It’s easy to dwell on examples of negative customer service. But how often do we stop and think about the people behind a positive interaction with an organisation or a brand? On the occasions when we do receive exceptional customer service, however, chances are we will have met an Engaged Employee.
Engaged Employees are:
1. Obvious – it may be an elusive quality, difficult to describe but an engaged employee is more likely to be exhilarated by their role. Different cultures show this in different ways but most of us can spot and will be drawn to a genuine smile and welcoming, inclusive attitude.
2. Authentic – our recent survey of almost 4000 communicators listed “being yourself” as one of the key motivators for employees. It also proves that employees who are themselves in the workplace are more effective. Employees who are clear enough about what their organisation stands for and are at ease with the culture are more likely to bring themselves to work and to share stories about their family lives, hobbies, likes and dislikes.
3. Receptive – we all know that if we’re engaged, we’re far more open to opportunities to be involved with new initiatives and share new experiences. Engaged employees listen actively and offer support and challenge, largely because they care about the outcomes.
4. Involved - they are part of the programme not recipients of it. They feel they can influence their personal fate through influencing the fate of the organisation. Involvement leads to a greater sense of ownership. It’s also the way most of us learn best.
5. Proactive – engaged employees understand the goals, culture and values of the organisation so they make suggestions or take initiative, even innovate for the greater good, without being asked. Their primary focus is on adding value to the organisation rather than obsessing about what the organisation gives them.
6. Energised – engaged employees have correspondingly high energy levels. They do things and maintain appropriate momentum. They are the heartbeat, rather than their managers, and they set the pace.
7. Achievers – because of enhanced levels of understanding, clear goals and boundaries, an appropriate mix of support and challenge (and in light of the characteristics above), they tend to be focused and, therefore, more productive. The things they do tend to get results.
8. Advocates – whether at conferences or recruitment fairs even dinner parties or sitting next to you on a plane , engaged employees are proud and happy to recommend the organisation and to represent the brand. Want to know how engaged your employees are? As a starting point, find out how many buy/use your products.
9. Ceos - they are chief engagement officers. They inspire others by example. They are communication role models in all stakeholder engagements whether with customers, fellow employees, competitors or even shareholders.
10. In demand - take care, engaged employees are a precious commodity. The war for talent rages irrespective of market conditions. Who and where are your ceos? What measures are you taking to clarify your employer brand and to engage and manage your talent?
Yes, we’re in the middle of global recession. Yes, this is an employer’s market. But remember, your brand is the sum of your customer’s interactions with your people and in a downturn this simple truth becomes all the more salient. So what are you doing to engage your employees and are you valuing your brand engagement role models as highly as you should be?