How to Measure the Employee Experience to Create Engagement
The advice and research for creating happier and more engaged employees is abundant, but it all becomes obsolete if you don’t actually measure the employee experience. Much like customer experience, companies need to measure employee happiness and engagement in real time, with systems and technologies that effectively help managers and leaders address critical issues within the workforce in a timely manner. These systems and technologies should also close the loop with employees to ensure their feedback can actually create impactful changes, not just to the employee experience, but also to the customer experience.
It’s no wonder then, that Voice of Employee (VoE) programmes are on the rise with progressive companies. Offering so much more than the outdated employee satisfaction survey, they “… can transform an organisation from just a place to work into a highly sought after company in which motivated and skilled employees build their career. To successfully deliver a quality customer experience (CX), firms must leverage the knowledge and insights of all employees, particularly those who directly support customers,” states to Forrester. 
VoE programmes also help brands delve into complex customer experience first hand. That is, they reveal what customers really need, say or feel from the perspective of those who deal with them the most—the customer-facing employees. Who better to give valuable insight and suggestions into the customer experience than those who deliver it day in and day out?
“If you want to better diagnose the root causes of CX issues, you need an effective VoE programme that is integrated with your voice of the customer programme,” states Forrester.  Why? Because root causes in the customer experience occur on the frontline most frequently. From poor product knowledge to long wait times, these are all issues that begin with frontline employees, but aren’t necessarily related to individual employee performance.
That is, frequently, employees are faced with issues such as lack of resources or having to sell sub-par or poorly priced products, and these issues are the real causes for customer dissatisfaction. Companies who use VoE programmes can uncover these root causes and fix them, whether by improving product information manuals for employees, or by improving prices or products for customers. In effect, they can improve the employee experience by removing barriers that hinder the frontlines. They can help customers too, whether by giving them speedier service, cheaper price points or better quality products—all changes that ultimately lead to more sales, customer loyalty, higher revenue and ROI.
VoE programmes can also delve into important metrics that help “… quantify the program’s financial impact on the business, including operational data like the number of contact centre calls and product returns and employee engagement data such as absenteeism and retention rates.” 
For employees, VoE solutions encourage them to focus more critically on the customer experience by giving them the opportunity to evaluate it and openly give their opinions on what works and what doesn’t. However, “In order to keep employees engaged, CX teams must close the loop with employees and share how their feedback is being used. This feedback loop reinforces the value of delivering feedback.” For example, “Bendigo and Adelaide Bank merges employee input from its internal enterprise-wide VoE systems with voice of the customer feedback to develop a more complete and nuanced view of customer issues. It uses these aggregated views to drive conversations about whether and how to take action on a specific customer issue or suggestion.” 
While some of the details may sound complicated, the overarching principle is simple: you don’t know if your employees are engaged if you don’t measure their engagement. If brands are going to take engagement seriously, they’ll need to research and invest in technology solutions and strategic plans that truly listen to the voice of their employees. By doing so, they’ll not only improve the employee experience, but they’ll foster a collaborative work environment that spawns fresh, innovative and relevant solutions to customer problems—an outcome that truly separates great brands from the rest.
To learn more about the benefits of employee engagement, read our blog post “The Case for Employee Engagement: How it Leads to Revenue, ROI, and More.”
Looking for in-depth research and advice on employee engagement in today’s CX landscape? Download our free whitepaper, “How Employee Engagement Leads to Revenue, ROI and Better Customer Experiences.”
[1, 3] Forrester Research Inc., “Brief: Engage Employees to Nail the Customer Experience,” October 2015.
[2, 4] Schmidt-Subramanian, Maxie. “Voice of the Employee Can Cure Broken Customer Experiences, But You Need an Effective Program to Mine it.” www.forrester.com January 23, 2015.