I spent a recent flight talking with a seatmate who had interned at an Amazon distribution center. The interview process was rigorous and competitive. In each of the many interviews, candidates were asked to describe how they exhibit Amazon company values. The top value: customer obsession.

In the distribution center, he found this customer focus to be visible, tangible and infectious. As the drop for the day’s final shipment approached, employees only worked faster—with near fanatical commitment to getting customer orders out the door in time. This wasn’t a mandate from management; the employees on the floor simply shared a genuine drive and desire to make sure customer packages were delivered as promised.

This story stuck with me as an intense example of how company values and employee engagement can go hand in hand. Your frontline employees have the power to make or break the customer experience. They shape the perception of your company and color customers’ experiences with every interaction. A touch of employee fanaticism is a great asset.

The Cost of Disengaged Employees

Engaged employees—those who care about the job and align to company goals—help you achieve incredible things. According to the 2017 Global Customer Experience Benchmarking Report from Dimension Data, organizations with engaged employees outperformed those without by more than 200%.

Disengaged employees not only lead to a subpar customer experience, they directly affect your bottom line. It can cost 20% of an agent’s annual salary to replace them, as you spend precious time and funds hiring and training new employees.

Keeping Modern Employees Engaged

Gone are the days of decades-long tenures at a single company. Millennials will make up 75% of the workforce by 2025, and Generation Z is just starting to enter the workforce now. These modern employees have different motivations, and they’re less inclined to stay at a job if they don’t feel connected to what they’re doing. This means traditional management tactics that focus on squeezing productivity out of employees will increasingly fail.

Focusing on employee engagement flips the script. It changes the culture, drives productivity, keeps agents around longer and improves customer experience. Try these five tips to earn employee buy-in and loyalty.

    1. Hire the right people from the start.
      If you’re building out a team, seek out candidates who will be a good fit culturally—much like how Amazon incorporates company values into their interview process. An interesting trend emerged in discussions with Genesys® PureCloudTM customers: The software helps them hire better agents. During an interview, managers show potential hires the tool. Some interviewees are excited about the visibility into daily activities and customer interactions, recognizing the potential for immediate feedback and performance recognition. Others, uncomfortable with this level of transparency, actually self-select out of the interview process.As you put your company values on display, you’ll attract more of the agents you want—and your customer engagement center will fire on all cylinders.
    2. Prioritize tailored training to empower agents.
      Engaged employees want to learn and develop. A focus on coaching keeps agents’ skills sharp, empowering them to handle more complex interactions and provide the best possible experiences.Start by analyzing performance and tailoring training to sticking points for each agent. Intentionally set aside time dedicated to training. A contact center platform with built-in analytics can help you identify when call volume will likely be lower so you can align your training hours for maximum efficiency.
    3. Give consistent, personalized feedback.
      Employees want regular feedback on how they’re doing—not just an official annual evaluation. Agent analytics built into your contact center software make it easy for supervisors to monitor and evaluate agent interactions consistently and provide real-time feedback and training. Motivated, engaged employees typically seek out feedback to continue growing and improving. Make sure you provide it.
    4. Create opportunities for advancement.
      Employees who feel stagnant are less engaged. It’s one reason turnover rates are highest among new and entry-level agents.  Create clear opportunities for advancement, so employees see a bright future at your company. This gives them more reason to stay and gives you a larger pool of proven, dedicated people to promote into more senior positions. As your best agents rise in the ranks and remain engaged, turnover rates will drop even further.
    5. Offer flexible working conditions.
      Many modern employees don’t want to be tied to a desk. But they still want to feel connected. Give your agents the flexibility to work remotely while ensuring they have all the tools they need to best perform their jobs with a unified cloud-based communication platform. And with the right tools for forecasting and scheduling, you can provide the flexibility and healthy work-life balance your employees want—while making sure you’re staffed appropriately to meet SLAs and customer expectations.

Engage Employees—By Design

Running a high-performance contact center and keeping employees engaged is challenging. That’s why we design and develop software with the tools you need to attract and retain top talent. See how our modern user interface makes it easier for employees to do their jobs and deliver great customer experiences.

The Proof Is in the Numbers

Companies who use the PureCloud platform saw employee turnover decrease from 30% to 15%, resulting in a benefit of $255,000. Learn more about the financial impact of the PureCloud platform. Download The Total Economic Impact™ of Genesys PureCloud Study by Forrester Research.

Kellsey Lequick

Kellsey Lequick

Kellsey Lequick is a product marketing manager at Genesys. With a jack-of-all-trades background in digital marketing and a love for thoughtfully designed interfaces and experiences, Kellsey is always exploring new ways brands can delight customers and win business.