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Workplace

3 Ways to Improve Your Employee and Customer Experience

Workplace

3 Ways to Improve Your Employee and Customer Experience

3 Ways to Improve Your Employee and Customer Experience

Story Highlights

  • Emphasize each individual's strengths
  • Empower employees with an exceptional workplace culture
  • Make customer-centricity the center of your business model

The future of work is about more than tackling disruption. To create a world-class workplace, leaders must master an understanding of the human condition.

Human beliefs, feelings, thoughts and perceptions influence everything from business performance to front-line productivity to the customer experience.

Consider, for example, the emotional elements of your employee experience. If you offer a par-for-the-course employee experience, your workers will return the favor with mediocre performance.

But, if you deliver an engaging experience -- one that prioritizes employees' basic human needs -- your employees will find meaning and fulfillment at work. They'll go above and beyond to grow business, solve problems, inspire their coworkers and satisfy customers.

Human beliefs, feelings, thoughts and perceptions influence everything from business performance to front-line productivity to the customer experience.

Likewise for customers -- both B2C and B2B -- human-centricity is paramount for cultivating thriving relationships and winning new business.

Customers want more than satisfactory transactions -- they are looking for meaningful emotional connections. As behavioral economists have estimated, emotional factors comprise up to 70% of economic decision-making.

Becoming human-centric goes beyond merely pleasing employees and customers. The best leaders use practical interventions and ongoing analytics to ensure their people strategies drive business outcomes and cultivate performance excellence.

Here are three actionable human-centric strategies you can get started on today.

1. Emphasize each individual's strengths.

Gallup's science proves that when leaders and managers emphasize employees' strengths, not their weaknesses, they position individuals to accomplish great things -- even in the midst of change and disruption.

In turn, business outcomes increase. For example, employees who receive strengths-based feedback from their managers have lower turnover, higher productivity and greater profitability than employees who don't receive this type of feedback.

Why? Employees are energized to innovate, collaborate and perform when they feel appreciated for what they naturally bring to the table.

Employees [who receive strengths-based feedback] are energized to innovate, collaborate and perform when they feel appreciated for what they naturally bring to the table.

Leaders and managers should infuse strengths-based development in all aspects of the employee experience -- from task assignment to performance development.

2. Empower employees with an exceptional workplace culture.

Gallup analytics show that employees have basic psychological needs, like understanding what's expected of them and receiving ongoing opportunities to develop and learn.

When these needs are met through an engagement-oriented culture, employees bring their A-game to work every day. They are more present, focused and inspired. As a result, they positively influence nearly every outcome that matters.

Unfortunately, many workplaces are not meeting employees' basic needs. For instance, only one in three employees strongly agree that they are meeting a fundamental individual need in having the opportunity to do what they do best every day.

Organizations with highly engaged workplace cultures share common philosophies and practices, including:

  • Their leaders are aligned in prioritizing engagement as a competitive, strategic point of differentiation.
  • They place the utmost importance on using the right metrics and on hiring and developing great managers.
  • Leaders and managers communicate openly and consistently, providing ongoing feedback and coaching.

The manager is the single most important factor when it comes to nailing employee engagement. The manager alone accounts for 70% of the variance in team engagement.

3. Make customer-centricity the center of your business model.

In the future of work, competing solely on price and quality will only get you so far. To win over customers' hearts, leaders need to take customers' feelings seriously.

Doing so requires an in-depth investigation of customers' needs, wants and perceptions. That is, leaders need cutting-edge customer analytics that get to the heart of customers' perspectives.

To win over customers' hearts, leaders need to take customers' feelings seriously.

But this is only the beginning.

Leaders must use customer insights to shape their workplace cultures and the way they operate. They need to harness customer analytics to deliver flawless customer experiences that win business and foster the strong emotional attachments vendors can engender when they position themselves as true advisers.

Ultimately, becoming customer-centric in this manner is the key to unlocking the precious organic growth that's in such short supply in today's business environment.

The future of work is fraught with change. How work gets done. What employees want from their employer. How customers interact with businesses.

But some things never change -- including basic human psychology.

With the right analytics, leaders can effectively measure and manage people factors. In doing so, leaders can maximize their business potential, attract exceptional talent and increase organic growth. It's that simple.

Learn how Gallup can help organizations improve the employee and customer experience:

Dan Grafstein is a consultant in Gallup's B2B and Analytics group.

Bailey Nelson contributed to this article.

Gallup


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