What are good employee engagement practices? How do you retain employees? How do you bridge the employee communication gap between HQ and the work floor? Is measuring employee engagement important?
We caught up with Andrea Popma, Speakap’s Director of Customer Retention, to hear about best practices to increase employee engagement.
Well, frontline employees are often the first point of contact with prospective buyers and customers. So it's extremely important that they are aligned with the company’s core values, and that they feel a sense of belonging with their employers. That makes it easier for employees to then properly convey the message to customers and provide a good customer experience. I think it's important that employees feel engaged because happy employees lead to happy customers. And in the long run, an increase in employee engagement is likely to lower the company’s employee turnover rate.
Sure. We see a lot of fun examples of employee engagement with our customers. For instance, I've seen customers proactively asking their employees for feedback on their business strategy. But it can also be simpler, such as asking for feedback on new flavors, new brand colors, or even setting up a competition through which they could win tickets to a football game. We've also seen customers organize learning lunches, or, as we do at Speakap, cultural lunches. We’re a very diverse company here at Speakap with many international colleagues, and as a way to engage employees, we encourage everybody to bring a dish from their own country and share it with the group. That way we learn about each other and have the opportunity to connect beyond the working context.
I would highly recommend putting yourself in the shoes of the folks that you're trying to engage with. So if you work at HQ and you want to address a specific audience or your frontline employees, then really put yourself in their place. Once you’ve understood what makes them happy, use that input to adapt your communication with them. The change can be a shift in the tone of voice you use or the channel you reach them on. Understanding their point of view will help you create content that’s actually relevant to them.
What we see with some customers, for example, is that if you are an HQ employee, you’ll be asked to work on the work floor alongside the frontline staff, be it a factory, a hotel, or a restaurant. Working side by side with frontline employees will really give you a thorough understanding of what drives and motivates them, which is important for your overall employee engagement strategy. And I believe that if you do that, and you develop that proper understanding which lets you crack that code, then you’re halfway there.
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