Human Sigma

Managing the Employee-Customer Encounter

Human Sigma

Six Sigma changed the face of manufacturing quality, creating excellence by reducing variance in finished goods, revolutionizing businesses, and boosting profits. Now, Human Sigma is poised to do the same for sales and service organizations.

This book offers an innovative, research-based approach to one of the toughest challenges facing business today: how to drive success by effectively managing the moments where employees interact with customers. Based on research spanning 10 million employees and 10 million customers around the globe, the Human Sigma approach combines a proven method for assessing the health of the employee-customer encounter with a disciplined process for improving it.

Human Sigma is based on five new rules to bring excellence to the way employees engage and interact with customers:

  • RULE #1: E Pluribus Unum. Employee and customer experiences must be managed together -- not as separate entities.
  • RULE #2: Feelings Are Facts. Emotions drive and shape the employee-customer encounter.
  • RULE #3: Think Globally, Measure and Act Locally. The employee-customer encounter must be measured and managed at the local level.
  • RULE #4: There Is One Number You Need to Know. Employee and customer engagement interact to drive enhanced financial performance. And this interaction can be quantified and summarized with a single performance metric.
  • RULE #5: If You Pray for Potatoes, You Better Grab a Hoe. This means that good intentions alone do not constitute a plan of action. Sustainable improvement in the employee-customer encounter requires disciplined local action coupled with a companywide commitment to changing how employees are recruited, positioned in roles, rewarded and recognized, and importantly, how they are managed.

Essential reading for today's global business leaders, Human Sigma shows how sales and service companies can flourish in the new global economy. It reveals a profoundly different method for managing human systems for growth. Blending strategic analysis with hands-on, practical steps and advice, Human Sigma will change how you view your work, your employees, and your customers forever.

About the Authors

John H. Fleming, Ph.D., is Chief Scientist for Gallup's Customer Engagement and HumanSigma practices. He consults with Gallup's global clients to help them improve customer engagement and enhance their business effectiveness.

Jim Asplund is Chief Scientist, Strengths-Based Development and Performance Impact Consulting at Gallup. He leads Gallup's global research on the science of human strengths and how to apply them to improve organizational performance.