There’s no shortage of research showing if you want to have happy customers you need to have happy employees. It’s a link that shows no signs of breaking. As Bain & Company points out, when Glassdoor published its 2022 list of the best places to work, it was striking how many of the best large US employers are also leaders in customer satisfaction.
It’s worth reinforcing the point that happy customers equal better businesses too. Bain & Company research also shows companies with high Net Promotor Scores disproportionately reward investors, with returns that are nearly three times higher than the overall market.
The Importance of Employee Experience and Engagement in Happiness
So how do you get happy employees (and by extension happy customers)?
The answer is you need a great employee experience and great employee engagement.
When it comes to employee experience, Gallup says this encompasses “key milestones, such as attraction, onboarding, and exit, and also continual demands, such as providing an engaging workplace, managing performance, and developing employees.” It extends beyond that too and a powerful employee experience ensures they remain a powerful advocate for the company long after they leave.
When it comes to employee engagement, Gallup says there are 12 things that can show you how good it is. Numbers 2 and 3 on the list are “I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right” and “At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.”
Yet despite their importance to the overall success of the business, how many organizations can honestly say their employee experience and employee engagement metrics are where they should be?
The Reality of Disconnectedness
Let’s take a moment to consider the realities for many workplaces. It starts to explain some of the issues with employee experience and engagement.
Take a classic example: onboarding a new employee.
For an employee to have everything in place for their first day, at a minimum, IT, HR, procurement, and facilities need to work closely together. IT needs to make sure the new employee is added to all the IT systems. HR needs to get them booked onto the relevant induction courses. Procurement needs to order the equipment they’ll need and facilities will need to make sure the workstation is set up and ready to go.
The traditional way for this to work might be for HR to send an e-mail to a shared inbox or an individual in each of the relevant departments. Or there might be a form that’s completed and circulated accordingly.
But let’s say the shared inbox isn’t monitored for a couple of days. Or the individual who received the e-mail is on holiday so won’t be able to action the request until it’s too late. Or the form got lost in transit and never arrived in one of the departments. The result is that something isn’t done.
And, unintentionally, it raises doubts in the new employee’s mind about how much they’re valued.
The Problem with a Lack of Service
Or let’s imagine the same new employee a couple of years into their role. They want to order up some marketing literature to take to an exhibition. The official way to do this might be to fill out a form and send it to the marketing department’s shared inbox. Or it might be to pop a note into Microsoft Teams.
But by this time the employee knows that those routes might not work – multiple messages might need to be sent before anyone takes action because no one’s checking the channels as often as they could or should. They know the best way in reality is to call Ben in the marketing team and to get him to courier a selection of leaflets over.
Whichever way you look at this, it isn’t the best use of time and it isn’t enabling them to focus on what they do best. The end result? Employee engagement isn’t as good as it could be.
So what’s the answer to improving connectedness and service?
Enterprise Service Management to the Rescue
Increasing numbers of organizations are realizing that it’s Enterprise Service Management (ESM).
ESM takes the principles of IT Service Management (ITSM) and rolls them out across all business functions.
ESM gives employees the consumer-grade tools they have come to expect in their personal lives whenever they engage with your organization’s service providers. It creates a common service catalog across IT, Human Resources, Legal, Facilities, Security, Sales, Marketing, and Finance.
The service catalog is built around end user needs rather than department siloes, so it enhances connectedness and improves service. There’s an intuitive ordering and tracking process, so users feel more in control – and no longer have to chase because they know exactly where something is in the system.
It’s omnichannel, so employees can access it whether they’re in the office, working from home, or are on the road. This is especially important in a world where people are rapidly waking up to the fact that hybrid working opens up a new set of siloes, this time around physical location.
It’s not just end users who benefit either. The best tools are low code/no code so individual departments can take ownership of their services. They can build, refine, and adapt their services without needing the input of IT, empowering them to drive further improvements.
And because everything is stored in one system rather than being handled across multiple spreadsheets, messaging platforms, and phone calls, you can set, track, and measure KPIs to drive continuous improvement.
The result is an enhanced employee experience and better employee engagement.
For example, the University of Canterbury implemented IFS assyst to provide a single service desk. The solution has saved time, reduced support costs, and improved end user satisfaction. There has also been a cultural shift, with end users ranking higher satisfaction scores overall.
Leading from the Front
When it comes to ESM tools, Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Service Management for Q4 2021 recognized IFS assyst as a leader. It highlighted the unique vision that brings together ERP, CRM, and ESM onto one platform, helping you to be at your best when it matters most to your customers – in the moment of service.
If you’d like to discuss how ESM and IFS assyst could help you pursue connectedness and service – and attain happiness as a result, get in touch today.