Customer Focus Boosts Employee & Business Performance

It turns out that having a customer focus isn’t only good for customers, but it’s also good for employees and financial results.

We asked more than 5,000 U.S. employees to identify what they felt was the top priority for their senior executives. We also asked them about their work efforts and the financial performance of their organization. As you can see in the chart below:

  • When senior executives care the most about customers’ needs, employees try their hardest and the companies have the best financial results.
  • The next best place for senior executives to focus is on fulfilling the organizations mission.
  • When senior executives are mostly focused on generating more profits, they end up with the worst employee and financial performance.

Research on 5,000+ employees shows that companies that focus on customers have better financial results and employees that try harder.The bottom line: Focus on your customers, not on your profits.

Employee Engagement: A Goldmine of Untapped Value (Infographic)

Employee Engagement is one of Temkin Group’s Four CX Core Competencies. In other words, you can’t be customer-centric unless you have a highly engaged workforce. Make sure to visit our Employee Engagement Page.

Here are links to download different versions of the infographic:

Here are links to the research referenced in the infographic:

12 CX Factoids: Ratings, People, and Leadership (Infographic)

It’s hard to keep up with everything that Temkin Group published in 2017, so we put together a couple of infographics to highlight some of the key data insights. The initial infographic examined CX efforts and ROI.

In this infographic, we examine 12 factoids on CX ratings, people, and leadership. Below the infographic you’ll find links to download the graphic (as well as a poster), along with links to the referenced content.12 Customer Experience Factoids Infographic From Temkin Group, Covers CX Ratings, People & Leadership

Here are links to download different versions of the infographic:

Here are links to the research referenced in the infographic:

Report: Lessons in CX Excellence, 2018

Download Temkin Group research report, Lessons in Customer Experience Excellence, 2018We just published a Temkin Group report, Lessons in CX Excellence, 2018. The report provides insights from six winners in the Temkin Group’s 2017 CX Excellence Awards. The report, which has more than 70 pages of content, includes an appendix with the finalists’ nomination forms. This report has rich insights about both B2B and B2C customer experience.

Here’s the executive summary:

This past November, we named six organizations the winners of Temkin Group’s 2017 Customer Experience Excellence Award – AARP, Allianz Worldwide Partners, Century Support Services, Nurse Next Door Home Care Services, Reliant, and Sage. This report:

  • Highlights specific examples of how these companies’ customer experience (CX) efforts have created value for both their customers and for their businesses.
  • Describes winners’ best practices across the four customer experience competencies: purposeful leadership, compelling brand values, employee engagement, and customer connectedness.
  • Includes all of the winners’ detailed nomination forms to help you collect examples and ideas to apply to your own CX efforts.

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Here are some highlights from the winners: Read More …

Young Employees Are Most Impacted By Purposeful Leaders

As many readers of this blog know, Purposeful Leadership is one of Temkin Group’s Four CX Core Competencies. How do leaders demonstrate this characteristic? By mastering what we call the 5 P’s of Purposeful LeadersPersuasivePassionatePropellingPositive, and Persistent.

In a recent post, we showed how Purposeful Leadershipaffects the behaviors of employees. We decided to take a look at how the impact differs across ages of employees. To do this, we segmented more than 5,000 U.S. employees into two groups, one that said that their boss demonstrated all five characteristics of Purposeful Leadership (about 55% of the total) and those who’s boss did not.

We then examined the percentage of each group who say that they “always” or “almost always” try their hardest at work. As you can see in the chart below:

  • Younger employee are most effected. Looking at the impact of Purposeful Leaders between both groups, we find the largest gap for the youngest employees (27 %-points).
  • Older employees try harder. For both groups of employees, the percentage of employees who try their hardest increases with age.

Temkin Group analysis shows that the positive impact of purposeful leaders is greatest with younger employees

The bottom line: Purposeful leadership is gaining importance.

Purposeful People Are More Loyal Customers and Employees

Temkin Group has labelled 2017 The Year of Purpose, so we have been examining the topic of purpose across many different angles.

One of the areas we are interested in is the impact that a person’s level of purpose and meaning has on how they behave as an employee and customer. It turns out that it has a pretty significant impact in both of these areas.

In our latest U.S. consumer benchmark study, we asked a number of questions about people’s attitudes, employee behaviors, and company loyalty. As you can see in the chart below, people who believe that they lead a purposeful and meaningful life are better employees and more loyal customers.

Personal purpose and customer loyaltyThe bottom line: Purposefulness creates positivity across all aspects of life.

Report: Infusing Culture Throughout The New Employee Journey

Infusing culture throughout the new employee journey reportWe just published a Temkin Group report, Infusing Culture Throughout The New Employee Journey.

Here’s the executive summary:

A company’s culture reflects the attitudes and behaviors of its employees and influences almost every aspect of the employee journey and experience. However, despite its importance, many companies fail to orient new employees to their culture during onboarding. Rather than helping new hires form long-term connections with the organization and its values, companies often use this time to teach new hires about the organization’s processes. Companies instead should use their culture as a focal point during recruiting, hiring, and onboarding and then continue to emphasize it as employees acclimate to their roles. This report:

  • Explores how companies can align new employees with their culture.
  • Describes how companies can infuse culture throughout the four stages of the new hire journey: Establish Cultural Fit, Set Behavioral Expectations, Reinforce Positive Performance, and Prioritize Sustaining Culture.
  • Shares examples of best practices from a number of companies, including Adobe, Crowe Horwath, LexisNexis, Oxford Properties, Touchpoint Support Services, and Safelite Autoglass.
  • Provides a checklist companies can use to execute their culture-focused onboarding program effectively.

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Here are the best practices described in the report:infuse culture throughout the four stages of the new hire journey

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The Human Side of Employee Engagement

As you probably know, Temkin Group spends a lot of time researching and writing about employee engagement. It’s one of our Four CX Core Competencies and a critical component of a customer-centric culture.

While our research typically focuses on the work environment that drives employee engagement, that’s only one part of the picture. To fully understand employee engagement, it’s important to look deeper at the people who are our employees. Why? Because employee engagement is driven by two things: Human Attitudes & Work Environment.

What do I mean by “Human Attitudes?” Your employees are people who have a set of feelings and beliefs that they bring with them to work. These underlying attributes may have absolutely nothing to do with their work. Here’s some data that looks at the level of employee engagement based on two sets of attitudes, the degree to which people feel happy, and the degree to which they feel loved and appreciated. (Note: we used the Temkin Employee Engagement Index to assess the level of engagement).

Happiness and appreciation impact Employee engagementAs you can see, people who are typically happy and those who feel loved and appreciated are significantly more engaged employees than other people. While their work may contribute to these feelings, it’s more likely that they feel this way because of their underlying perspectives and as a result of what’s going on in the rest of their lives.

The first implication of this insight is that you need to do a better job of recruiting and screening for people who are more likely to be engaged. This data shows that more positive people tend to be more engaged employees. So look for those people when you are hiring.

Another implication is that organizations need to deal with the underlying attitudes of their employees. In addition to applying traditional employee engagement strategies, you need to help employees develop more positive attitudes. There’s a lot of good resources to tap into from the Positive Psychology movement.

I’m joining other members of our team at the bi-annual World Congress of Positive Psychology in Montreal in July where we explore this focus on employee engagement in more detail. After the previous congress, we published this table connecting positive psychology to customer experience (including employee engagement):The bottom line: Employee engagement requires human engagement.

 

 

 

Report: Employee Engagement Competency & Maturity, 2017

Employee Engagement Competency and maturityWe just published a Temkin Group report, Employee Engagement Competency & Maturity, 2017. Here’s the executive summary of this annual review of employee engagement activities, competencies, and maturity levels for large companies:

Engaged employees are critical assets to their organization. It’s not surprising, therefore, that customer experience leaders have more engaged employees than their peers. To understand how companies are engaging their employees, we surveyed 169 large companies and compared their responses with similar studies we’ve conducted in previous years. We also asked survey respondents to complete Temkin Group’s Employee Engagement Competency & Maturity (EECM) Assessment. Highlights from our analysis of their responses include:

  • Front-line employees are viewed as the most highly engaged.
  • More than 70% of companies measure employee engagement at least annually, yet only 45% of executives consider taking action on the results a high priority.
  • Sixty-four percent of respondents believe that their social media tools have had a positive impact on their employee engagement activities, an increase from last year.
  • The top obstacle to employee engagement activities continues to be the lack of an employee engagement strategy.
  • While only 23% of companies are in the top two stages of employee engagement maturity, this is still an increase from last year.
  • When we compared companies with above average employee engagement maturity to those with lower maturity, we found that employee engagement leaders have better customer experience, enjoy better financial results, are more likely to take action on employee feedback, and face fewer obstacles than their counterparts with less engaged workforces.
  • You can use the results of the EECM Assessment to benchmark your own employee engagement activities.

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Here’s an excerpt from one of the 17 graphics that shows the maturity levels of employee engagement efforts in large companies and their effectiveness across five employee engagement competencies:Employee engagement competencies

employee engagement competency assessments

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CX Competency: Employee Engagement (Video)

Temkin Group has found that the only path to sustainable customer experience differentiation is to build a customer-centric culture. How? By mastering Four Customer Experience Core Competencies.

This video provides an overview of one of those competencies, Employee Engagement, where the goal is to align employees with the goals of the organization.

Here Are Five I’s of Employee Engagement:

employee engagement

Focus On Employee Engagement, Not Employee Experience

We are finally seeing a movement by the general business world to seriously focus on the role and value of employees, which is why “Embracing Employee Engagement” is one of our 2017 CX Trends. Temkin Group has viewed employee engagement as a critical foundation for customer experience since our inception. It’s one of our Four CX Core Competencies.

While the trend is great, there’s still a long way to go. I’d love to see many more human resources organizations recognize that employee engagement is one of their strategic objectives (see my post, HR Execs: Wake Up To Employee Engagement!).

employee engagementAs this area has gained attention, there’s been a troubling misunderstanding creeping up in the dialogue. People are confuscating Employee Engagement with Employee Experience. They are not the same.

It’s important to understand the distinction, because only one of them is the foundation to success. So let’s look at each of them:

  • Employee Experience deals with how employees enjoy their job or environment. It deals with making things fun and enjoyable. People often say things like “let’s treat the employees’ experience like we do the customers’ experience.” They think of ways to make the work place more exciting and fun, by adding things outside of work like pizza parties and gift swaps. Employee experience can be measured by questions like “how much fun do you have at work.
    • My take: This is a very nice thing to do for your employees, but it is insufficient to drive success.
  • Employee Engagement deals with how committed employees are to the mission of their organization. It deals with human beings’ intrinsic needs for a sense of meaningfulness, choice, competence, and progress. People who want to affect change in this area must focus on the design of the work environment using what we call the Five I’s: Inspire, Inform, Involve, Instruct, and Incent. Employee engagement can be measured by the three questions in the Temkin Employee Engagement Index.
    • My take: This is a requirement to drive long-term success.

If you want to build a high performing organization that consistently delivers great customer experience, then you need to focus on employee engagement. If you happen to improve employee experience along the way, then that’s an added bonus.

The bottom line: Focus on employee engagement, not employee experience.

P.S. Based on some great comments to this post, I want to clarify something. Improving employee experience is not a bad thing. But a company should not be focusing its energy on improving employees experience just for the sake of that improvement. The ultimate goal should be in creating an engaged workforce, not just ensuring that employees enjoy their work experience. See my post: Are You Creating Engaged or Entitled Employees?

Report: Employee Engagement Benchmark Study, 2017

We just published a Temkin Group report, Employee Engagement Benchmark Study, 2017. This is the sixth year that we’ve published the benchmark of U.S. employees. The research is based on an online survey on Q3 2016. (Take a look at our Employee Engagement Resource Page).

For the sixth year in a row, Temkin Group used the Temkin Employee Engagement Index to analyze the engagement levels of more than 5,000 U.S. employees. We found that:

  • Sixty-three percent of U.S. employees are “highly” or “moderately” engaged – the highest level we’ve seen in the six years we’ve conducted this study.
  • Companies that outperform their competitors in both financial results and customer experience have more engaged workers.
  • Compared to disengaged employees, highly engaged employees are almost five times more likely to recommend the company’s products and services, they are over four times more likely to do something that is good, yet unexpected, for the company, they are three times more likely to stay late at work if something need to be done, and they are over five times more likely to recommend an improvement at the company.
  • Companies with 501 to 1,000 employees have the highest percentage of engaged employees, while companies with 10,000 or more employees have the lowest.
  • On an individual level, our research shows that the most highly engaged employees tend to be those who regularly interact with customers, who are highly educated, who earn a high income, and who are executives.
  • Forty-nine percent of construction employees are highly engaged, the highest level of any industry. At the other end of the spectrum, only 20% of employees in public administration are highly engaged.
  • Given the significant value of engaged employees, we recommend that companies improve engagement levels by mastering our Five I’s of Employee Engagement: Inform, Inspire, Instruct, Involve, and Incent.

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Here’s what we found when we examined year-over-year results for the Temkin Employee Engagement Index:

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Here are previous employee engagement benchmark studies: 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012.

An Inspiring Mission Is An Employee Magnet

1702_inspiringmission2If you want to recruit the best employees, make sure that your organization has an inspiring mission.

Temkin Group recently surveyed 10,000 U.S. consumers about their preferences for a new job. Respondents chose one of these three attributes: the company’s mission, pay level, or new boss.

An inspiring mission was the most popular option–and it wasn’t even close. Here’s what people selected:

  • Inspiring mission: 54.4%
  • Above average pay: 26.9%
  • Great boss: 18.8%

We also examined the responses across age groups. As you can see below:

  • Mission is the most important attribute for every age group
  • 65- to 74-year-olds is the group that cares the most about the mission
  • 25- to 34-year-olds is the group that cares the most about their pay
  • 25- to 44-year-olds is the group that cares the most about their boss

1703_jobpreferencesbyage

Why does Temkin Group care about this? Because attracting the best employees is one of the first steps in building employee engagement, which is one of our Four Customer Experience Core Competencies. Also, as we celebrate The Year of Purpose, we will continue to highlight the importance of meaning for both people and organizations.

The bottom line: Make your mission more inspiring.

Report: Engaging A Tethered Workforce

1701_engagingatetheredworkforce_coverWe just published a Temkin Group report, Engaging A Tethered Workforce.  Here’s the executive summary:

Companies across a number of industries create and deliver customer experiences (CX) through a combination of traditional employees and other workers who they do not directly control – such as contractors or employees of channel partners or outsourcing partners. Despite not being directly employed by the company, these other workers – who make up what Temkin Group calls a “tethered workforce” – still play a critical role in delivering experiences that represent the company’s brand. However, tethered workers differ from typical full-time, corporate employees in ways that pose challenges to brands’ efforts to align these workers with their customer experience goals and objectives. In this report, we examine how brands are tapping into these tethered employees. Here are some highlights:

  • Companies must manage three connections: 1) Between themselves and their partners that employ the tethered workers, 2) Between their partners and the tethered employees, and 3) Between themselves and the tethered workers.
  • We share over 30 examples of best practices from across Temkin Group’s Five I’s of Employee Engagement: Inform, Inspire, Instruct, Involve, and Incent.
  • We offer brands a blueprint for engaging tethered workers with key things to think about across the three connections of tethered workforces.

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Here are the 17 best practices described in the report:

1701_bestpracticesforengagingtetheredworkers

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Report: Lessons in CX Excellence, 2017

1701_lessonsincxexcellence_coverWe just published a Temkin Group report, Lessons in CX Excellence, 2017. The report provides insights from eight finalists in the Temkin Group’s 2016 CX Excellence Awards. The report, which has 62 pages of content, includes an appendix with the finalists’ nomination forms. This report has rich insights about both B2B and B2C customer experience.

Here’s the executive summary:

This year, we named five organizations the winners of Temkin Group’s 2016 Customer Experience Excellence Award – Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), Century Support Services, Crowe Horwath, Oxford Properties, and VCA. This report highlights specific examples of how these companies’ customer experience (CX) efforts have created value for both their customers and for their businesses, describes winners’ best practices across the four customer experience competencies: purposeful leadership, compelling brand values, employee engagement, and customer connectedness. it includes all of the winners’ detailed nomination forms to help you collect examples and ideas to apply to your own CX efforts.

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Here are some highlights from the winners: Read More …