A study published by The Forum for People Performance Management & Measurement at Northwestern University (here – via Nevon) found that:
“There is a direct link between employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction, and between customer satisfaction and improved financial performance.”
The study looked at the impact of organizational culture, organizational climate, human resource systems, and market characteristics on on employee satisfaction and employee engagement (which they define as the degree of employee motivation and sense of inspiration, personal involvement, and supportiveness). They then gauged the downstream effects of these employee attitudes on companies’ market performance.
Other interesting conclusion include:
- The key organizational characteristic for explaining employee satisfaction is organizational communication (a measure of the downward and upward communication in an organization)
- Organizational culture was another significant driver of employee engagement, where employees must be expected to cooperate and work together, but also to take charge and provide a voice for the customer within the organization
- Organizations with engaged employees have customers who use their products more, and increased customer usage leads to higher levels of customer satisfaction
- It is an organization’s employees who influence the behavior and attitudes of customers, and it is customers who drive an organization’s profitability through the purchase and use of its products
- In the end, customers who are more satisfied with an organization’s products are less expensive to serve, use the product more, and, hence, are more profitable customers
Bottom line – you have to give your customers a strong voice within your organization by enabling ALL employees (not just the customer-facing ones) to have a voice representing them within your organization.
While not discussed in the report, developing an open corporate blogging culture probably helps achieve that goal as well.