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.

FreeDownloadButton

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.

1608_CompensationAndEmployeeTurnover

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:

1607_EECompetenciesMaturity

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

Report: Benchmarking HR’s Support of CX and Employee Engagement

1602_HRinCXBenchmark_FCOVERWe published a Temkin Group report, Benchmarking HR’s Support of CX and Employee Engagement.  We surveyed 300 HR professionals from large organizations in North America and compared the results to a similar study we did in 2012. Here’s the executive summary:

Employee engagement is a critical component of customer experience (CX). To determine how effectively human resource (HR) departments support these engagement efforts, we surveyed 300 HR professionals from large companies and compared the results to a similar study we conducted in 2012. Seventy-three percent of HR professionals believe that it’s very important for their organization to become more customer-centric, but only 31% believe that HR professionals are significantly helping these efforts. The good news? That’s more than twice the level of HR support we found in 2012. Compared with 2012, companies are both measuring and acting on employee feedback more frequently, and HR professionals have more bandwidth to work on employee engagement. When we compared the companies that deliver outstanding customer experience with the companies that don’t, we found that the CX leaders have better financial performance, enjoy higher levels of engaged employees, are more customer- and mission-centric, have HR groups that are more actively involved in CX and employee engagement activities, and more frequently measure employee feedback. To improve employee engagement, companies must master the Five I’s of Employee Engagement: Inform, Inspire, Instruct, Involve and Incent.

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Here’s one of the 25 figures in the report:

1602_ImportanceOfCXCulture

Here are some other findings in the research: Read more of this post

Report: Lessons in CX Excellence, 2016

1601_LessonsInCXExcellence_COVERWe just published a Temkin Group report, Lessons in CX Excellence, 2016. The report provides insights from eight finalists in the Temkin Group’s 2015 CX Excellence Awards. The report, which is 100 pages long, 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 chose eight organizations as finalists for Temkin Group’s 2015 Customer Experience Excellence Award. The finalists for 2015 are EMC Global Services, Hagerty, InMoment, Safelite AutoGlass, SunPower, The Results Companies, Verint, and Wheaton | Bekins. This report provides specific examples describing how these companies’ CX efforts have created value for both their customers and for their businesses. We also highlight best practices across the four customer experience competencies—purposeful leadership, compelling brand values, employee engagement, and customer connectedness. We have included all of the finalists’ detailed nomination forms at the end of this report to help you compile examples and ideas to apply to your own CX efforts.

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Here are some highlights from the finalists: Read more of this post

A Look Back At “The Year Of The Employee”

As we start moving ahead in 2016, The Year of Emotion, I wanted to look back at last year’s theme.

logoIn our listing of customer experience trends for 2015, I labeled 2015 as “The Year of the Employee.” To help accelerate the focus, we created our Engage Employees campaign. I hope that you were able to find ways to focus on your employees last year, and that those efforts continue into the future.

Here is some of the relevant content that we created in 2015:

The bottom line: Employees are critical for customer experience success.

Report: B2B Customer Experience Best Practices

1510_B2B CX Best Practices_COVERWe published a Temkin Group report, Business-to-Business (B2B) Customer Experience Best Practices. This report provides data on the state of customer experience (CX) in B2B as well as 20 CX best practices across five critical B2B processes. Here’s the executive summary:

Temkin Group research shows that although business-to-business (B2B) organizations are raising their customer experience (CX) ambitions, they still have a way to go before achieving their goals. Despite the fact that most large B2Bs have a low level of CX maturity, our research shows that 57% of them aspire to deliver industry-leading customer experience within three years. However, to improve their CX, B2Bs must master Temkin Group’s four customer experience core competencies: Purposeful Leadership, Compelling Brand Values, Employee Engagement, and Customer Connectedness. Our research uncovered 20 practices that B2Bs can emulate when applying those competencies across these five key business processes: sales and account management, implementation/project execution, support and issue resolution, partner alignment, and product management and innovation. To assess your organization’s CX maturity, use Temkin Group’s Customer Experience Competency Assessment and compare the results to data from other large B2B firms to chart your path to improvement.

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The report examines the state of B2B CX, including the results from large companies that completed Temkin Group’s CX Competency & Maturity Assessment:

1511_B2BCXMaturity

To help B2B organizations raise their CX maturity, we identify 20 best practices for mastering Temkin Group’s four customer experience core competencies: Purposeful Leadership, Compelling Brand Values, Employee Engagement, and Customer Connectedness. These practices are aligned with five key B2B activities: sales and account management, implementation/project execution, support and issue resolution, partner alignment, and product management and innovation:

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