As it appeared in the Daily Nation on October 20th 2020
Dr Lucy Kiruthu
Many businesses focus on customer experience with some enthusiasm. However, the same level of enthusiasm is not seen in the employee experience. Why don’t businesses focus on employee experience with the same zeal as they do customer experience? Do business leaders realize that happy employees create happy customers? Why would a business owner shout at their employee and demean them? Why would a manager keep their employee in the dark? As a business leader, is your physical environment ideal? Why are the employees’ washrooms always dirty? Is your organizational culture leading to great employee experiences? Why would a manager keep an employee waiting with no apology or not return the employee’s call? How many leaders are creating businesses that drive employee engagement? These and many other questions need answers from business leaders.
Businesses that focus on employee experience create a happy and engaged team that in turn results to happy customers. Smart businesses are therefore intentional about their employee experience. Such businesses focus on the employee experience from recruitment to exit. Over the years, it has been evident that one of the weakest links in customer experience relates to employee experience and engagement. It is time for HR professionals in Kenya to show the way. A few days ago, I co-hosted a webinar for business owners on the role of employees experience in customer experience. Juliet Gateri a Human Resources expert at the SNDBX was categorical in pointing out that many businesses with unhappy customers have employees that are not engaged or that are actively disengaged. Are you as a business leader aware of this connection? What are you doing about it?
Businesses considered the best places to work also have happy and loyal customers. To improve employee engagement, Juliet recommends the need for employees purpose to be in line with the company’s purpose. She also highlighted the need to provide a conducive physical environment and a healthy cultural environment. Are your employees’ purpose aligned to the purpose of your company? Are the physical and cultural environments conducive? Do employees feel valued and appreciated? Do the employees support their companies achieve their goals or do they only show up for the salary? Are negative staff attitudes a concern for your business? What are you doing about it?
Both customer and employee experience will remain critical to business success. The fact that employees and customers are people first calls for a human connection between businesses, their employees and their customers. Businesses that provide better experiences will continue to hold on to their employee and customers. Business leaders need to recognize employee experience as the starting point of customer experience. It is therefore very important for businesses to prioritize their focus on their employee experience. It is expected that business leaders who do not focus on their employees will continue to have challenges in customer experience. What has your business done recently to improve the employee experience? This is a call to action for all business leaders to focus on employee experience to improve customer experience. Be a Shujaa employer!!
Dr Lucy Kiruthu is a Management Consultant and Trainer. Connect via twitter @KiruthuLucy