ISS research shows importance of service employee engagement

by FM Media
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Providing focus and additional efforts in engaging both service employees and customers will, at some point, be financially valuable to service providers, according to research from ISS.

Correspondingly, ISS has found that if employees and customers report a high level of satisfaction, then the organisational unit will have significantly higher margins than if either of the two scores are low.

Therefore, ISS has concluded that it is in the facility manager’s best interest to understand the level of engagement among his employees.

Are employees happy and engaged, or are they disengaged and disillusioned about management or other aspects of their employment? All of these employer and workplace perceptions will have a direct effect on the quality of service.

To create clarity about employee engagement, ISS recommends consistent monitoring of service employee metrics, with focus on employee engagement (eNPS), churn rate, absenteeism, and educational/training days.

The NPS (net promoter score) is important for understanding the strength of the employee/employer relationship based on the willingness to recommend.

Employee churn rates on the other hand, which reveal how many employees have resigned, are a clear sign of employee satisfaction – the less satisfied the employees, the higher the churn rate.

Absenteeism can help to understand the state of the employees – if absenteeism is high, it is usually a clear indication that something is wrong.

Finally, there is no doubt that training is an important part of the overall employee development and professionalism. Not all training needs to be off-site courses but can naturally also comprise small on-the-job training programmes of just a few hours.

To ensure employee engagement and great customer experiences, ISS recommends facility managers measure these key performance indicators (KPIs) on a continuous basis and use them as an early warning system of future customer experiences.

ISS has identified a further nine key recommendations through its research to help improve employee engagement:

1. Recognition: The principal recommendation is that frontline service providers should recognise the important role played by supervisors and immediate managers in fostering employee engagement.

2. Organisation approach: Overall, it is recommended that companies adopt a more focused organisational approach to improving employee engagement – from high-level measures such as the formation of an engagement board through to company-wide awareness training and work involvement programmes.

3. Engagement board: Establish an engagement board made up of senior personnel from across the business to promote a culture of engagement.

4. Engagement focus groups: Set up engagement focus groups comprising operational service managers to complement and enhance the annual employee survey.

5. Engagement awareness training: Provide engagement awareness training for all levels of supervision and management to explain the importance of engagement, the benefits of high levels of engagement, and the barriers to engagement.

6. Review communication tactics: Carry out a full review of communication to develop strategies and tactics that serve to enhance engagement, such as coverage of employee awards events, recognition stories, case studies, and recognising employee achievements.

7. Worker involvement programs: Implement worker involvement programs to facilitate engagement, for example, involvement in health and safety to ensure employees become engaged in the safety aspects of their work, thereby facilitating improvements, and promoting the company’s safety program.

8. Working in teams: Where possible, the concept of working in teams to enhance engagement should be piloted as the research findings highlight the benefits of strong attachments to co-workers.

9. Bonus schemes: Reconfigure company bonus schemes (which are typically based on financial results only) to also recognise improvements in employee engagement and customer satisfaction.

This article is adapted from ISS blog articles: ‘The service employee KPIs every facility manager needs to monitor’ and ‘9 ways to improve employee engagement’. For more information visit: 

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