Engagement in the workplace is not unlike a couple in love getting engaged. Seriously. While “satisfaction” is more of a transactional relationship (for employees, they do their job and get paid; for customers, you provide a service and they pay for it), engagement is an emotional commitment, not only to your company, but also to its values, mission and goals.
Engagement with your employees and customers is critical to the success of your business, especially now when our world is being locked down by COVID-19 concerns. Rhonda Brewer, the Vice President of Sales at Motivation Excellence, says engagement will act as a life raft in times of turbulence.
“Engagement is important so you can weather times like this even better. When an employee or partner is 110% engaged, you work together to solve problems, you endure storms and the engagement becomes even deeper.”
Kevin Kruse, the CEO of LeadX, a leadership development company, says that engagement leads to better ROI: this includes better business returns through higher service, quality and productivity, increased sales and higher profits.
Brewer agrees, especially when it comes to her experience in the travel, incentive and meetings industry. “When employees and customers are fully immersed and engaged, the service expectations are exceeded, your employee and customer retention is exceeded and financial expectations will be exceeded. Everyone wins!”
Is your sales force engaged?
At Motivation Excellence we look at engagement from several perspectives when working with a client. Whether we’re designing a program for a sales team, channel partners or customers, we know the end result’s success will be far greater if the target audience has an emotional connection to the goals.
Tom Laraway, a Business Development Director at Motivation Excellence, echoes the importance of an engaged sales force.
“The front line sales person plays a pivotal role in representing a company’s brand to a customer, so it is essential to make sure your sales people are engaged. According to Gallup, 13% of employees are actively disengaged. If they’re sales people, a company would likely be better off without coverage than to have a company’s brand be associated with a disengaged sales person.”
Laraway says engagement at the sales team level splashes over to other levels of your business model.
“The same holds true with channel partner engagement and customer engagement. The more engaged they are with you and your brand, they more they will buy. As the engagement grows, they will become brand advocates, more loyal and less price sensitive.”
Creating and sustaining engagement
Amid our current coronavirus-mandated work-from-home environment, employee engagement is now more important than ever. With 70% of an individual’s engagement coming from their manager, creating and sustaining engagement comes from the top. In “5 Powerful Steps to Improve Employee Engagement,” author Brent Gleeson explains how leaders hire managers who are emotionally invested in the company’s mission and then fills their team with the right talent for the right roles.
What goes into creating and sustaining engagement? These three areas are critical:
- Providing clear communication of the company’s values and goals
- Proper training to do a job well
- Meaningful work that furthers the company’s mission
Having a culture of trust where people feel like their voice is valued is also important – both for an employee relationship as well as a customer or supply chain partner.
Don’t forget about alternative reward opportunities!
Let’s bring this back to the situation we’re in right now. A key emotional connection tool many companies use is the coveted group travel experience for top performers. With COVID-19 postponing or canceling these amazing reward opportunities all across the globe, Brewer highly recommends finding alternative and personalized options winners can still associate with their achievement.
“Demonstrating how important the winner is to the company is now more important than ever so if your program does cancel, look at alternative ways to recognize them. Offering points with a concierge service or personalized shopping experience so they can still be recognized is one way to go. Helping them create an amazing personal experience will keep them engaged now, and motivated to sell more to win the next year!”
Motivation Excellence offers personalized concierge award options. In the past, our personal shoppers have helped winners build a new deck on their house, buy a cow at auction for a granddaughter’s 4H project, and yes, even helped plan a marriage proposal. It all comes full circle, right? If you want engagement, you’ve got to be willing to put a figurative “ring on it” and the rewards will shine even brighter than a diamond!