Employee Engagement to What End? Research from TNS Employee Insights Examines How High Performing Companies Keep the End in Sight: The Customers

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A comparison of High Performing Companies, those who are leaders in their industries and show sustained financial growth, as compared to other organizations, showed that these organizations tend to have better relationships with their employees, and their employees are more focused on customers . The analysis found that a focus on the “ends”, the customers, went hand in hand with a drive toward constant improvement and innovation

This chart highlights the market focus differences between high performing companies and non high performing companies.

The job I do directly affects our customer's day to day operations. Understanding this relationship of my actions to their business gives me a profound sense of worth as well as accountability.

It’s hard to justify employee engagement if we confuse the means with the ends. In a recent analysis of survey results from more than 145 organizations and 1.5 million employees conducted by TNS Employee Insights, the end was obvious: the customers. A comparison of High Performing Companies, those who are leaders in their industries and demonstrate sustained financial growth, as compared to other organizations, showed that not only did these organizations tend to have better relationships with their employees, their employees were more focused on customers . The analysis found that a focus on the “ends”, or the end user, the customer, went hand in hand with a drive toward constant improvement and innovation.

TNS Employee Insights found the differences between High Performing Companies (HPCs) and other firms is consistent: employees in HPCs are much more dedicated to understanding customer needs and use that understanding to improve how they do their jobs. They are also more likely to say that the firm is making necessary changes to be competitive. Bottom line: employees in HPCs are more market focused – their line of sight is not exclusively internal, but is focused externally on what is happening around them and their company.

In addition, the analysis found that employees in HPCs report a constant drive for improvement, and a focus on future possibilities versus acceptance of what is today. They are far more likely to look for new and better ways to do things, strive to improve performance, and feel the company as a whole has a vision for the future that is inspiring. There is an energy that is tangibly different than non-HPCs.

The end for employee engagement measurement in many organizations is exactly that, employee engagement. TNS Employee Insights analysis suggests that for HPCs, employee engagement is the means to larger ends: customer engagement, market share, competitive advantage, and future profits. The ends are “out there” not “in here.”

A comment from an employee at a high tech company (in response to an open-ended question in a TNS Employee Engagement survey) captures the energy of an engaged employee who has a line of sight external to their immediate customer: “The job I do directly affects our customer's day to day operations. Understanding this relationship of my actions to their business gives me a profound sense of worth as well as accountability.”

To learn more, please download the attached complete analysis. To view other research conducted by TNS Employee Insights please visit our website.

About TNS Employee Insights

TNS Employee Insights delivers an integrated approach that includes research, insights, best practices and action plans focused on your organization’s employee engagement. Our global instruments and methods include: Engagement Surveys, 360 Assessments, Exit Surveys, Pulse Surveys, Merger/Acquisition Surveys and Senior Leadership Studies. In addition to our tools, we offer employee research based consulting services and global, industry and high performance benchmarks. Our research and insights help your organization engage employees, retain top talent, increase customer satisfaction and grow the bottom line.

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Kate Denten
TNS Employee Insights
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