You have probably heard the term employee engagement being coined by many business leaders since the start of the pandemic. A physical distance between companies and employees makes it increasingly difficult for organisations to create engagement, and, as one of the departments that relies on human interaction, customer support was one of the most affected ones. How can you make sure that customer support employees feel engaged with their teams, and their organisation as a whole? This has been one of the key questions for business leaders in the past years. How to address it, and better: how to drive it for the better?
Understanding employee engagement
To answer this question, we need to ask ourselves the question: what is employee engagement? This term refers to the engagement of an employee with the organisation on various levels. For example, on a high level, it refers to the organisation’s strategy and objectives. Does the employee feel related to them? Are they feeling that the strategic objectives are relevant to be carried out? This can provide an initial indication of how engaged employees are. Research shows that people who feel aligned with the strategy are more efficient and satisfied at work.
What about their work activities?
Of course, being aligned with a corporate strategy is just one thing. What about the team? The team leads? The activities the employee is carrying out? These are all questions that contribute to an engaged employee. When an employee feels that the activities are contributing to the greater good, more satisfaction will flow from it. If these activities have less meaning, satisfaction is more likely to below. When an organisation understands this, it can act upon it and iteratively improve it to drive efficiency.
Now that we know what is employee engagement, we can look at how to measure it. There are both qualitative and quantitative measures to look at. For example, the customer support team leader can have an individual session with team members to understand how they feel. Typical questions that could be asked are:
- How do you feel about your performance?
- What do you think of the activities you are carrying out?
- How do you like the current team?
- What are your current challenges in your work?
- What is going well and should be encouraged?
While individual sessions can help to gather insights among employees inside teams, it makes sense to look at the organisation as a whole. What is the overall sentiment? What are the challenges employees see? There are handy tools out there that not only provide you with surveys but also with the analytical tools to analyse the results.
Create an actionable plan
Next up, you can create a roadmap with activities to carry out to improve the engagement. Depending on the outcomes of the survey, this can range from revising the strategy to create a different work environment. When focusing on employee engagement, you can iteratively improve and also see what works well and what does not. Some activities work in one organisation, but not in the other.