by Anne Flanagan
“Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”
This philosophic gem is from Peter Drucker, celebrated business management guru, educator, and author.
Within our company, culture is paramount. From leadership and sales, to marketing and design, production, and accounting, we strive to be a high performing team aligned with our company vision. One that’s inspired, engaged, motivated, and committed to providing clients with great work and an excellent experience.
As a way of measuring this commitment, we survey our clients on a quarterly basis. In our most recent Customer Experience Survey, we asked our clients to tell us how they feel about the quality of our products and services, and how well we meet and exceed their expectations with value-add services that go above and beyond.
We want to know, are they delighted? Satisfied? Disappointed? And more importantly, we ask, how can we do better?
In a culture of high performance, this knowledge is critically important.
Having high customer satisfaction equates to business results. It means the ability to grow revenue and grow the business: staff, facility, tools, technology, and R&D.
Further, research shows that a well-substantiated relationship exists between positive customer experience and employee engagement—the extent to which employees are committed, believe in the vision and values of the company, feel pride in working for their employer, and are motivated to go the extra mile.
According to one study, engaged employees have productivity rates that are 70% higher than those who are not; there is 70% less turnover; and their companies are 44% more profitable.
So, how do we build employee engagement?
Instill a sense of purpose.
A 2016 Gallup poll report notes that companies with high employee engagement use “mission and purpose” as powerful motivators.
A Calling Brands study shows that 65% of employees said a “higher purpose” would motivate them to go the extra mile. Employees defined “purpose” as something beyond the typical mission statement. They felt a sense of purpose if they saw their work had a positive impact on an individual, their company, their community, and/or society.
We must tell our company stories. Stories from employees about great customer experiences they’ve been a part of. Stories that laude employees who go above and beyond as the everyday heroes of superb customer experience.
At a recent team meeting, I asked my coworkers to share a story about a great customer experience they’ve had. Each told about how something they did for a client—however small it seemed at the time—elevated how that client felt about the project, and indeed, about AlphaGraphics.
Voicing and hearing these “hero” stories made our team feel proud and made us contemplate our sense of purpose.
Culture eats strategy for breakfast.
Remember your company’s vision and build strong culture by shining a spotlight on the everyday ways employees internalize that vision in their actions with coworkers and customers.
Share the good stories. Celebrate the everyday heroes. And watch the employee engagement/customer satisfaction relationship soar.