How Do We Engage, Motivate and Keep Employees Focused?

The other day I was had coffee with a client, who leads a successful digital agency with over 200 employees in North America. Their clients are many of the most well-known brands in the global hospitality industry.

He was telling me how challenging it was to keep employees motivatedengaged, and focused on customers. Here's what he said:

"Natalie, our employees are tired, they’re all working hard, they’re trying to keep up with the volume of work, however they’re so disengaged, they're not productive and not getting the results. We also have friction inside the company between departments. This has been going on for awhile.  Some of our long-term loyal customers have started to complain. And last week last we lost 3 customers. I don't know where or how to start to fix this.”  

First place to start: People. As you may have heard me mention in a presentation, training session or read in my book, it always comes down to the people: how they communicate, how they behave and how they serve their customers.  

Here are 3 things you can do in under an hour to impact behavior, business outcomes and results.

  1. Discuss the company's purpose with your employees or your team.If your employees don't have a WHY to rally behind, ie. a well-articulated company purpose, talk to your colleagues about why the company got started and remind them what problems you solve for your customers.  Have a conversation. Tie what they do into the conversation, how what they do helps the customer solve their problem and how it helps the your company deliver on its promise. 20 minutes
  1. Talk about the customer’s experience with your company.What is it really like to be a customer of yours? What kinds of relationships do you have with customers?  Would they describe you as someone they trust?  Let them be open and honest without repercussion.    20 minutes
  1. Discuss how you can support their development.80% of employees would change jobs if a new company offered them more professional development. What professional development will be a win for the employee, the company and the customer?  What new skill is necessary? What will change their behaviour or perspective and get lasting results for your employee, company and your customer? 20 minutes

PS: For your colleagues with profession designations, this will be TOP of mind for them.  They have 2 months left in 2022 to earn their continuing education credits.  

As one of my former colleagues used to say... the definition of insanity is doing the same thing again + again and expecting a different result.

My client, the leader of the digital agency, had the conversations, is investing in professional development and engagement has increased.  They are getting results.  

I’ve had similar conversations with business owners from all sectors. If your employees are disengaged and it's impacting your customers, consider the 3 tips described in this article.  

People tend to stay with the people status quo unless they absolutely have to change.