7 Transformative Ways to Encourage Employee Engagement and Drive an Exceptional Customer Experience

Maya Fowell

Image showing employees that are engaged

Learn from global companies who have successfully encouraged employee engagement as part of their wider customer experience strategies.

"Employee engagement is a workplace approach designed to ensure that employees are committed to their organisation’s goals and values, motivated to contribute to organisational success, and are able at the same time to enhance their own sense of well-being." – Engage For Success

In order for any change within an organisation to be successful, all colleagues need to be aware of the need for change, buy into the transformation and be engaged enough to ensure its impact is a positive one.

Speaking to seven thought leaders who have been at the forefront of transforming their companies in 2015, CX Network finds out what their top tips are for breaking down barriers and ensuring employee engagement every step of the way.

From creating a culture of inclusiveness and leading through example, this article focuses on seven transformative ways global companies have successfully encouraged employee engagement as part of their wider customer experience strategies.

Employee engagement

SEE ALSO: 9 Innovative Ways in Which WP Engine Has Increased Employee Engagement

1. Constant Communication is Key

Communication is a key part to building any healthy relationship and this could not be truer when it comes to encouraging employee engagement. No matter what the situation is employees need to feel like they are being heard in the business, that their opinions are valued and are taken into consideration. This is especially important in times of transformation when a company is being dramatically overhauled.

Getting everyone involved in your processes early is the only way to deliver the customer experience you want to provide. The Director of Customer Experience at Millicom, Stephen Essien, sends out a monthly newsletter to everyone in his department that highlights everything that has been done across the business.

The international telecommunications and media company has also introduced daily meetings where the entire team meets to discuss unit shares and ideas to drive our business further.

2. Challenge the Status Quo

According to Carol Fink, Director, Executive Relations of the largest U.S. wireless communications service provider, Verizon, everyone should be ‘asking front line staff to challenge the status quo’.

By giving all colleagues the opportunity to offer new ideas and tell senior leadership what can be improved, Verizon has seen a significant improvement in the customer experience their staff provide their customers.

3. Create a Culture of Inclusiveness

Fink’s top tip for encouraging employee engagement is to "reach deeper into the organisation and invite individuals with diverse viewpoints into your meetings so their views can be heard and discussed appropriately".

A good example of Fink’s strategy working is best shown by DHL’s recent ‘Idea Week’. Maria Hamm, Director of Customer Experience at DHL Freight, shares that an idea came to them when "one employee suggested that we allow people who call us to leave their numbers so we can call them back if they don’t want to wait.

"At the moment we are in the process of investigating whether our current system is able to have a function that helps us meet those criteria. Once we know we’ll feedback to that employee and let them know the outcome."

4. Ensure Cross-functional Collaboration

Over the last 18 months, African telecoms provider Tigo has implemented a rotation scheme where every employee has the chance to learn what other teams do. This scheme has not only encouraged employee engagement, but also the breakdown of silos because everyone in the business is now aware of what another employee is doing.

By being open and honest about what every team does, and encouraging employees to take on each others roles, Tigo recently scored a 77 on their Employee Net Promoter Score (ENPS).

5. Lead By Example

Develop a team of cross-functional internal brand ambassadors that are committed to building engagement and ensuring every employee is brought into the transformation taking place.

This has proved successful for Erim Taylanlar, CEO ofNepal mobile operator Ncell, who is "making sure that the management team are continually demonstrating a clear example of internal customer centricity, which has led to wider employees adopting the same customer-centric approach too".

6. Build a Corporate Platform for Engagement

According to telecommunication company ETB’s VP of Customer Experience, Carlos Graham, there are five ways to ensure employees are committed to providing an excellent customer experience. By informing, inspiring, instructing, involving and incentivising their employees, ETB have created a Five I’s corporate platform that has positively impacted the overall level of employee engagement.

Speaking about the Five I’s programme, Graham elaborates: "By constantly being honest about what the targets are and what we need to do, we are informing employees about the transformations taking place. To inspire we have found you actually need to provide your employees with a service vision that drills down to what our attitudes need to be. To do this you need to actually tell them stories and by doing that you also start inspiring people to uptake that vision.

"Your employees also need to be involved. By involving your employees, and making sure that they are responsible and accountable for the processes that impact the customers in everything they do, it has a great impact on the rest of business. Finally, you have to deploy appropriate systems to measure, reward and reinforce behaviours."

It seems the Five I’s programme is proving successful for ETB, who continue to dominate the Latin American telecom industry.

7. Transform Your Workplace

Your employee’s working environment is just as important as any initiative, incentive or scheme set up to encourage engagement.

Aly Manji, Director, Customer Experience Design at Rogers Communications, a public Canadian communications and media company, says that the best way to create a culture of collaboration that maximises employee engagement is to make a more open workspace.

He explains: "The right workspace fosters a greater sense of collaboration. The focus should be on creating open areas, ensuring everyone has access to the right tools & technology that make connecting with colleagues easy."