By Greg Kihlstrom
You have most likely heard the term “The Great Resignation” to refer to the current workforce environment we find ourselves in. With record numbers of employees either quitting or considering quitting their jobs, and an equally record-breaking number of job openings that are going unfilled, this phenomenon is affecting the internal workings of a large percentage of organizations. Just as importantly, it is having an impact on end customers and the customer experience.
Because I work with organizations on both customer and employee experience challenges and solutions, I have been seeing this relationship become a focus for many leaders as this phenomenon seemingly continues to grow. In this article, we’re going to discuss the relationship between The Great Resignation and the customer experience.
Lack of knowledge transfer causes discontinuity.
Have you ever dealt with a customer whose primary complaint was that the way they received their service wasn’t the way they received it last time? Or perhaps you felt this way before as a customer even.
Lack of continuity and consistency in delivering products and services can have many causes, some of which include lack of process, lack of testing and quality standards, and a lack of employee training. It can also be caused by a lack of knowledge transfer when organizations are understaffed and have high employee turnover rates. Workers at these companies are often struggling just to keep up, and the lack of training and support from a full team of co-workers is causing burnout to increase, which perpetuates the cycle.
Just as it affects your employees and internal teams, this lack of continuity is felt by your customers, such as in the example I gave earlier. Whether it is uneven delivery of quality, different processes being used by different departments or many other symptoms of lack of knowledge transfer, your customers are feeling the disconnect as well.
Low staff levels cause longer wait times and intermittent service.
How many times have you been in a hospitality establishment recently and heard the term “short-staffed” or something similar as a reason for long wait times? If you’re like me, it’s been more than a few times of late.
This isn’t just happening in the hospitality industry, however. The Great Resignation has hit some industries harder than others, but all have been affected in some way. This means that from front-line employees to the rest of an organization, low staff levels are affecting the employee experience. This causes workers to be overwhelmed, frustrated and demotivated because it feels like management isn’t doing enough to alleviate them from being overloaded with work.
Not only does this cause frustration among employees, but it also affects the customer experience. Those of us waiting in line, waiting for service or even waiting on products to be delivered because of supply chain issues are all having a negative customer experience.
Lack of engagement causes a lack of innovation.
Have you ever joined an organization that has had a lot of employee turnover recently? Often, in environments like that, the measure of success can be simply getting the bare minimum accomplished since without legacy processes or mentors in place to guide you, it often feels like you are reinventing the wheel.
This is not only exhausting and demoralizing, but it saps the creative strength of employees that could otherwise be used to innovate and generate brand new ideas. Instead, their energy is spent putting out fires and trying to locate files and other things that a long-gone employee failed to document.
While a lack of engagement and innovation within your organization is fueling some of the employee burnout and lack of retention, your customers are undoubtedly feeling it too. Customers suffer because of a lack of innovation and new ideas, and team members get frustrated when their good ideas aren’t taken seriously and implemented. With so much choice and variety in most marketplaces, it can often be an easy decision for a customer to switch to a company that is more responsive and forward-thinking.
While The Great Resignation is affecting internal teams across your organization, it is also important to remember that it is also having an impact on your customers and the customer experience. You may not be able to solve your hiring and retention issues in the short term, but paying attention to the effect it has on your customer satisfaction will ideally help you achieve the best possible results in a challenging environment.
See Original Article at Forbes