalized way that is unique to how they want to be recognized.  For example, some employees would prefer to have extra vacation time over a bonus, or vice versa.  Get to know your employees so you can personalize their recognition experience.

 

To learn more about what your employees want to keep them motivated and engaged check out the Top Company Perks to Consider for Your Talent.

If Your Employees Aren’t Engaged You’re Losing Profits!

If Your Employees Aren’t Engaged You’re Losing Profits!

There are many reasons you should engage your employees, besides just money. But did you know that if you’re not engaging and recognizing your employees you could be leaving hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars on the table!

By engaging your employees, not only will you be improving your internal processes, but you will create a better experience for your customers.

Internal Loss from Lack of Engagement

Lack of engagement can lead to many pitfalls in your internal service channel. Some of them include:

  • Lower Productivity
  • Higher Turnover
  • Effect on Recruitment
  • Lower Energy/Motivation
  • Higher Stress Levels
  • Implications for Safety/Wellness

Why is Employee Engagement Important for your Bottom Line?

As an organization, if you focus on engaging your employees and removing obstacles that get in the way of internal service cooperation, it will translate into better experiences for your customers. This will create customers that stay longer, buy more and positively refer others and that means more profit for your organization!

When you have loyal customers you have a built in base of reliable continuous profit. This can continue to grow if you exceed your customer’s expectations and provide them with personalized service. When you provide your customers with value and exceptional service they will continue to be loyal to your organization. Value for your customers is created by having competent, committed, hospitable and authentic employees that can provide fast, friendly, hassle-free service. Therefore, your employees’ engagement and motivation will result in high-quality service for your customers.

The Numbers

According to a recent report by OfficeVibe, “disengaged employees cost organizations between $450 and $550 billion annually” (OfficeVibe, 2017). In their roundup of employee engagement stats, they make a very compelling case for the profitability of engaging your employees (see below).

  • Highly engaged business units result in 21% greater profitability.
  • Highly engaged business units realize a 41% reduction in absenteeism and a 17% increase in productivity.
  • Highly engaged business units achieve a 10% increase in customer ratings and a 20% increase in sales.
  • Companies with engaged employees, outperform those without by 202%.
  • Customer retention rates are 18% higher on average when employees are highly engaged.

Discussion

What improvements have you seen in your organization from having an engagement and recognition program?
Do you feel your engaged employees have improved your customer experience?

If you’re ready to get started engaging your employees to create more profit, read more about how to Focus on Engaged Employees for Better Customer Outcomes.

The Importance of Service Recovery: How to NOT Lose a Loyal Customer

The Importance of Service Recovery: How to NOT Lose a Loyal Customer

In order to have your customer’s loyalty, to ensure they stay longer, buy more and tell others, you have to be responsible for their entire experience, not just the things directly in your control. That is why if you are a leader, it is so important to focus on your internal service cooperation in order to improve your customer experience. Read more about why If Your Internal Service Sucks, Your External Service is Doomed.

It is critically important for you and your organization to look for ways to own and manage the entire customer experience or you could be in jeopardy of losing your loyal customer at any touch point. Yes, this means even for things you are not responsible for.

“Service recovery means that you have an opportunity to respond and work to resolve the problem at hand to ensure the customer expectations are met.” – Peter Psichogios

Here are a few ways that will help to keep your customers as net promoters (and not turn them into net detractors):

Put their problem in context. Context involves using your diagnostic skills. The other element of context is knowing your customer. As a leader, this means giving your team autonomy to use judgement in the service recovery process.

Never be rude. There is never a reason to be rude, disrespectful or condescending to a guest. Safety, security, common respect and politeness are not mutually exclusive. Rude people leave a long, lasting impression. Always show your customer respect. Many people have difficult jobs, many people have to deal with difficult situations.

Receive feedback as a gift. Don’t argue with a customer who is giving you feedback; use it to improve. Continuously. Regardless of what type of complaint, it is critically important to first listen, never argue and then apologize.

Focus on recovery. If you get it wrong the first time, you’d better get it exceptionally right the second time. Not a lot of people complain, because typically it is such a hassle. But, when someone gives you an opportunity to recover, you’d better do it exceptionally well. Recovery means listening. Recovery means being empathetic.

Listen, listen, listen. Upset customers need to vent, so let them. When you are in service recovery, expect to have a frustrated customer who may be emotional.

If you are in customer service and you are dealing with an angry customer, they may yell at you and they may even swear at you. It is your job to listen and not be defensive so that you can understand the real issue that your customer has. And ideally, solve it!

An apology, listening and respect go a long way. In order to thrive in service recovery you must a) acknowledge b) communicate c) apologize and d) answer your customer.

Remember, each and every person inside your business impacts the customer experience, their loyalty and yes, your customer’s peace of mind. If you let somebody inside of your four walls, regardless of what department they are in, they’d better be focused on enhancing the customer experience. Create exceptional experiences for your customers at every touch point.

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