Two-thirds of customer experience professionals will allocate budget to bolster employee engagement in 2013, according to a new Forrester survey of customer experience pros. And they’re right to do so, as employee engagement drives both better customer experience and greater profit margins. But, a recent Gallup study shows that 70% of US employees are either actively disengaged or not engaged at work. Why the disconnect? Why do companies’ investments in employee engagement produce such dismal results?

It’s because most firms aren’t doing what it really takes to engage employees, notes Senior Analyst Sam Stern in his new research report. For example, most firms aren’t training employees on how to deliver a specific type of experience or, more significantly, aren’t reinforcing customer-centric behavior. “Customer-centric cultures motivate employees by recognizing them when they do the right thing for customers,” notes Stern. “And yet only 25% of companies consistently use informal rewards and celebrations to highlight customer-centric behavior. That sends the message that delivering a positive experience isn’t as important as other activities that do earn recognition.”

In his report, Stern outlines best practices for effectively engaging employees to transform the customer experience. Visit his blog post to learn more about this new research. Or to learn more about Forrester’s customer experience practice, visit