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Return on Engagement


Everyone’s heard of Return on investment (ROI) but have you heard of Return on Engagement (ROE)?

As we all know people are by far the greatest asset there is in any organisation, so how can we use some sound business techniques to develop and retain them? And how can this be measured?

I’m now going to assume that you are happy with your people and you don’t want them to leave, right? If this is the case then you need to start treating them like your existing (external) customers.

We all know that existing customers are more important than potential customers. “A bird in the hand…etc.” well your teams are no different. They need to receive outstanding (internal) customer service and remain engaged so they want to stay with you and champion your business rather than go somewhere else. Or worse still, stay with you and moan about it!!

So, what do we do for our customers that we can now do for our teams?

  • Find out what their aspirations are so you can plan to meet their needs in the future

As we want to keep our (external customers) we would do our best to find out what they will want in the future so that we can keep supplying them. We do this by speaking to them and engaging them. People buy people after all. Our (internal) customers are no different. Find out where they want to be in 3-5 years time and help them get there. If you grow your own talent they'll appreciate it and be passionate about the company plus it's a lot cheaper than recruiting.

  • Invest time in them

Our external customers get a lot of time and effort, but our team not so much. Stop putting off that appraisal; 1-1 meeting or coaching session. Your people need your time too.

  • Really listen, and act on feedback

How many times do we carry on with what we're doing whilst 'listening' to someone speak to us. Be honest? A lot right? But, do we do that with our external customers? Never! Stop what you're doing when someone next speaks to you at work, and listen. Really listen. You'll be surprised at what you learn.

  • Smile. Behaviour is contagious so choose your attitude

Simple, but oh so effective. Are you one of these bosses that dictates the mood of the office by what mood you're in? Choose your attitude and smile at those around you. Behaviour breeds behaviour after all!

 You're probably thinking that none of this is rocket science, and you'd be right. You’d spend all this time and effort on an existing customer – so try spending it on your teams as well, and before you know it, they’ll be behaving in exactly the same way and become champions of your business talking about it to all of their friends, families and followers giving you PR you’d pay good money for. This'll spread to the customers and when they do come to you, they'll be met with productive, motivated and happy employees to give them outstanding customer service.

So, engaging your people really does make a difference to your bottom line. Happy people make happy customers giving you real Return on your Engagement!

Barbara Nixon - Synaptic Change Ltd based in Yorkshire. Passionate about helping develop businesses by growing their people.

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