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How to win back those you may have lost. My experience with Titleist and how it can help you get a more engaged employee.

I am a self-confessed golf addict and I am in the market for a new driver. Recently, I visited a local Titleist golf retailer for a “driver fitting” and was greatly disappointed by the experience. Sometimes I let these situations pass, chocking it up to just one of those things, but not this time. I felt the situation needed to be addressed, so I took to the retailer’s blog to express my displeasure with the experience.

Within the span of two hours, I received an email response with a request to call the corporate headquarters. I spoke with the Titleist representative who apologized and offered to schedule me with one of their best fitters in the Southeast at no charge. I also received a call from the local Titleist representative asking me what could have been done better to improve my experience.

Needless to say, I was blown away by the speed of the response, but more so by the attitude of those I came in contact with. The free fitting was icing on the cake! After my successful return visit to the Titleist store, I again visited the blog with a much more positive tenor singing their praises.

Wow. They had turned me into an evangelist for Titleist! And it really didn’t take much on their part in terms of time and resources – just letting me know I was heard. So I thought what can a company do to translate this kind of “customer service” to each employee? After completing their company engagement survey, how does the organization make its employees feel like they have been heard??

Here are a few of my thoughts.

  1. Create Incentives for Participation: Many organizations offer a variety of incentives for participating in their annual engagement survey. These may include a free fountain drink in the cafeteria, paid time for hourly/union employees, closing the office early one Friday, or other give-away items.
  2. Report the Results: Acknowledge employees’ participation by sharing a summary of the results. This tells them that “we heard, and we care.” Also make sure that your measures mean something. Some companies use a Net-Promoter Score as a way to measure engagement. The Net-Promoter Score is determined by subtracting the percentage of respondents that are labeled “Detractors” from the percentage of respondents that are labeled “Promoters.” This score will communicate to employees that the company is serious about measuring engagement and not just providing a number that looks great.
  3. Take Action at the Top: Employees will be “repeat customers” and more likely to participate in the future if they see the executive team applying their feedback to make improvements within the organization. If you are not prepared to take action on the results, don’t ask for employee feedback. If there are high value areas that are too costly, explain why no action was taken and when any changes will likely occur – it’s better to communicate than to ignore.
  4. Action Plan at All Levels: Managers need to meet with each of their direct reports to discuss the results individually and for the team and meet as a team to set improvement goals. By involving employees in the action planning process, they will feel ownership and accountability towards bringing about positive change as a team.
  5. Communicate Actions: As an organization, share with your employees what changes are being implemented based on this year’s engagement survey results. Then it is critical to follow through on those changes. Communicate regular updates throughout the year so the process maintains momentum when the next survey begins.
  6. Model Engagement: Managers as well as coworkers can model engagement by showing what it means to be engaged – attending meetings prepared, asking for assistance when jammed, or going the extra mile to get work done. The more employees and managers understand the relationship between engagement and business metrics, the more likely they are to understand the value of this process.
  7. Hold Managers Accountable: Require a team action plan from each manager and monitor progress by incorporating these plans into their yearly performance review goals.

No one disputes the significance of an engaged workforce. If you go through the process of measuring that engagement and asking the questions, follow up with action. Let them know that their opinions have been heard and acted upon with sincerity. Just like Titleist did for me. The ideas and actions I’ve included here will help propagate a highly engaged workforce that can innovate and more your company forward.

© Benton+Bradford Consulting