How to create a workplace that enhances employee and customer engagement

Hester Gras

Companies that want to be part of the next generation of impactful businesses should embrace a totally new way of employee and customer engagement. In their book Engage!, Karin and Sergio Volo offer a guide to create a workplace that you, your employees and your customers love. imgZine had the opportunity to interview Karin about their approach.

Author of Engage! for employee engagement
Karin Volo, co-author of Engage!

In the book, you mention that companies should embrace a totally new way of thinking concerning employee engagement. Why is this?

The trend to create an engaging company culture is coming from the consumer markets first but it is filtering into the business-to-business markets as well. The reason is that creating raving fans of your employees and customers is good for business. Other factors that are changing the way we do business range from demographics of the workforce, to technology advances happening at an accelerated pace, to the values that are emerging in societies.


What exactly do you mean by “a new way of employee engagement?

We’ve done lots of research and talked to many companies that have high engagement. Our experience shows that companies that will be successful in the future are purpose-driven. These are companies with a bigger purpose, businesses that take the triple bottom line of people, planet & profits into consideration.

How can a company mobilize its customers to help the company grow?

I believe that empowering your employees is the way to increase customer engagement and loyalty. When employees are excited and happy with their work, that feeling will naturally come across to customers. It is contagious, which is why it needs to also be authentic. If you can offer a unique experience that customers cannot get anywhere else, they will keep coming back to you. And it is essential to connect and build relationships from a place of shared values and company purpose that the customer is attracted to and wants to be a part of.

Happy female customer taking shopping bag from sales person at checkout in boutique
When employees are happy with their work, that feeling will naturally come across to customers. Source: Hollandse Hoogte.

Can you give an example of a company that is revolutionizing the way it does business?

One of my favorites is Southwest Airlines. Their employees are empowered to give their customers the freedom to fly and make each trip a fun and unique experience. They capitalize on social media because their flight attendants are known for making some of the most entertaining flight safety speeches. When the airline industry started charging customers for baggage, Southwest Airlines made a decision NOT to charge their customers, while they could earn an additional $350M annually doing so. They went to their customers and the market saying why they were not going to charge for baggage. A year later, their revenues had increased by over $900M! A significant portion of that came from new customers.


[title_small title=”About Engage!” /]Engage! for employee engagement

Karin and Sergio Volo are the authors of Engage!. The book offers insights from 30 revolutionizing companies that managed to raise their productivity levels, profits and employee engagement. Click here for a detailed description.

Nice to know: Karin and Sergio Volo will soon give an Employee Engagement Accreditation Course in the UK, which is a practical program based on the book. The course is organised in collaboration with Manners and Murphy.




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