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Employee Engagement and Customer-Focus

Sybil F. Stershic

November 12, 2008

I found another study that demonstrates the strong link between employee engagement and the bottom line: this one from Watson Wyatt, a global consulting firm. (Note: I wrote previously about similar results from research conducted by Wharton and Towers Perrin.)

Watson Wyatt’s 2007-2008 Global WorkAttitudes Report also examined the drivers of employee engagement across global regions and employee segments. Among its key findings:

“The drivers of employee engagement are similar around the world: effective communication, competitive compensation & benefits, a clear customer focus and confidence in the strategic direction & leadership of the organization.”

Among the “usual suspects” listed as key drivers of engagement – communication, compensation, and leadership – I was surprised to find customer focus. I have always believed that being customer-focused starts with being employee-focused (take care of employees and they’ll take care of customers) so finding customer focus as a driver of employee engagement is an interesting twist.

Here’s how it was explained in one of the report’s key findings:

“Customer-focus is a key driver of employee engagement across all regions. Organizations whose HR programs emphasize delivering superior customer service – including performance management related to excellent customer service and satisfaction – can expect to increase employee engagement and connect with key performance objectives.”


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