A building is only as strong as its foundation. So it is with a business, and the foundation of a business is its employees.
In an article at Premium Incentive Products magazine (PIP), writer Deborah L. Vence discusses the importance of focusing “on your internal brand, a.k.a. employees, if you want to have half a chance at strengthening your external brand identity.”
Strategies to create a strong employee-base include employee engagement. The name of the game is to offer employee incentives and reward programs that will not only keep employees from straying to other companies, but also motivate them to be an asset to the company.
Recent research repeatedly demonstrates the overall benefits of rewarding employees for their efforts – it creates an encouraging and motivating work environment, along with employee satisfaction. This is turn leads to better customer service, which in turn leads to satisfied customers and customer retention.
Employee incentive consultant Michelle Smith told Vence that "the best path to building your brand and growing loyal consumers is through creating motivated and engaged employees." Smith added, "There’s no doubt about it – engaging employees is a very smart investment that returns significant ROI."
According to Vence, strategies to boost employee engagement include:
- Have clear cut company values and goals
- Make sure the right people are sitting at the table for meeting, including the CEO.
- Simply asking for their input – make them an involved team member
- Recognize employees who are making the effort, who are naturally representing the company values
- Reward employees for a job well done
- Initiate incentive and recognition programs to increase employee engagement
Gallup Organization contributed to the overwhelming evidence of the perks of utilizing strategies to engage employees. In their research they found that “companies that invest in engaging employees or customers financially will outperform their competitors that don't invest, by as much as 70 percent. Engaged customers represent a 23 percent premium in terms of share of wallet, profitability, revenue and relationship growth.”
It’s simple and factual: improved employee satisfaction leads to increased customer loyalty, which leads to additional revenue.