Executive teams aren’t doing enough to engage employees



The research among 1,200 employees working in UK-based organisations with more than 1,000 staff found that almost two thirds of UK employees don’t feel their organisation has a clear purpose and the same percentage don’t understand what their brand stands for and what makes it different.

At the same time, more than half don’t feel they play a part in shaping the future of the business and only 40 per cent have confidence in the company’s senior leadership team.

Among those companies surveyed, this lack of engagement is married to poor attitudes around customer service. It was found that only a third of employees see those around them putting customers first in day-to-day decisions and a similarly low number believe their colleagues are good at understanding customer expectations.

The research also found that many employees feel disconnected from their business and brand and as a result are failing to meet its promise with their customers. Only two in five employees say they’re motivated by the vision for the business and 64 per cent don’t believe their company exists for any reason other than making money.

Furthermore, less than a third see those around them putting customers before their team and worryingly, only a third say their company does a lot to help them understand what customers need and expect.

Richard Webley, MD at Dragonfish, comments: “One of the executive team’s main jobs is to spend time understanding the links between their people, brands and customers, and then engage the workforce with what the business is trying to achieve. However it seems that increasingly there is a disconnection between senior leaders and employees at the coalface.

“The cost of this misalignment is more than a lost opportunity. Just look on sites like Glassdoor and you’ll see thousands of employees who simply don’t care – and that attitude is bound to rub off when they deal with customers. This can quickly hamper sales performance, particularly for large multi-site service businesses where a large proportion of staff interact with customers every day.”

He continues: “Our research shows that now more than ever, an organisation’s culture goes beyond four walls. In an age of social media and instant communication, if there’s something amiss with your organisation’s culture, the world’s going to know about it. That means employees, customers and potential customers too. These days, if your culture stinks, your customers will feel it. And probably tell you about it publicly.

“The opportunity for ambitious leaders is to consider the role their people and culture can play in building a trusted brand and a positive customer experience. We’ve found that organisations working on cracking their ‘culture code’ are unlocking untapped potential in terms of productivity, customer growth and financial performance alike.”