Earlier this summer, Gallup published their 2013 State of the American Workplace report. That report showed that higher levels of employee engagement correlate with better customer outcomes like improved satisfaction scores and loyalty. But it also found that rates of employee engagement in the US working population remain stubbornly low: Fully 70% of US workers report that they’re either not engaged with their jobs, or actively disengaged
In my new report, Sharpen Customer Experience Focus With Employee Engagement, I show how companies can improve employee engagement in ways that also deliver better customer experiences. I found that companies who are succeeding follow a few crucial practices: 
  • Create employee engagement roadmaps. Customer experience leaders should start by assessing the level of employee engagement at their firms today. With this data in hand, CX pros can perform gap analyses to identify areas for improvement. 
  • Inspire employees by socializing customer centricity. Creating and maintaining employee engagement requires ongoing effort. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s customer experience team employs a variety of formats for ongoing training, including an initiative called Movie Moments, which reminds employees to use simple language by riffing off famous movie quotes. One example paraphrases a famous line from Jerry Maguire: “You had me at hello…you lost me at Adjudicate.”
  • Build customer centricity into employee tools and ongoing practices. Operational changes, such as giving employees a customer-focused metric, help sustain improvements. Last year, Pitney Bowes found that instituting a new metric for all employees changed employee behavior and improved satisfaction scores.
For more ideas about how to improve employee engagement and improve customer experience, read the full report, or join us on September 5 at 11:00 am eastern for a Forrester Webinar on Employee Engagement. I'll also be speaking about engaging employees for customer experience transformation at Forrester's Customer Experience Forum West & EMEA, October 9-10 in LA and November 19-20 in London, respectively. Hope to see you there.
What’s your company doing to engage employees? Share your thoughts below.