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BOOST Podcast Episode 1

Maximizing Employee Engagement: Creating Value, Learning from CX, and Boosting Community Chemicals

To go from good to great, we all need a little boost. And when it comes to the employee experience, let’s face it—we could be doing a lot better. The pandemic has shifted the way we work and employees are finally empowered to seek workplaces that prioritize employee engagement (EX).

So that’s what we’re all about here on the BOOST! podcast. We engage with professionals who are innovating in the employee experience (EX) space and can provide insight and wisdom to boost us to that next level.

We talked with Nate Brown on a recent episode of the BOOST! podcast. Nate is the Senior Director of Customer Experience at Arise Virtual Solutions. He’s also the co-founder of the CX Accelerator Community. He’s full of enthusiasm for creating community and providing the best CX (customer experience) and EX possible.

Get Those Community Chemicals Flowing

Engaged employees are those that get high… on happy chemicals like serotonin and oxytocin! There is significant research that explains how meaningful work, engagement, and a sense of purpose can stimulate a physical response. Our brains release these “community chemicals,” as Nate calls them, that increase happiness and positively impact our moods and behaviour.

In the past, management styles centred on reward systems: meet this goal, get a hit of dopamine. But that goes away after the metric is hit and there needs to be constant triggers to keep it going.

In contrast, engaged and happy employees produce serotonin and oxytocin. Nate shares that they are “just as powerful and they’re longer lasting and actually helps us to be healthier rather than put us in an adrenaline, fight-or-flight mode.”

CX Principles for EX

To get the community chemicals flowing, leaders and managers need to focus on both CX and EX. The age of the customer is giving way to the age of the employee in recent years, but both are important.

There are a few principles that tie both together:

  • CX and EX are about value. Give customers and employees a reason to come back. With employees, they need to feel like they are partners with their organization, where they can be their best, most engaged self.
  • CX and EX matter because there are other options. Customers can seek new companies and now, considering the Great Resignation, employees can seek new workplaces. EX is imperative for retention.
  • CX and EX are built on data. Just as you need to understand customer satisfaction, you need to understand employee satisfaction and engagement.

To the last point about data—invest in tools to really understand employee engagement in your company. Nate favours pulse surveys, such as Officevibe, that let you understand what’s working and what isn’t. As Nate said, they provoke questions like, “Analytically, where are we struggling? Where do we need to address time and energy and intentionality around our leadership?”

Strategic Motivation for Employee Engagement

When thinking about EX, it’s important to be strategic about how you’re motivating people. Ask: what objectives are you trying to achieve?

There are times when competition is a good motivator. But, too often, it cannibalizes the dynamic of your own team by creating just one winner and a bunch of losers.

Instead, motivate employees so that when one succeeds, all succeed. This can be done by putting employees in effective tribes. Instead of bringing people back to the office after two years, overwhelmed by all the unfamiliar faces, make sure to organize them into smaller groups. Set people up for success by creating psychological safety and help build positive, collaborative relationships.

Employee engagement matters because people matter. But it also matters for organizational success. Engaged employees will work hard, be an ambassador for the company, and remain loyal.

We’d love to have you join us for more episodes of the BOOST! podcast. And if you want to connect directly with Nate, find him at www.arise.com.

About the Author: Luke Jamieson is a top global influencer and thought leader on customer and employee engagement. Combining vision, high energy, creativity, and execution, he’s an inspiring and refreshing keynote speaker, podcaster, and blogger. Luke’s been featured in numerous publications including The Wall Street Journal and The Australian. He studied design thinking at D.school, Stanford University, and is a certified LEGO® Serious Play® facilitator. His rebellious, unconventional approaches have attracted many coveted awards and his enthusiasm for CX and EX has helped shape some of Australia’s largest organizations customer and employee experience programs.

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