Agents of Business Growth
In Asia, effective employee engagement that drives business performance is rare. Too often, efforts suffer from several fundamental – yet addressable – flaws. At the outset, the organization’s leaders do not own employee engagement efforts, which are typically driven by human resources or communications divisions. Furthermore, engagement programmes approach the workforce as a homogeneous entity, failing to acknowledge the different needs and motivations of different types of employees. It leads to diluted messages that fail to resonate with their intended audiences.
The prevailing view of employee engagement is that it’s primarily an internal communications endeavor, with the fairly limited objective of sharing business goals and explaining how job functions support these goals. They fail to link employee behaviour to the desired customer experience, thus failing to create real business impact. What is required is a segmented, tailored approach that truly activates employees as agents of business growth – from understanding to action, and from action to an initiative. In many ways, customer experience reflects what transpires inside an organization, and a customer usually feels the lack of alignment of internal behaviors at some touchpoint in his/her journey.
Likewise, when every individual in the business works in harmony, customers experience that positive coherence. It brings about the tangible benefits of more customers, greater loyalty, and premium pricing.
Driving Behaviour Change
There are five must-dos when seeking to engage employees in a manner that results in a richer customer experience.
BDO – We Find Ways
BDO in the Philippines is an example of a bank that lives these best practices. When BDO Unibank merged with Equitable PCI Bank in 2007, it established the brand proposition of “We find ways”. BDO, working with Interbrand, then focused on building a strong employer brand to not only attract the best talent but also to align its culture with its vision.
“We needed to unify our story under one brand proposition that is common and genuinely practiced across the whole Bank – one that is anchored on service, the genuine desire to help customers and the ability to think out of the box,” shared Nestor Tan, Director, President and Chief Executive Officer at BDO Unibank.
Today, BDO maintains a No. 1 or 2 market share position in almost every major product category of significance. Annual usage, attitude and image studies since 2010 show that along with advertising, customer experience in the branch network has been a major driver of BDO’s image. BDO’s continued commitment to its customer promise “We find ways” – with its supporting customer service philosophy – is reflected in its customer tracking scores. Over the past 5 years, its main index score exceeds both regional and global standards. Moreover, among local multi-banking customers, the tracking shows a significant advantage for BDO over its nearest competitors.
“More than a cultural aspiration, our employees genuinely practice ‘We find ways’ to help our customers. They’re engaged and are proud to work for BDO, always going the extra mile to ensure that customers receive the best overall banking experience and deliver better results for all stakeholders,” concludes Tan.
With competition increasing through greater regional integration, Asian banks need to effectively deploy all of the assets they have to build customer loyalty. Engaging employees to create more meaningful customer experiences is a lever that Asian banks should embrace to drive this loyalty.