If you are looking for a way to better engage consumers – and improve consumer metrics – finding a way to connect with frontline employees may be your first step to success. A recent Gallup study shows a clear link between employee engagement and better business outcomes. The ongoing study, The State of the American Consumer: Insights for Business Leaders, provides an in-depth look at the consumers’ needs and expectations from businesses.
It isn’t hard to fathom that engaged employees create engaged customers and – as Gallup research has shown – engaged customers spend more money, more often with their preferred brands.
But how can companies increase employee engagement? Much of it comes down to management. The research reveals that managers are responsible for as much as 70 percent of the variance in employee engagement. Clear expectations are perhaps the most basic of employees’ needs and another study, The State of the American Manager: Analytics and Advice for Leaders, found that only 12 percent of employees strongly agree that their manager helps them set work priorities and 13 percent strongly agree that their manager helps them set performance goals. Of those that strongly agree that their manager helps them set work priorities and performance goals, two-thirds were found to be engaged employees.
One way to increase manager involvement and promote employee engagement is to connect employees with the brand promise. Research reveals that 42 percent of employees strongly agree that they know what their organization stands for and what makes it different from the competition. Gallup defines brand promise as an agreement between a company and its customer and recommends that brands work to promote the promise as something more than corporate jargon by providing tools for employees to interact with customers.
When employees are given the tools to truly live the brand promise, as well as management that helps them find was to become – and stay – engaged, consumer’s brand loyalty – and spend – will likely increase.