Employee retention is the ability of a company to retain its employees. It is a simple statistic where if the retention rate is 80%, it means that the company was able to keep 80% of its employees over a given period. Customer Engagement can be defined as the experience a customer has with a brand or a company.These might look like two topics that don’t have much in common. However, there is an indisputable connection between the two.

Normally, companies look at the obvious benefits of employee retention – reduction in training costs, hiring costs and brain drain.One of the ‘not so obvious’ benefits would be that a well motivated employee who is happy with his job and his employer, is often much more productive and committed, which in turn leads to profitable growth for the company. Normally, customers have a better experience when they interact with an employee who makes the process fun and goes out of their way to help the customers. An employee who is unhappy with his job cannot be expected to provide a great customer experience. Profitable organizations understand  the importance of investing in employees. Front-line employees are responsible for regular interaction with customers and for customer engagement. It can be seen that engaged employees are responsive, problem solvers and they work on building trust and customer satisfaction.

Studies suggest that customers tend to return to the same brand because of the bond they create with the employee who attends to them. For companies to ensure that their employees connect with customers on an emotional level but they need to take care of the employees. For most customers, the first interaction they have with a brand is what ‘makes it or breaks it’. In other words, a company that fails to make a good first impression, looses a customer. A new employee cannot be expected to have the same level of knowledge or to perform as well a tenured employee.Therefore keeping employee attrition rates low is critical.

An engaged employee is the best advocate the brand can hope for. They are happy to talk about the various benefits of the product and are enthusiastic in dealing with customers. They want the company to be successful. Research shows that organizations with engaged employees made two and halftimes more revenue than companies with low employee engagement scores.

How can an organisation improve employee retention?

There should be a distinction between under/low performing employees and the company’s high potentials (These are the company’s valuable, contributing employees who are emerging leaders). All efforts to retain employees can be focused more at these high-pots. This is called Positive turnover. For a company to perform and earn profits, it is important that the high-pots stick on for a longer time and contribute effectively. The longer an employee stays the more committed and loyal he/she becomes. Such employees also tend to “think like owners” and support/side the decisions made by the company.

A few challenges that companies face with regards to employee retention are  salary, opportunities, wrong expectations and employee boredom. The above mentioned problems can be minimized by making sure the employee understands his job role, growth prospects, his salary, percentage of salary hike he can hope for if he sticks with the company and above all by providing a great working environment. In order to provide a good customer experience,  employees must connect with customers on an emotional level. Only a well engaged employee would be able to do this; better employee experiences lead to better customer experiences and customer engagement.

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