4 steps for improving the customer experience through employee engagement in the automotive industry
Employee engagement has in the last couple of years become a key driver of business success. Highly engaged employees feel passionate about their organization, enjoy coming to work, and have a full understanding of their jobs and of how their work contributes to the success of their business.
Having engaged employees is essential in the automotive industry, as it has been proven that higher engagement is associated with higher productivity, customer satisfaction, employee retention, and overall performance.
But where do you start? Read on to find out how ag analytics can help you drive employee engagement in your organization.
What is employee engagement?
Employee engagement is the degree by which the employees of an organization feel passionate about their job, and are committed to achieve the common goals of their business. Employee engagement thus measures how the members of an organization feel toward the work they do, their teams, managers, tools and processes.
Highly engaged employees are enthusiastic about their job, enjoy coming to work, and have a full understanding of their role and of how their work contributes to the success of the organization.
Highly engaged employees also have a positive attitude towards their business. They put in the extra effort to help the organization succeed and take on voluntary tasks they wouldn’t otherwise be required to execute. An engaged workforce also holds favorable opinions about their workplace, speaking in positive terms about their jobs, teams and organization.
Employee engagement is not the same as employee satisfaction. A highly satisfied employee may be happy with his or her job, but that doesn’t reveal much about their level of commitment, involvement and motivation. For instance, collecting a paycheck while doing as little work as possible describes a characteristic of a satisfied employee, not of an engaged one.
Why does employee engagement matter?
A report by Harvard Business Review shows that 71% of business executives rank employee engagement as very important to achieving overall organizational success. But why is it so?
To begin with, highly engaged employees tend to be more innovative and productive. Research shows that 92% of executives believe that engaged employees perform better. According to Gallup data, engaged employees are up to 22% more productive than their lesser engaged colleagues. In dollar terms, investing 10% more in employee engagement initiatives can increase profits by $2,400 per employee per year.
On top of that, engaged employees tend to stay in their organizations for longer. Disengaged employees are a major factor contributing to high employee turnover. Thus, improving employee engagement reduces employee turnover costs and other costs related to the hiring and retention of talents.
Furthermore, employee engagement is also tightly associated with customer satisfaction. 72% of business executives strongly agree that companies with highly engaged employees have happy customers. In fact, engaged employees receive 10% higher customer ratings compared to disengaged employees. Engaged employees feel passionate about their jobs and have organizational success at heart. Thus, they also care about having satisfied customers.
Finally, investing in employee engagement also drives bottom-line performance. When employees are engaged, they put more effort in their everyday activities, which leads to a higher quality of work produced. According to Harvard Business Review, organizations with a highly engaged workforce have double the rate of success compared to organizations with lesser engaged employees.
The four steps to increase employee engagement
Increasing employee engagement doesn’t involve one simple solution. Instead, building a highly engaged workforce requires a holistic approach that is fueled by continuous improvement. The four keys to increase employee engagement are: 1) fostering an open communication culture, 2) collecting employee feedback regularly, 3) converting feedback into actionable insights, and 4) integrating employee experience and customer experience.
Let’s look at each of these steps in more detail.
Step 1 — Foster an open communication culture
The first step to improve employee engagement is to foster an open communication culture. Employee communication is a critical tool to develop strong working relationships among employees. Creating a robust feedback culture involves making sure managers act as coaches, building strong communication habits, and inspiring employees to share their views and concerns.
Companies that prioritize clear and precise communication can promptly build trust among employees.
Deep down, an open communication culture requires a work environment that prioritizes employee wellbeing, recognizes the members of an organization for their contributions, and provides access to employee development opportunities.
Step 2 — Collect employee feedback regularly
Employee engagement surveys are a useful tool to measure the commitment, involvement and motivation of the employees of an organization. Such surveys are specifically designed to assess the extent to which the members of an organization are aligned with the strategic goals of the business and share its common goals.
While annual engagement surveys can help executives get a comprehensive picture of an organization’s overall employee engagement, a lot of things can change in a year. Thus, gathering feedback frequently through pulse surveys provides a real-time snapshot of the level of engagement exhibited by the workforce of an organization.
Pulse surveys are frequent and quick surveys that only take a few minutes to complete, and help an organization collect real-time employee feedback on any topic at any time. Pulse surveys are more efficient and easier to implement than annual engagement surveys. They are short and highly targeted — designed to strategically collect insights about a specific workplace-related topic.
On top of pulse surveys, employee lifecycle surveys are designed to help managers gather feedback from employees at different stages during their employment journey in the organization, from onboarding to exit.
New Hire survey questions may include, for instance:
- Have you gained insights into the company’s goals and vision
- Have you received a nice welcome from your closest colleagues?
Exit survey questions may include, for instance:
- What was the main reason that made you leave the company?
- Considering your complete experience with our company, how likely would you be to recommend us to a friend or colleague?
- Would you consider returning to the company?
Step 3 — Convert feedback into actionable insights
Once employee feedback has been collected, it is essential to share it and follow up on it.
Sharing results and taking action shows the employees that their opinion is valued and that their feedback affects decision-making. In turn, this reinforces open communication and further encourages employees to speak up. When employees know that their opinions count, they’re more likely to feel committed to their job, are more productive, and keener to succeed.
Step 4 — Integrate employee experience and customer experience
As we’ve seen before, employee engagement is strongly associated with customer satisfaction. This is because engaged employees are passionate about their jobs and care about having satisfied customers. In turn, satisfied customers make employees more motivated and thus positively affect employee engagement.
Harnessing the synergy between employee experience and customer experience is thus essential to improve both.
On the employee’s side, surveying employees frequently allows managers to design action plans to maintain and increase employee engagement. Higher employee engagement leads to higher customer satisfaction. On the customer’s side, surveying customers regularly helps track and increase customer satisfaction. Satisfied customers make employees more motivated and thus further enhance employee engagement.
What tools do you need to drive employee engagement?
At ag analytics, we have developed a comprehensive survey tool that collects actionable intelligence in relation to customer experience and employee experience. With over 10 years of experience in the industry, we have gathered real insights into the automotive industry, and have deep knowledge on how to integrate the customer and the employee experience.
The Autoflows Employee Experience module helps your organization collect real-time employee feedback and improve your employee experience from onboarding to exit.
Our personalized dashboard measures your employees’ engagement and provides you with actionable feedback to focus your efforts on targeted areas to improve employee engagement, productivity and performance.
The employee experience framework developed by ag analytics involves pulse surveys and employee lifecycle surveys, both of which include questions that are scientifically proven to measure employee engagement.
The ag analytics Employee Experience module provides an integrated solution, which follows the entire customer journey and enables managers to get an overview of their employee and customer experience from a single dashboard.