One in the Same. Money and Donuts.

Employee engagement and customer satisfaction. It's one in the same, yes?

Anyway you dissect it, everything has to do with something. Furthermore, everything has to start somewhere. And in business, things start internally. With the employees. That's why I believe that a business' best brand advocates are the ones who live and breathe the product every day. Sure, the customer is always right. And they are the lifeblood to a succesful organization that delivers returns to stakeholders, no doubt. But the ethical foundation of a company is set with the mindset of the employee and therefore all things cascade according to employee engagement.

How does your organization stack up when it comes to global brand advocates (employees) and how they feel about your company? Forget about your customers recommending your product. Would your employees recommend your product? If the answer is not crystal clear, you have a problem.

Take a look at a screen shot from Zeke Camusio's marketing blog. He makes a lot of sense when he offers up 7 internet marketing lessons from lessons learned. But for this blog post, I ask that you concentrate on lesson #2 and apply it toward your employee engagement ideals.

If your employees are luke warm about how they feel about your company, they may be considered "detractors" to the value of your business. That doesn't mean they need to be fired, it means there is great opportunity to change them into "promoters." But key is conversation. It's not more meetings and powerpoints and corporate press releases telling everyone else how great you are, it's making sure you know what the people inside your organization think about your organization. And then allowing them to talk about it via social media platforms they are using anyway. I'm suggesting more (or less perhaps) than a company-wide email containing security enabled registration to access an annual employee engagement survey.

If these surveys that measure employee engagement are tied to things like monetary benefits for leaders who retain best results or donuts for business units who complete the survey in the timeliest manner, then PLEASE make note that you are actually measuring how much people like two things: MONEY AND DONUTS.

And rest assured that when people go home at night and Tweet about their workdays, they are more likely to chat about the donuts they ate or the what they spent their paychecks on than how great it is to be part of something that is making progress possible or delivering value somewhere to someone

Need more proof? Keep reading...

Calling for an attitudinal shift within the enterprise when it comes to optimizing social media efforts, Amber Naslund of Radian6 is often cited for her pragmatic approaches to building up relationships in order to attain more wallet share. Read an article that looks at social media monitoring and human business from the brand savant himself, Tom Webster here.

Read about the five C's of building your brand here. This is a blog entry written by another smart marketing gal who can talk to the masses on the importance of keeping it real. Conversion, culture, community, content, core value...according to this author, these make up the five elements of brand success. Especially when you think of your army of employees as the easiest mass of advocates you've got going for yourself!

What else can I say? If you are not detracting from the problem, you may be adding to it. If you have never had a donut, maybe you don't love them. If you don't love donuts, maybe you shouldn't be selling them. Of course, that sounds like crazy talk. But I bet even Homer Simpson would agree with me on that.  

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