Several studies make the point: customer experience and employee commitment are strongly correlated. To put it another way, employees who are happy in their work will go that extra distance to make the customer happy. The diagram presented in this study is revealing: 75% of the employees of customer experience leaders are moderately or strongly motivated in contrast to 30% in less performing companies.
The benefits of a strongly motivated team go beyond impressive scores in satisfaction surveys. As shown in this article, revenue per employee in an Apple Store is $473,000 compared to an average of only $206,000 for retailers in the same sector. However, as it points out, even if Apple’s formula is fairly classic (sufficiently high salary, selective recruitment, careful training), this is not a domain for sleeping on your laurels since difficulties can quickly ruin the party.
Under these conditions, it is crucial to frequently check up on troop morale. Many companies conduct an employee satisfaction survey every year or two. The term ‘Voice of the Employee’ is increasingly used to designate this type of survey, Xerox Corporation certainly uses it.
While all types of surveys present their own challenges, employee opinion surveys bring particularly delicate ones. The fact is that the employer-employee relationship can easily produce conditioned responses “to please management” rendering the results valueless. To counteract this tendency, the company must be transparent with regard to its intentions and methodology. Respondent anonymity is a key success factor, and must be clearly established. This is one of the principal reasons why many companies choose to entrust the exercise to an external research agency.
On the other hand, it should not be assumed that a satisfaction survey is sufficient to keep an ear on employee relations. As can be seen in the Xerox report quoted above, what is needed is a global view of the situation together with initiatives to start discussions about those issues which require changes or improvements. Experts in organizational performance underline that it is the employees, who experience these problems every day, who are able to propose solutions that will effectively contribute to organizational success.
To successfully undertake such a dialogue, it is suggested that one should start by establishing with employees the points that they consider the most important. This enables the motivational study to be focused in the right direction. Equally important is to conduct small surveys on chosen groups with a view to improving specific processes, for example installing new software. For this type of interaction some organizations favour direct discussions, but as pointed out by a human resources management expert one must not be afraid of new technology.
In this regard, an organization can easily use our online survey software to quickly build the targeted surveys mentioned above. Software for monitoring the social media can also be useful for analyzing employee discussions and to better understand their concerns. Once deployed for your internal needs, these solutions can also be used to check up on the satisfaction of your customers – killing two birds with one stone.
Finally, as we discussed in a previous article, customer satisfaction surveys can produce useful results only if the right questions are asked: questions which match the real preoccupations of your customers. Your customer support staff are on the front line facing your customers. They are the ones to know what pleases and bothers them.
Why not put the questions to them?