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The Employee Experience: Motivate, Empower, Invest Sarah Hedayati

There’s a con­cern brew­ing in employ­ers every­where. If the econ­omy keeps mov­ing in a pos­i­tive direc­tion, employ­ees may take their tal­ent else­where. A trend for 2012 is improv­ing the employee expe­ri­ence.

Dou­glas Matthews, pres­i­dent and chief oper­at­ing offi­cer for Right Man­age­ment, reported in Chief Learn­ing Offi­cer that 80 per­cent of work­ers may now be actively seek­ing new jobs. In another arti­cle, Metlife reported “…only 47 per­cent of employ­ees sur­veyed feel very strong loy­alty to their employ­ers. Just three years ago the same sur­vey showed 59 per­cent of work­ers felt very strong loy­alty.” It’s time for com­pa­nies to respond by tak­ing on a new mantra for 2012: moti­vate, empower, invest.

Moti­vate

Employ­ees need to be con­nected and engaged to enjoy work­ing at a com­pany. Goals and moti­va­tion help in this endeavor. Tim Houli­han, vice pres­i­dent of Reward Sys­tems at BI World­wide, says “…the stim­u­lants that get us into high achieve­ment are these: our abil­ity to set chal­leng­ing goals, our abil­ity to get emo­tion­ally engaged in our work, and our abil­ity to focus.”

Sit down with employ­ees and find out what moti­vates them. Elaine Vare­las, a man­ag­ing part­ner at Cam­den Con­sult­ing Group, says “After a cer­tain thresh­old of earn­ings, there are more things to moti­vate peo­ple – fun things such as trips, din­ners at expen­sive restau­rants, experiences…The VIP treat­ment may mean more than the actual cash value.”

Empower

Some com­pa­nies are empow­er­ing their employ­ees to make serv­ing their cus­tomers the num­ber one priority.

South­west Airlines

I heard a story recently about a South­west pilot that held a plane 12 min­utes for a grand­fa­ther to make the flight. His grand­son was ill and only had a few hours to live. South­west teaches their employ­ees to not hold a plane for any­one. Wait­ing for his cus­tomer was more impor­tant than meet­ing his require­ment. The pilot made his own deci­sion based on spe­cial circumstances.

Ritz-Carlton Hotels

Employee empow­er­ment is at the fore­front of Ritz-Carlton. When co-founder Horst Schulze was in charge, employ­ees each had $2,000 to use to serve cus­tomers with­out get­ting prior approval.

Nord­strom

When new employ­ees start at Nord­strom, they receive an employee hand­book that includes this sin­gle rule: “Use best judg­ment in all sit­u­a­tions. There will be no addi­tional rules.”

Invest

Invest­ing in employ­ees is the way to show them you value their con­tri­bu­tions to the com­pany. This can be shown in sev­eral ways. Con­sider train­ing for exam­ple. If met­ric lev­els are dif­fi­cult for an employee to meet, pro­vide train­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties to improve skills.

Lori Freifeld writes in an arti­cle for Train­ing Mag­a­zine, “When it comes to train­ing, the most impor­tant part of moti­vat­ing is let­ting peo­ple know what the value of the train­ing is to them per­son­ally – will they be more knowl­edge­able about the stock mar­ket; will they learn how to deal with con­flict in the office, etc.”

 

Now that the New Year is well on its way, con­sider how you can incor­po­rate this trend into your man­age­ment strat­egy. Soon enough, employ­ees will be say­ing “I HEART my job!”

 

Post #10 in the Top Ten Cus­tomer Ser­vice and Sup­port Trends for 2012 series.

 

We are advo­cates for pro­vid­ing cus­tomers the best expe­ri­ence pos­si­ble. Impact Learn­ing Sys­tems is the leader in cus­tomer ser­vice skills train­ing and con­sult­ing. Cus­tomer ser­vice is all about the pos­i­tive expe­ri­ence you provide.
Sarah Hedayati
View all posts by Sarah Heday­ati
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