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Can Employee Engagement Lead to Customer Experience? Yes!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016 - Joe Kiedinger

 

I had a powerful week recently. I attended Disney Institute (DI) in Orlando, Florida! This is a conference I’ve been wanting to attend for quite some time! It’s interesting to me that although we attended a conference specifically focused on customer experience, 80% of the dialogue and teaching was centered on employee engagement. I attended DI for three days and afterwards headed to St. Augustine, Florida to visit my son, Alex.

While talking about DI with Alex, he shared with me a story that speaks volumes on employee engagement. Let’s look at the economics of good versus bad behavior and how it impacts employee engagement. Alex and his friend Victor are both twenty years old and work at entry-level restaurant jobs in Florida. Alex is a short order cook who works in a very small, 1,000 square foot bar/restaurant. He is one of two cooks making $10.00 an hour. The cooks work solo at different shifts.Joe at Disney Institute

Over the past month, Alex has witnessed disrespectful behavior from his manager and the owner of the bar. On top of that, his manager and owner treated him like a “small fry” (every pun intended)! He felt disrespected. Although he worked an average of 35 hours a week, he decided to forgo the money for a change in atmosphere. As a result, the owner needed to close the kitchen at dinnertime while they searched for a replacement cook. How much did their behavior cost them?

Now, let’s look at Victor. Victor also is a one-man short order cook at a 400 square foot snack shack in this resort town. His manager and owners show him dignity and respect. They raised his hourly pay based on performance in the first six weeks of working. They give him more and more responsibility. He only sees them for the first couple hours of his shift, but during that time, they coach, praise and allow him to have some control of how things are done. He is loyal to them saying, “I’m not leaving when people treat me like that!”

What’s the moral of the story? Creating a high level of employee engagement starts with you! You can do it! Culture can be created and enhanced, but it needs to begin with you! This behavior and practice doesn’t need to start with the CEO or with senior leadership. It can begin with YOU, one person, making a decision that no matter how a person may treat you; you will always choose to respond with dignity and respect.

Action Plan: Go ahead, praise someone! Your behavior will be noticed and it will spread. 


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