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Three Tips to Improve Employee Engagement AND Customer Experience

Improving employee engagement and customer experience are both key goals for the Biden administration. The success of customer experience depends greatly on efforts to improve employee engagement. Research has shown again and again that happy employees can equal happy customers. But what is employee engagement?

Employee Engagement Defined

Employee engagement is when a person feels a connection to the job they are doing and the organization they are working for. An engaged employee:

  • is self-motivated
  • has a clear understanding of their role and its contribution to the organization
  • looks for and receives training and development
  • feels that they belong as part of a community within the organization

With this connection, employees tend to put forth maximum effort and feel rewarded when they go above and beyond. There are many ways to improve an employee’s level of engagement and get the biggest impact.

Happy Employees = Happy Customers

Organizations can focus on three key areas that will directly improve both employee engagement and the service that is delivered.

  1. Model your core values and mission. Public service is a calling. Many people take a job in government because they believe in the mission of the agency. Government has a huge advantage over the private sector when it comes to mission. Government agencies are not about profit: They are designed to serve. Ensuring that the mission of the agency is tied to every process not only provides consistency, it provides purpose. When someone asks why something is done a certain way, the answer should involve some tie to the mission. If it doesn’t, it is time to re-evaluate if it can be done differently to support the end customer–the citizen.
  1. Supply the right tools. Many government employees have more sophisticated tools available for ordering groceries than they do for their jobs. This is frustrating for them and can be inconceivable to the citizens who are expecting Amazon or Netflix levels of service from government. The digital transformation that agencies are working toward must focus on not just digitizing work, but making it work better. This means analyzing processes and deciding what can be automated and what workflows need to change to meet employee and customer expectations.
  1. Provide training and coaching. With new tools comes the need for education. Employees need training not only on the use of technology but also on how these tools will help them in the next step of their career. The fear that artificial intelligence (AI) will take our jobs is largely unfounded, but the fact is that it is changing how jobs get done. This requires discussion and training. Organizations that prioritize training, encouraging employees to learn new skills and technologies, are rewarded with employees who feel appreciated and supported and are fully prepared to use all the technology at their fingertips.

Measuring Engagement

By focusing on employee well-being, organizations will reap the rewards of productivity and public trust — which has measurable value. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) recently released guidance asking agencies to conduct “health checkups” to identify “issues related to organizational health and organizational performance.” These periodic health checkups mean agencies will have to create a set of internally developed indicators “for measuring, monitoring, and improving organizational health and organizational performance.” These measurements can be employee and customer surveys as well as actual outputs of an organization (number of calls answered, permits issued, etc.).

More than meeting a mandate for employee engagement or customer service, focusing on the public servants who run the day-to-day operations of our government is the right approach to make government work better for everyone.

As the founder of GovEvents and GovWhitePapers, Kerry is on a mission to help businesses interact with, evolve, and serve the government. With 25+ years of experience in the information technology and government industries, Kerry drives the overall strategy and oversees operations for both companies. She has also served in executive marketing roles at a number of government IT providers.

Image by Mohamed Hasan on pixabay.com

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