Every year, organizations invest significant time and money to understand and appease their customers, while often overlooking their most important customer and asset: employees. But, employee engagement is critical to business success – highly-engaged workforces improve recruitment, retention and company growth. Employee engagement is not that different from customer engagement – many of the same methods apply. People are people, right? These three steps can easily be taken from customer engagement practices and applied as part of your employee engagement approach:

Collect their feedback. Anonymously. That last part is vitally important. Just as companies capture the voice of the customer, they must do the same for their workforce. By giving employees the opportunity to share their workplace experiences, preferences, motivators, barriers, etc., organizations can get a sense for what employees want and need and where the opportunities lie for improving the employee experience. However, most employees are hesitant to share an honest depiction of their workplace for fear of possible repercussions, especially when asked to reflect on the negative aspects. Simply telling them it’s anonymous isn’t enough – they need to be shown.

Some different approaches to capturing anonymous feedback include conducting online surveys, developing and distributing workday reflection guides/journals or having a third-party conduct 1:1 interviews. By going the anonymous route, employees will be more comfortable dealing with an indirect method of input and the employer will yield more authentic output.

Employee engagement is not that different from customer engagement – many of the same methods apply. People are people, right?Click To Tweet

Identify their pain points. Once an organization has collected employee feedback, it’s time to synthesize what was said. Key themes will begin to emerge – things that were heard over and over again. Look for moments in the day-to-day experience where people felt stressed, frustrated, held back, lost. There may be missed opportunities that surface across the Live/Make/Grow spaces of an employee’s experience.

Workday observations provide a deeper, first-hand look into these pain points. By finding a way to experience their employees’ experience, organizations can see firsthand where the pain points exist and even begin to uncover ways to resolve them. Journey maps apply here, too. Not only for customers, journey maps are a helpful tool to see how an employee goes through their day and what both good and bad things they encounter.

Develop a strategy for resolving their pain points and improving their experience. A deeper understanding of the current state now informs the desired future state. Ensuring alignment with the overall business goals, develop a strategy to resolve the pain points that were uncovered and that will ultimately improve the daily experience of employees. This includes keeping the cultural elements that are working and have been identified as things the organization and its employees want to keep doing.

Sometimes this involves new initiatives, including a refresh of the organization’s values; other times not. The action needed all depends on the individual organization, its objectives and the current landscape.

High performing companies have high performing cultures. The journey to obtaining dual status may be easier than you think. Employing some of the same methods used to engage customers can simplify how employee engagement is approached by organizations.

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