Creating great customer experiences requires engaged employees, not only those who face the customer, but those who work behind the scenes. In the classic Harvard Business Review article, “The Human Sigma,” Gallup researchers found a clear correlation between customer satisfaction and employee engagement.

The Temkin Group’s 2016 Employee Engagement benchmark study found that companies with high levels of customer experience have 1.5 times as many engaged employees as do the companies with poor customer experience.

The employee factor

The International Organization of Standardization, known as ISO, updated its widely followed quality management principles in 2015 to make the engagement of people one of the seven cardinal foundations of state-of-the-art management and has approved the creation of engagement standards.

“It’s also important to create a climate in which everyone wants to provide feedback to improve performance.”

So how do organizations make this connection? Employee experiences are important, but it also requires your organization to have a clear brand definition that unites customers, distribution partners, employees, vendors, communities and shareholders.

An engaging environment

Companies need to continually assess engagement and hold managers accountable, while maintaining communication to reinforce brand promises and the actions that fulfill them. Critical to this is implementing ongoing training so everyone is capable of doing their part to maximize the customer experience.

It’s also important to create a climate in which everyone wants to provide feedback to improve performance. Reward and recognize everyone who excels or who makes an effort. Finally, there needs to be ongoing analysis of empirical and subjective survey data and feedback findings to know what customers and employees need.

The payoff? A culture based on continuous improvement and sustained high performance that utilizes marketing and human resources dollars more wisely.