What is Engagement? Engagement is a word that we often hear used in a number of different ways in a business context—it is used to describe customer behavior, define employee commitment, explain the importance of various technologies, clarify the impact of social media, and justify enterprise modifications.  Given the many uses of the word, we might begin our discussion of engagement with some simple definitions of engagement, employee engagement, and customer engagement, and then discuss the importance of the people component of engagement. Read More

The Business Case for Engagement. Each year the United States experience $450 billion to $550 billion in lost productivity due to low employee engagement. Research on engagement, well-being, and happiness in the workplaceindicates that engagement and happiness is the antecedent to achievement and success rather than the other way around. It appears that engagement, optimism, and happiness often provide the energy that drives accomplishment. This discovery has been supported by over 200 scientific studiesand research on 275,000 people worldwide. As we consider some of the research, we will discover some of the reasons “ why” engagement and happiness is important and “ how” it is produced in the workplace. Read More

The Engagement Culture. Why would anyone not want to be engaged in work and life? As members of an organization, engagement allows us to enjoy our work and our interactions with others, and to thrive in our personal and professional life. As customers of an organization, engagement allows us to enjoy our experience with the organization as well as its products and services, and we have the additional positive experience of sharing our enjoyment with others. A culture is made up of the values, guiding principles, beliefs, customs, and ways of life, as well as the ways of thinking, behaving and working of a particular group, organization, or society. For anthropologists and behavioral scientists, culture is the full range of learned human behavior and habit patterns. Through the centuries, culture has been a powerful human tool for individual and group survival, and in more recent years, culture has become a powerful tool for corporate thriving. Read More

From Call Center to Customer Engagement Center. At the recent Call Center Week conference, I was fortunate to attend the half-day workshop presented by Microsoft.  It was entitled: From Call Center to Customer Engagement Center—Leading through Change. In this workshop, Microsoft discussed some of the challenges of creating a culture of engagement, and they led us through a process that can be used in overcoming the challenges to transitioning from a call center to a customer engagement center.  A primary goal of the workshop was to help workshop participants to more fully understand how better customer service can be achieved by improvement in employee empowerment, adding channels, and enhanced insights and analytics.  A secondary goal was to give everyone attending the workshop some specific techniques and best practices to take back to their call centers and put to use in their own journey of transitioning from a call center to customer engagement center. Read More

Emotional and Social Intelligence and Engagement. There is a growing body of evidence that emotional engagement is an important component of individual and organization performance. Many leaders in organizations are consciously building organizational cultures that encourage positive emotions and positive emotional engagement with peers and customers. The research on emotional intelligence indicates that human beings are “ wired to connect” with other human beings. Through something scientists call “ mirror neurons,” our brains are structured to pick up non-verbal and emotional cues without our conscious knowledge. We are wired to connect with other human beings on a personal level, even when we are conducting business and solving business and financial problems. Thus, we tend to best remember those experiences in which we have made a personal as well as a professional connection within an organization. Read More