Retailers with brick-and-mortar stores need to differentiate from online channel retailers. What will help create that differentiation? Engaged staff that love their brand, understand the mission statement and are empowered to create great customer experiences.

To find out whether your brand has created the culture and environment that engages employees, you’ll need to ask them. But doing that, especially across very large organizations, can present obstacles. Here are five tips we’ve created based on our work with large retailers who want to find out what their employees think. 

  1. Design the questionnaire so that it asks about two distinct components: Engagement and Empowerment. Engagement questions will help you understand whether employees are loyal to the brand, understand its mission, and feel like they have opportunities with your company. Empowerment questions will pinpoint whether employees feel they have adequate training and tools to deliver against the job expectations.
  2. Always assure employees that their data is confidential. For example, use email invitation methods that include a unique location code to ensure employees remain anonymous. Employees must be assured that their commentary is safe and there will be no negative consequences for speaking their minds.
  3. Think carefully about whether you can actually reach employees. In the restaurant industry, your brand may not have the ability to contact employees of franchisees—so they will need to focus on corporately owned restaurants. Similarly, you will need to ensure that employees have the tools to answer the survey. Do they have access to PC’s, tablets or phones? Can they respond to both URL and text invitations? Channels will matter.
  4. Survey your employees 2x per year—but only if you are committed to acting on the data. Follow the initial survey with a pulse survey to those who had not immediately responded, aiming for an overall 60% response rate. The second can take place approximately 7 months after you first identify where metrics are changing. And remember—you absolutely must act on the data or you will lose employees’ trust.
  5. Combine the employee engagement data with other data—like mystery shop scores, customer surveys, contact center complaints, and/or financial data. Spend time understanding how employee engagement and empowerment impacts execution to brand standards, the ability to delight customers, and financial metrics. Understanding what your employees needand acting on those needsmay be the best way to grow your business.

To learn more about our employee engagement best practices, schedule a briefing with us. And check out our case study to find out how one retailer used employee engagement surveys to increase customer recommendations and lower service costs. 

Schedule a briefing

Charlotte is a Key Account Manager for Market Force Information Europe. Specializing in the retail industry and working closely with our analytics team, she builds programs that align with business goals and strengthens customer experience management strategies.