Fuel Growth Podcast: From Technology to Engaged Employees
On this episode of the Fuel Growth podcast series, Rebecca Wettemann, CEO and Principal Analyst at Valoir, joins hosts Clint Oram, Co-Founder and Chief Strategic Officer, and Lizzy Overlund, Global Customer Experience Director at SugarCRM to share her firm focuses on the value of technology and the role it plays in both the customer and employee experience to facilitate growth and success.
Rebecca believes that empowering employees is the key to growth. Without happy employees, the organization will lose great talent.
Where Training and Employee Engagement Fall Short
Rebecca believes that technology is the leading cause of low quality employee engagement and training resources: “Knowledge management came out [back in the late 90s] and it was really exciting. We were going to map everyone within the organization’s knowledge, let them self-identify as experts, enable people who have never met each other to connect and share skills, experiences, and then let everyone rate their experiences. Well, why is that not available in every organization today? […] The short answer is most companies get a pretty poor grade when employees rate them on the ability to support mentorships”.
Creating a Learning Environment for Hybrid Work
As more companies adopt a hybrid approach to working, i.e., giving employees the choice to work remotely or at the office, it’s important to have the resources available for everyone to engage and grow: “If we look at work-from-home, we’ve done a lot of work on tracking the productivity for work-from-home and the engagement of employees. But moving forward, it’s about operationalizing a hybrid environment that works for everyone. […] Employees who are not working in the office believe that they’re missing out on opportunities to network.”
How Digital Transformation Fuels Company Growth
There is a connection between employee experience and training and digital transformation and how they all tie back to company growth. As Rebecca states, “We found that companies with an 8 or higher score [in Valoir’s research] of digital transformation had a 2x of revenue growth of those that were at the lower end of the scale and a pretty significant difference in terms of profit margin in growth as well. So certainly, advancing along in digital transformation is a key factor in growth. […] Digital transformation is hard. It’s not just about digitizing existing processes; it’s about changing the way employees work. It’s about new business models, new revenue models. And that is scary. It requires a different kind of leadership.”
Helping Service Agents Succeed and Grow
We now live in an age where companies enable employees to take control of their careers and offer them opportunities to grow. Rebecca thinks there is a huge opportunity for service agents to thrive within their roles and beyond to contribute to revenue: “I think we have a unique opportunity right now for those service managers. There is a window out here for you to experiment, to do things differently, to rethink how you operationalize the growth path for service agents. It’s not just about agent retention, it’s about what’s their opportunity beyond the service organization. And when you can put those pieces together, that’s where service agent engagement, service agent training makes sense. […] One of the interesting trends has been around making agents have access to areas like employee resource groups where they can be involved as employee activists within their organization. Typically, that sits in HR […] but what we’ve seen with the rise of virtual volunteering and the rise of employee activism is it’s a great way to not engage agents more within the organization, but expose them to other employees, expose them to other roles that those employees are offering, expose them to other opportunities for mentoring with different employees within the organization, and expose them to what other career paths and opportunities may be out there.”
To learn more about facilitating employee growth and success with technology and why great customer experiences start from engaged employees, listen in on the podcast conversation here.