I have mentioned numerous times on how poor staff engagement is in Australia, with reports showing that around 70% of your team is disengaged. This is not good when it comes to providing an amazing experience, as I strongly believe, that this will only happen when a customer is dealing with an engaged and therefore motivated employee. Customers will generally give you one chance to impress and if you don’t there’s many a competitor as well as online to whisk them away.
Leaders have to do more to ensure their team are on board and engaged and not just satisfied. We are kidding ourselves if we think that just having a satisfied team is enough for them to provide a consistently memorable experience. We need to move from satisfied to engaged as this is where the magic happens.
So what’s the difference between having a satisfied team compared to an engaged team? Team satisfaction simply refers to how happy they are at work. Engagement goes well beyond satisfaction. If team members are engaged, it means that they are willing to invest themselves in the role, put extra effort in (even when no one is watching), show lots of initiative and has bought into what the business is trying to achieve.
They simply go the extra mile, to ensure things are done right and go out of their way to satisfy customers, who in turn love them. Not only do these team members have more happy customers, they sell more and that’s a win/win for the business as well as the customer.
Who wouldn’t want more of these team members? Well in my experience, we actually employ quite a few already, we just don’t realise it or we haven’t provided the leadership they want and respond to. Most team members want to do challenging work that is valued, grow professionally and feel empowered to make decisions that help create and shape a company’s future. They want to feel part of something and understand how their role contributes and makes a difference.
Here are a few ideas to up the engagement level:
- Does your business have a compelling vision and values? One that excites the team and makes them proud to feel part of – are the values clear and easily identifiable so the team knows what is and what’s not acceptable?
- Leaders have to explain the WHY – getting the team to understand why you do things is critical to getting their buy-in. Once they get the why it becomes much easier.
- Leaders have to listen – for team members to feel valued they need to be asked their opinion and have these ideas considered. This is a massive motivator for all team members and makes them feel they and their opinions are valued.
- Communication is key – regular updates on how the business is tracking their goals, providing both good and bad news.
- Regular feedback needs to be provided – most team members are open to feedback, particularly when it’s delivered in a constructive way. Recognising great work with positive feedback is also essential and should be delivered daily.
I hope the five tips are helpful and allow you to improve the engagement of your team. In today’s ultra-competitive market, only those retailers offering a great experience every time will thrive and survive.
Roger Simpson – CEO, The Retail Solution and Author of “The Ultimate Retail Sales Experience” With over 35 years’ industry experience, Roger Simpson is recognized as Australia’s #1 Authority on customer ROI in the retail industry and as a global expert on staff coaching, customer service, and selling skills.