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Engagement: Employees and Shoppers

By Miller Zell

Miller Zell focuses on customer experience, trust and values when it comes to the work we do with our clients. These inspire customer engagement, and engaged shoppers are loyal to retailers and demonstrate buying and social behavior that drive repeat visits and sales.

It follows then that our work focus and company culture also should emphasize engagement.

Like customer engagement, employee engagement is foundational to successful businesses. Engaged employees are more productive, and their sense of shared purpose with their company improves retention, not to mention profitability.

This should be front-and-center for every business, as actively disengaged employees cost the U.S. economy up to $605 billion each year in lost productivity, according to Gallup.

The starting point to analyze organizational engagement might be surprising.

“Employee engagement is not driven by employees,” said Dr. Bud Brainerd, president of CSF34 Consulting. “It’s driven by managers. It’s management’s job to create an environment where employees can flourish.”

Approximately two years ago, Miller Zell partnered with Brainerd to take a deep dive into our employee engagement. We felt good about where we were but wanted to be even better. We wanted to know if associates felt their jobs matched their strengths, and if they were being well-managed and guided by both short- and long-term goals.

Brainerd worked with the Miller Zell executive team to assess the present landscape and to develop a plan. He then administered the Gallup Q12 Employee Engagement Survey to every associate to identify areas of strength and opportunity and provide a blueprint for taking action.

For example, the initial questions probe the associates’ confidence and comfort with their positions: “Are you clear with what’s expected in order to fulfill your job requirements?” and “Do you have everything you need in order to fulfill those job requirements?”

Explained Brainerd, “All 12 of these questions are measures of the effectiveness of the manager. While we ask the questions of the team members, what the team members are really doing is giving the company insight into how well the managers are actually managing their teams.”

Across the board, Miller Zell scored well. Even better, since working with Brainerd, the scores have improved, most notably a 16 percent improvement in “engaged” employees and a 30 percent reduction in “disengaged” employees.

“Miller Zell is close to the optimum,” Brainerd said. “Miller Zell pays for coaching for all of its managers and for its high-potential employees. It is willing to make the investment in its employees.”

The motivation is simple. Miller Zell wants to become a better place to work. We want to hire and retain happy, productive and engaged employees.

By fostering a culture of shared purpose, Miller Zell and its associates create the best possible work environment. That translates to the best possible work for our clients.


Contact Dr. Bud Brainerdat  Or view his LinkedIn page. 

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