Managing Employee engagement & CRM strategies - it's easier than you think ...
For this post, I wanted to move into an area of great personal interest to me - executing a CRM strategy so that everybody really "gets it". In particular, I wanted to focus on employee engagement & how that intersects with a CRM strategy.
By way of background ...
The world in which we transact is increasingly frictionless - sourcing & buying from alternative suppliers is as easy as a few mouse-clicks. So, in order to stay competitive and/or differentiate themselves, many companies choose to compete with knowledge-based skills - e.g. delivering service excellence to acquire & retain customers.
Harnessing knowledge-based skills means having engaged employees - employees that are willing to invest the discretionary effort to see that their organisation succeeds. Indeed, a Journal of Applied Psychology article concluded that, “… employee satisfaction and engagement are related to meaningful business outcomes at a magnitude that is important to many organisations.”
So, what does engagement mean to employees ?
Well, it's an evolving area of study, with many views & approaches. However, there are a number of outcomes that speak to me as being connected with CRM.
Let's consider a few:
- Employees need to clearly understand the VISION of a company - what are the goals & how are they measured ?
- Employees need to feel their INPUT matters to that vision - that, where appropriate, they can help establish processes to facilitate goal achievement.
- Employees value & wish to exercise some element of CONTROL over the flow & pace of their jobs.
- And, within that control employees want to ensure they collaborate, working with trust & co- operation right across the company.
So, what does engagement mean in the context of a CRM strategy ?
In my many years of watching CRM initiatives, the best implementations are where three key points are addressed.
-The requirements of the CRM implementation are directly & visibly linked to a company's goals. Be it one department or an entire organisation, the outcomes that define "CRM system success" are obviously connected to a set of company KPIs, and visible to all.
-Intended CRM users have direct input to the way the CRM system is to work. That means involvement from the initial accquisition (scoping requirements, being involved in demonstrations, etc), through to the implementation cycle & then on to "champion" roles within the organisation.
-Finally, where employees are willing to invest the discretionary effort, they need access to the right resources to do their job.
As most business processes typically cross more than one department, enabling "good CRM" in just one department, scuppers any discretionary effort by one team. With that, collaboration falters & a typical customer journey is interrupted, with subsequent damage to brand value a distinct possibility.
To me, it's obvious. Any CRM strategy needs to be company-wide & have employees at its' heart.
Anything less just dilutes strategic effort & spend.