In this, the third in a five-part series on gaining and retaining clients in 2021, we spoke to Nick Lygo-Baker, Founding Director of Paradigm CX, who help optimise the engagement experience to enrich the lives of customers and employees!

What is any organisation without its staff? Employee wellness is key to the successful functioning of any business and with a large percentage of the UK’s workforce working from home, they are faced with many challenges which can and probably are affecting their mental wellbeing. It can be safely assumed that low morale can negatively affect an employee’s productivity and it’s important that, considering where we’re at in the world right now, that an organisation’s employee experience is seen as as important as their customer experience. Are you employees coping under the current lockdown restrictions?  

What to look out for? 

According to Nick, most people are too proud and are reluctant to open up about their mental health. “This is something we have been conditioned to ignore and we just carry on”, he says. “Campaigns over this past year to support people and reassure them that reaching out and asking for help is ok, are working.” But what if some of your employees slip through the cracks? What are some of the signs to look out for?  

“Seeing a change in responsiveness – either more reactive or the opposite, inability to focus, lower energy, low productivity, obsession with unnecessary details, personal appearance, looking unusually dishevelled or unkempt – all of which are easier to tell if you know a person well; but harder if you are new to a company or have been employed during this pandemic and have never met your colleagues physically,” believes Nick. 

How do you fix it? 

Employee engagement is not about surveys. Employee engagement is about human-to-human connection.  It needs to be seen in the same way we refer to customer engagements. Nick explains: “In these unfamiliar times, it is worth remembering that we are all in the same sea but in different boats! Everyone is trying to navigate their way through to their own personal destination. But it is in the interests of everyone in an organisation to think about the wellbeing of their peers.” 

It may simply entail asking if someone is OK, but this needs to be repeated regularly, in order for people to move past their initial “I’m OK” response. Some people may just need time to think about their situation in order to provide a considered answer. 

“Practically speaking, perhaps use the things to look out for as a check list when you are speaking with colleagues,” advises Nick. “This is about emotional engagement and being able to both truly understand and then support individuals in order to help them be their best.” 

What are the benefits of this?

Nick believes that by supporting employees, you create loyalty and engagement which will have long-term positives within the organisation. 

“But this doesn’t mean that it will translate into a better Customer Experience. Satisfied employees need to be given the tools and bandwidth to consider the customer, walk a little in their shoes and understand the customer needs and priorities in order to have an impact,” says Nick.  

It seems obvious that by guiding and encouraging employees to support each other and to consider colleagues as customers too, organisations will start to create a mindset which is more transferable to the customer experience they provide.

How do happy employees benefit customers? 

Learn from those employees who are living and breathing the customer engagement and allow them to take care of themselves, their colleagues and ultimately their customers. This, in return will instil loyalty and life-time value all-round.  

Nick says, “to quote my friend, Stacy Sherman: ‘Empathy is the gift you can give employees, who in turn will pay it forward to your customers.’” 

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