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Leaving Money on the Table

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Tue Aug 07 2012

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(From Gallup Business Journal) -- Many companies measure employee and customer satisfaction without much to show for it. That's because their surveys -- whether one magic question for customers or 100-plus-item monstrosities for employees -- often focus on the rational and exclude the emotional. However, it's vital to measure emotional factors because with customers and employees, feelings are facts.

 

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Branch managers received local-level insights into what their employees and customers felt and needed.

 

You can significantly boost your company's performance by measuring, managing, and focusing on your customers' and employees' emotional engagement, Gallup's research shows. We call it the "engagement premium" because that boost in performance is extremely lucrative.

 

**Engagement premium = higher business performance

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Recently, a large Asia-Pacific financial services company asked Gallup to survey its employees and customers in 80 of its retail banking branches using Gallup's HumanSigma framework. Gallup's HumanSigma approach works by measuring the rational and emotional drivers, needs, and perceptions of employees and customers, enabling managers and staff to apply learnings and insights from this measurement to maximize performance.

 

The framework consists of Gallup's Q12 employee engagement and CE11 customer engagement items. Integrating them amplifies their revenue-producing results by aligning an engaged workforce with customers' emotional needs. It also discourages companies from focusing on each area separately, which could lead to an engaged workforce that's pointed in the wrong direction, that wastes effort, or that doesn't provide customers with engaging experiences in every customer interaction.

 

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After taking a baseline measure, the company worked with Gallup to divide the branches into two equal groups: the test group and the control group. Gallup controlled each group for size, demographics, location, and engagement scores to ensure a fair and even split. Branch managers in the test group were involved in a four-month, location-specific program of coaching, education, and training based on insights that HumanSigma provided. The control group received no interventions or insights into their engagement scores.

 

The program was structured this way so Gallup could control for the company's other customer and employee activities, which covered rational rather than emotional elements. Isolating a group of branches that focused on emotional as well as rational drivers and comparing it to a control group would clearly show any impact resulting from a focus on emotional engagement.

 

The real power behind this program was that for the first time, branch managers in the test group received local-level insights into what their employees and customers felt and needed. These insights included the results of the customer and employee engagement surveys, complete with unedited customer comments and feedback. Branch managers also received coaching that helped them translate those insights into behavior that would increase both employee and customer engagement.

 

At the same time, branch managers received insights into their talents through Gallup's Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment. They also received feedback from a Gallup coach to help them learn how to use their talents to tackle challenges and management tasks. Gallup has found that people who know their strengths and apply them intentionally in the workplace are more productive and engaged in their work. The confidential and regular one-on-one coaching provided a support system for branch managers as they headed into unfamiliar management territory; it also kept them focused on and accountable for the elements that would matter to their employees and customers.

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