The Relationship Between Employee Motivation, Engagement And Revenue – ForbesMarch 14, 2020
While the statistics surrounding the importance of both customer and employee experience seem to be everywhere these days, there is a lot less documentation on how to best implement and achieve great experiences for both. In my experience, the best approach is to always look at customer experience (CX) and employee experience (EX) as part of a single continuum. Put more simply: Happy employees create happy customers. I call this combination of CX and EX brand experience.
This means that the beginning of a great CX initiative needs to start with the employees. If the people delivering the experience to your customers are not motivated to provide great service, communication and delivery, how can the customers truly be happy? Additionally, if the desired end result of your CX initiatives is to generate tangible results, it is important to start at the true source of delivering great experiences: your employees.
Start With Individual Intrinsic Motivation
When we talk about motivation, we need to make the distinction between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation as well. Extrinsic motivation includes things like bonuses, perks, rewards and other things that attempt to incentivize your employees through material benefits. Intrinsic motivation, on the other hand, consists of internal qualities that a person is born with and that typically don’t diminish over time. A person who is motivated by learning, for instance, finds enjoyment and satisfaction from learning wherever they are, no matter what company they happen to work for. Other types of intrinsic motivation include the desire for collaboration or innovation.
While both extrinsic and intrinsic motivation have a place (after all, everyone needs to eat and have a roof over their heads), it has been proven that an intrinsically motivated employee will not only stay motivated longer, but better overall effects will occur. Extrinsic motivations simply don’t work as well, and they can be costly to employers. Even worse, they can sometimes end up being counterproductive as people quickly get used to perks and bonuses and end up wanting more.
Companies that focus on finding ways to tap into their employees’ intrinsic motivations can reap several types of rewards. This can translate into behavior change in your employees. Motivated people tend to exert more discretionary effort, meaning that they go above and beyond in their duties to do a great job. This helps both fellow employees as well as your customers.
Employee Engagement Is A Barometer
A lot of companies use employee engagement assessments as a primary measurement of EX performance. While engagement can be an incredibly helpful baseline measurement, using it as a primary key performance indicator for EX leaves quite a bit to be desired.
In reality, engagement is really the middle of the story because everything starts with motivation, which leads to the desired behavior. Assessing engagement is a great barometer of how current employees are feeling, but once an employee is unengaged, simply knowing that information isn’t enough. It’s not actionable enough to do anything once an employee is unengaged to a certain degree.
Instead, if you start with employee motivation, you will have more of an opportunity to influence the desired behaviors they take, which in turn influences engagement.
See Tangible Results
This brings us to the last stage of the model. In order to be effective, employee motivation must be able to translate into employee engagement, which then delivers a return on investment. This return can take many forms, from cost savings (reduced turnover in the workforce and increased employee productivity) to improvements in CX metrics and revenue (increased customer retention, deal size and customer referrals).
Motivated employees who are engaged can also be helpful when somewhat less tangible results are needed. Some of these things may include the need for a culture shift in the organization to achieve strategic priorities. This could include a shift toward a more sales-driven culture for a company that is in a competitive market or a more process-driven culture for a startup that is quickly growing.
While we can all agree that creating a great employee experience is important, understanding the steps involved in creating it is just as important, if not more so. Achieving cost savings and revenue gains from investments in EX takes a focused effort that involves several steps. When a solid process is followed, though, the return on investment is clear.