Great employee experiences result in great customer experiences05.09.17
Chief Innovation Officer
Recently, I was asked to be a judge at the first UK Employee Experience Awards. Following my judging debut, I was asked back to judge the UK Customer Experience Awards. The link between these two categories has never been so poignant as it is now. Over the past few years, the research that links great employee experiences with better customer experiences has been growing and growing. In 2016, the Temkin Group  found a direct correlation between higher employee engagement and higher customer satisfaction, and this prompted us all to sit up and listen. For Benefex and our retail and services clients in particular, this link pays an important part in why people buy from us.
People Buy From People
This phrase has been around for as long as anyone has been selling anything. When the knowledge and personality of an employee can shine, customers react positively. But great customer experiences start a long time before your customer walks through the door or answers the phone. The team you employ to create your products, and market them to the world will all have an impact on the final product. Every single employee is an important cog in your machine, and without their full buy-in and enthusiasm for what you do, you’ll never deliver the best customer experience.
Great customer experiences come from understanding your customers; who they are, and what they need. Employee experience is just the same. Understanding what motivates your employees, how they feel about working for you, and why they care about the company and its product or services underpins a positive employee experience.
Employee commitment = business performance
A study published in the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology shows that employee commitment to their organisation has more impact on business performance than vice versa. Researchers looked at the commitment of 755 retail bank employees, along with financial performance of the bank, and customer satisfaction of the business units they worked in. The study showed that, in just one year, you can see a reciprocal relationship between job attitudes and business performance.
When an employee is engaged, they become your biggest brand advocate
An engaged employee’s personality shines through when they deal with the public, and they work with enthusiasm. So important has this attitude to their work become that, through social media, organisations are seeing how a negative employee experience can impact their bottom line. For example, Chairman Mike Ashley told The Guardian in 2016 that the negative press surrounding leaked working practices at Sports Direct resulted in a 57% drop in first-half profits that year.
A customer’s first point of interaction with any organisation is often through its employees. This first interaction can be make-or-break for first-time or infrequent customers. If you don’t help your employees to make a good impression, your customer may leave and never return.
To provide the best possible customer service that will ensure your customers keep coming back for more, you must invest in your employees. You need to recruit the most optimistic, happy and innovative employees to sit on the front the line. That's a challenge in today's job market where the employee has more control than the employer has. But the bigger challenge is making sure you keep that employee happy and creative. Offering the best possible employee experiences will ensure you position yourselves as a company of choice for both customers and employees.
Benefex is leading the global charge on developing exceptional employee experiences, every day.
Gethin is an award-winning psychologist who has been helping some of the world’s largest organisations to improve their employee experience and wellbeing for more than two decades. The last 11 years have been spent working as part of the senior leadership team at Benefex where Gethin leads thought leadership as Chief Innovation Officer.
As a frequent writer and speaker on employee experience and employee wellbeing, Gethin has been featured in Forbes, The Guardian, The Sun, The Huffington Post and The Financial Times as well as all major HR, Reward and Pensions publications. Gethin has been listed as one of the world’s top 101 Global Employee Experience Influencers for the last two years running, is listed on the Employee Engagement Powerlist, is one of LinkedIn’s top global contributors and an Inspiring Leader 2021. Gethin is also a regular keynote speaker, ex-Chair of Wellbeing at the UK Government-backed Engage for Success and a Fellow at the RSA.
In 2018, Gethin published his first book - the HR bestseller ‘A World of Good: Lessons From Around the World in Improving the Employee Experience’, which has gone on to inspire HR and Reward teams at some of the world’s best known brands. In early 2022, Gethin co-authored his second book ‘Das Menschliche Büro - The Human(e) Office’ a collaboration between leading academics and workplace professionals from across Europe. In October 2022, Gethin published his “third” book ‘A Work In Progress: Unlocking Wellbeing to Create More Sustainable and Resilient Organisations’ which also became an immediate bestseller.