I’m sure you’ve heard it before: Happy employees mean happy customers. But what happens when customers and employees evolve to a point where executives lose sight of who they are, what they value and what they want?
That’s exactly what’s happening in this era of digital Darwinism. Technology and society are evolving.
Customer and employee behaviors, norms and values too are evolving. What’s not advancing in parallel are organizational investments, whether they be in operational, product and service innovation to get in front of, or keep up with, modern employee and customer experiences. As a result, companies are increasingly exposed to disruption as progressive customers and employees seek engagement and experiences that align with their expectations, preferences and standards.
Digital transformation is one of the biggest trends in business modernization today. Organizations all around the world are actively investing in advanced technologies to overhaul and update how companies work. But, the promise of digital transformation is more than being digital. It’s also about understanding how technology is affecting employees and customers. And, in my research, I find time and time again, that many executives are simply out of touch with how people are changing. You can’t reap the benefits of employee or customer happiness if you don’t know them.
In a research effort that studied employee engagement, I discovered a significant gap in how executives perceive the role of employee engagement and how employees wish to be engaged.
For example, 99% of executives believe that their employees have a major impact on the company’s success and that employee engagement is instrumental in that success. In fact, executives rank employee engagement as a priority at 8.3 on a scale of 10. At the same time however, data from my research suggests that while executives value employee engagement, they aren’t doing a great job of actually engaging employees. On average, employees rated their own engagement at an abysmal 5.5 out of 10.