Customer Experience: What It Looks Like When It Works

Customer experience has come of age. It is now commonly accepted as a key differentiator right alongside product innovation, service and price. A lot has been written on the challenges and failures of CX. In this post, I focus on where CX works best with a goal of sharing a couple ideas that we can

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What is your favorite way to determine employee happiness and engagement?

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Q. What is your favorite tool, question or review style to determine overall employee happiness and engagement at work?

yec_Joshua Dorkin1. Taking regular walks with staff

One of the easiest ways to get a pulse on your team is to talk to them one-on-one. I like to take time at regular intervals to go on a walk with my team members to see how things are going for them and to find out if there are any issues we can work on. Employee happiness is essential for a successful business, and regular conversations like these help you to nip any potential issues in the bud. — Joshua Dorkin, BiggerPockets

yec_Rob Fulton 32. Reaching out individually to team members

I think the formality of having employees fill out “performance reviews” is stuffy and doesn’t always bring out honest answers. I try to connect with team members individually either on the phone or through messages in a more casual style. I tend to get the answers that I need to work on my own performance, but I’m also finding out their true feelings about how things are going on their end. — Rob Fulton, AudioLumin

yec_Vanessa Nornberg3. Watching what your staff candidly work

When employees are happy at their job, it shows in everything they do. A happy employee doesn’t wander around the office looking for ways to kill time. A happy employee doesn’t sound like death warmed over when talking with customers. A happy employee looks for ways to contribute rather than ways to escape. — Vanessa Nornberg, Metal Mafia

yec_Joseph Walla4. Encouraging constant feedback

I emphasize from day one that anyone can come to me with feedback and that they should be open to it themselves. We hire really smart people and I want to make sure they feel comfortable voicing opinions. Everything is solvable, but someone has to bring an issue up for us to start solving it. To encourage people to give feedback, I offer various formats, like office hours and an anonymous online form. — Joseph Walla, HelloSign

yec_Michael Mogill5. Asking and really listening

I pride myself on my transparency, and I expect that from my employees. We have a weekly feedback form that will allow employees to voice concerns along with solutions. Just ask your employees how they are feeling, and let them know that it’s OK if everything isn’t perfect. — Michael Mogill, Crisp Video Group

yec_Simon Casuto6. Checking in more often

We conduct employee reviews and check-ins on a weekly basis rather than letting six months or a year slip by. This gives us a better handle on engagement and overall productivity and lets our employees know we’re listening. — Simon Casuto, eLearning Mind

yec_Andrew Cross7. Using TINYPulse

We use TINYPulse at Walker Sands, and it’s an incredibly valuable snapshot of overall employee satisfaction. Every team member gets the chance to weigh in, and the executive team looks at the anonymous responses. — Andrew Cross, Walker Sands Communications

yec_Mattan Griffel8. Sharing highs and lows

I ask every employee to share their “Rose, Bud and Thorn” with me. Rose is the thing they’re most proud of or their biggest accomplishment at the moment. Bud is the thing they think has the most potential or that they are most excited about at the moment. Thorn is the thing that is the most annoying or frustrating at the moment. It’s simple for people to understand and uncovers a lot. — Mattan Griffel, One Month

yec_Souny West9. Asking what we can change

I’ve asked this question before and it worked well. It helps check in with the employee to determine what they want to stay and what they think needs to change. They tend to share big and small things, and this allows me to understand their level of acceptance and tolerance within the company. This insight helps me to understand where their head and hearts are within their current role. — Souny West, CHiC Capital

yec_Nicole Smartt10. Using one-on-one stay surveys

The style is to get an accurate read on employee happiness, while giving engaged, positive ways that employees can suggest improvements. These type of questions will help employees accept responsibility for staying and build trust. You should always hold them in person. You can take notes during this time but be sure to listen and repeat back what you hear so they know you are paying attention. — Nicole Smartt, Star Staffing

yec_Obinna Ekezie11. Using an idea box

Create an “Idea Box” for employees to anonymously provide your leadership team with feedback about work environment, employee morale and requests for improvement. Too often managers wait for an employee to quit before asking them what they liked and didn’t like about your business. The “Idea Box” strategy allows you to get feedback and take actions to improve before it’s too late. — Obinna Ekezie, Wakanow.com

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What is your favorite way to determine employee happiness and engagement? originally published by SmartBlogs

Common sense is not common

What do your leaders celebrate in your workplace? Take a moment and write down the five to 10 things that leaders measure, praise, encourage, recognize, or reward on a regular basis.

Don’t look at service awards or other annual recognition that are given out. Note down the day-to-day messages that team members hear.

Next, categorize these messages, rewards, and praisings. Note which rewards are about results, performance and money, and which rewards are about cooperative interaction, citizenship and kindness.

I’ll wager you’ll have a majority of those messages categorized as performance-related. I wouldn’t be surprised if you had 80% or more of the rewards in your workplace focused on performance and results.

Don’t get me wrong — I love results! Performance, results, and profits are definitely important. They help your enterprise survive.

However, what makes your enterprise thrive is the quality of your work environment. A healthy workplace means that everyone in the organization — and even customers — are treated with trust, dignity, and respect in every interaction.

recite-6ica0zThe challenge is that most leaders have not been asked to manage the quality of their work environment. They may not know how! Their previous and current bosses — their role models — simply measured, monitored, managed and rewarded results. So, that’s exactly what they do — they focus on results.

And, typically, the daily messages those leaders communicate reinforce the importance of results, the measurement of results, etc. And, if all you’re measuring is results, people may choose to go to extremes to deliver them.

They may throw tantrums. They may be mean. They may yell. They may undermine others’ efforts. They may withhold vital information, and worse. Just so they win while their peers lose.

I don’t think leaders intend to create unhealthy work environments. I’m convinced that leaders assume that their people will be nice to each other.

Treating peers and customers with trust, dignity, and respect is common sense, right? Everybody knows how they should behave. Yet, some don’t behave nicely. They serve themselves, not others.

The problem with common sense is it ain’t very common. In the absence of clear expectations, us humans don’t always play nice.

If leaders want both high performance and workplace trust and respect, they must demand it. They must formalize not only expected results but also expected values and citizenship.

They must craft an organizational constitution that specifies the team’s (or company’s) present day purpose, values and behaviors, strategies, and goals.

Then leaders must hold everyone, including themselves, accountable for both results and for tangible, measurable valued behaviors.

Don’t rely on common sense. Create common goals and shared values, then reinforce them daily. Your organization will thrive.

What do you think? What percentage of the messages team members hear in your company focus on results? To what extent does your company define and demonstrate values and behaviors? Share your thoughts about this post/podcast in the comments section below.

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