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

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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 of this post

Put Culture Change On Your 2017 CX Agenda. Here’s How.

If you’re thinking about improving your organization’s customer experience next year (and why wouldn’t you be?!?), then I hope you are also thinking about some changes in your organization’s culture. As I’ve said many, many times, your customer experience is a reflection of your culture and operating processes. It’s your culture that will sustain any improvements that you make in customer experience.

As I’m sure you know, culture change isn’t easy. People are naturally averse to change. As John Kenneth Galbraith so aptly stated, “Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.”

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Any chance of a successful, purposeful change in your culture needs to focus on the thoughts, beliefs, and actions of individual employees. That’s the foundation of a concept that Temkin Group introduced called Employee-Engaging Transformation (EET). EET is based on five practices: Vision Translation, Persistent Leadership, Middle Management Activation, Grassroots Mobilization, and Captivating Communications.
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EET is different than typical top-down, autocratic attempts at culture change. Those efforts either just don’t work, or they create unintended negative elements in the culture.

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Here’s an assessment that you can use to gauge your effectiveness at applying EET.

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For more information, check out all of our rich content on culture change, starting with these two reports:

The bottom line: Culture change is a necessary ingredient of CX transformation.

Only 26% of U.S. Employees are Highly Engaged. How Engaged are Your Employees?

In our latest Employee Engagement Benchmark, we found that only 26% of U.S. employees are highly engaged.

1609ee_fewemployeesarehighlyengagedHow do we measure employee engagement?

Several years ago, we examined the attitudes that drive engagement levels of employees. Our goal was to identify a small group of key drivers and create a simple measurement for employee engagement. That led to the creation of the Temkin Employee Engagement Index (TEEI).

1609ee_teeiThe TEEI is based on the degree to which employees agree with these three statements:

  1. I understand the overall mission of my company
  2. My company asks for my feedback and acts upon my input
  3. My company provides me with the training and the tools that I need to be successful

Our research shows that engaged employees are an enormous asset. Compared with disengaged employees, highly engaged employees are more than four times as likely to recommend the company’s products and services and do something good for the company that is not expected of them, 2.5 times as likely to stay at work late if something needs to be done after the normal workday ends, and seven times as likely to recommend that a friend or relative apply for a job at their company.

If you’re looking for a simple, actionable metric around employee engagement, feel free to use the TEEI. We also have other great content on our Employee Engagement Resources Page.

The bottom line: Are you focusing enough on employee engagement?

Amazon Makes Smart Move to Positive Employee Feedback

Last year the New York Times published an article describing Amazon as having a “bruising workplace,” a performance-based environment that often brings employees to tears. It seems that Amazon is changing its ways a bit. It recently announced that it was adjusting the way it evaluates employees. A spokesperson for Amazon described the change as follows:

We’re launching a new annual review process next year that is radically simplified and focuses on our employees’ strengths, not the absence of weaknesses. We will continue to iterate and build on the program based on what we learn from our employees.

My take: Great move. There’s a growing body of research showing that people perform better when they receive positive feedback. 1611_positivitymattersIn my post Positive Psychology Meets Customer Experience, I mention an approach called “appreciative inquiry,” which is a technique for motivating employees that focuses on their strengths.

To highlight the impact of this phenomena, I analyzed our data on more than 5,000 U.S. employees. As you can see below, when bosses give more positive feedback, employees are more likely to recommend the company’s products and services, to do something good for the company that is unexpected, and make improvement recommendations.

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The bottom line: Positivity is a strong human motivator.

HR Execs: Wake Up To Employee Engagement!

Let me start by saying that HR execs are missing a big opportunity.

In the report Benchmarking HR’s Support of CX and Employee Engagement, we examine what human resources (HR) professionals are doing to support customer experience and employee engagement efforts. How? We surveyed 300 HR professionals from large companies and compared the results to a similar study we conducted in 2012.

As you can see in the graphic below, HR professionals are increasingly seeing employee engagement as an important area of focus. We also found that the percentage of HR organizations that are significantly helping their organizations become more customer-centric has more than doubled from 15% in 2012 to 31% in 2016. That’s good news, but it’s not enough.

1609ee_hrismoreinvolvedOur research shows that engaged employees are an enormous asset. Compared with disengaged employees, highly engaged employees are more than four times as likely to recommend the company’s products and services and do something good for the company that is not expected of them, 2.5 times as likely to stay at work late if something needs to be done after the normal workday ends, and seven times as likely to recommend that a friend or relative apply for a job at their company.

With all that potential value, HR professionals should be much more focused on employee engagement. It’s not only that this is a critical area, but it’s an opportunity for HR teams to become even more strategic partners within their organizations. Instead of just hiring, placing, training, compensating, and firing employees, make your workforce incredibly more valuable. What am I suggesting?

HR Orgs Should Make Employee Engagement A Top Priority

If you’re an HR professionals and wondering where to start, take a look at our employee engagement resources.

The bottom line: It’s time for HR to take the lead in employee engagement.

Guide to Organizational Culture Change (Infographic)

We regularly help companies create cultures that are more customer-centric.  So it seemed like a fun idea to create an infographic on the topic. Enjoy! You may want to see a video we created about customer-centric culture or the report, Employee-Engaging Transformation.
guide-to-organizational-culture-change

You can download (and print) this infographic in different forms:

The bottom line: The customer experience you deliver is a reflection of your culture

Free eBook: 25 Tips For Tapping Into Customer Emotions

1609_ebook_25emotiontips_finalAs part of our CX Day celebration, we’re giving away this free eBook: 25 Tips For Tapping Into Customer Emotions.

Here’s the executive summary:

Emotions play an essential role in how people form judgments and make decisions. Consequently, a customer’s emotional response to an experience with a company has a significant impact on their loyalty to that company. To help you improve your customer experience, we’ve compiled a list of 25 examples from companies who are tapping into customer emotions, which you can emulate at your own organization.

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The eBook contains 25 tips across four areas: Experience Design, Organizational Personality, Organizational Empathy, and Customer Segmentation.

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The bottom line: Apply these lessons to tap into your customers’ emotions

Infusing Humanity Into CX, Discussion With Barry Schwartz

It’s CX Day in New Zealand, so that’s reason enough to kick off Temkin Group’s CX Day celebration. I can’t think of a better way to start CX Day in The Year of Emotion, then to share my Q&A with Barry Schwartz.

During this one hour video focused on Infusing Humanity into CX, we discuss some of Barry’s key findings about people and happiness, and explore what it means for customers, employees, and leaders. Sit back and enjoy the discussion, and then follow the links below for more information.

In case you don’t know Barry (and you should!), he’s the Emeritus professor of psychology at Swarthmore College, and has spent forty years thinking and writing about the interaction between economics and morality. 

This Q&A was a real pleasure for me, because Barry has heavily influenced my thinking over the years. He’s one of the key thought leaders of our time, and I believe that all CX professionals (and all leaders) can learn from him.

Here’s some of Barry’s work that we discuss:

Here’s some of our research that we discuss:

The bottom line: Thank you Barry Schwartz!

Employee Engagement Primer (Infographic)

One of Temkin Group’s four CX core competencies is Employee Engagement. That’s why Temkin Group put together an Employee Engagement Resource Page and developed this infographic.

You can download the infographic (or poster) below. I hope you enjoy it.

1609_Employee Engagement Infographic

Here are links to download versions of the infographic:

1609_Employee Engagement Poster Poster (18′ x 24″) in .pdf file or in .jpg file

1609_Employee Engagement Infographic Infographic in .pdf file or in .jpg file

The bottom line: Good things happen you engage your employees.

What Drives Employee Turnover? Not Compensation

Why do employees leave their companies for another job?

To examine this question, I tapped into our Q3 2015 consumer benchmark study which included more than 5,000 U.S. full-time employees. The analysis compared two groups of employees, those who were likely to look for a new job in the next six months and those who were not.

Compensation does not appear to be a significant driver, if one at all. As you can see below, employees who do not believe that they are fairly compensated are not much more likely to look for a new job than those who feel that they are appropriately paid.

The most significant drivers of an employee looking for a new job is how they feel about the work that they do and their pride in their company.

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The bottom line: Employees want meaning in their work.

Report: State of Employee Engagement Maturity, 2016

1607_StateOfEE2016_COVERWe just published a Temkin Group report, State of Employee Engagement Maturity, 2016. 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 for any customer experience effort. As engaged employees are critical assets, it’s not surprising our data shows that customer experience leaders have more engaged employees than their peers. To understand what companies are doing to engage their employees, we surveyed more than 150 large companies and compared their responses with similar studies we’ve conducted in previous years. We found that two-thirds of companies survey their employees at least once a year, but that less than half of executives consider it a high priority to act on the results of that survey. We used Temkin Group’s Employee Engagement Competency & Maturity (EECM) Assessment to gauge the maturity levels and efforts of these companies across our five competencies, called the “Five I’s of Employee Engagement:” Inform, Inspire, Instruct, Involve, and Incent. We found that only 12% of companies have reached the top two levels of maturity, Enhancing and Maximizing, which is a drop from 2015. The lack of a clear employee engagement strategy remains the number one obstacle that companies face. We also compared companies with above average employee engagement maturity to those with lower maturity and found that employee engagement leaders enjoy better financial results than their counterparts with less engaged workforces.

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Here’s one of the 17 graphics:

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Here’s a link to the 2015 study.

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The bottom line: Companies should invest more in employee engagement.

Modernize Leadership: Shifting 8 Outdated Management Practices

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Over the previous decade, I’ve had the opportunity to work with and study thousands of companies. One of the things that I’ve noticed is that the world has changed a lot, but organizational management has stayed substantially the same.

Technology has enabled entirely new practices and we’ve developed a much deeper understanding of what drives human behaviors and business success. But these new realities have not been translated into how leaders run their companies. Instead, management techniques continue to reflect outdated assumptions such as:

  • Mainstream economics works on the assumption of Homo Economicus, a model of people as rational self-interest maximizers. So “agency theory” informs management that employees can’t be trusted to act on behalf of the firm and, therefore, controls must be put in place to align their efforts.
  • Strategic planning cycles (annually, quarterly) have been established based on a constraint of limited data availability. When these processes and cycles were initially created, it was impractical to more frequently pull together meaningful insights about the business.
  • Management focus has been driven by economists like Milton Friedman who argued that corporate officials have one core responsibility: making as much money as possible for their shareholders. But the value that a company creates comes from a combination of resources contributed by different constituencies (not just investors) who’s returns should also be maximized, especially employees who contribute their knowledge and skills.

While these underlying assumptions aren’t necessarily discussed explicitly, they frame the basic structure of today’s approach to management. Well, it’s time to Modernize Leadership. We need to redefine how we run organizations based on the realities of today, which will require more inspiring leaders in the future.

To help make the shift, I plan to write individual posts that describe eight key shifts required to modernize leadership. In those posts I’ll describe the move from:

  1. Command and Control to Engage and Empower
  2. Strategize and Plan to Learn and Adjust
  3. Amass and Review to Detect and Disseminate
  4. Measure and Track to Observe and Improve
  5. Goals and Objectives to Purpose and Values
  6. Problems and Solutions to Strengths and Appreciation
  7. Process and Projects to Culture and Behaviors
  8. Price and Features to Experience and Emotions

ModernizedLeadershipOutdatedAssumptions

The bottom line: Let’s Modernize Leadership together!

Report: Employee Engagement Benchmark Study, 2016

1602_EEBenchmarkStudy16_COVERWe just published a Temkin Group report, Employee Engagement Benchmark Study, 2016. This is the fifth year that we’ve published the benchmark of U.S. employees. The research is based on an online survey on Q3 2015. (Take a look at our Employee Engagement Resource Page).

Here’s the executive summary: We used the Temkin Employee Engagement Index to analyze the engagement levels of more than 5,000 U.S. employees. We found that employee engagement has stayed relatively flat since last year, but engagement levels still vary by organization, industry, and individual. Companies with stronger financial performances and better customer experience have employees who are considerably more engaged than their peers. Our research also shows that out of all the industries, the construction sector has the highest percentage of engaged employees, while the retail sector increased the most since last year. We additionally found that companies with 501 to 1,000 employees have the highest percentage of engaged employees and companies with 10,000 or more employees have the lowest level of engagement. On an individual level, our research shows that employees who are highly educated, high-income earners, executives, male, and have very good bosses tend to be the most 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 some other findings from the research: Read more of this post

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