What’s the business opportunity in sustainability?

What’s the business opportunity in sustainability?

Few people (except perhaps Donald Trump) would deny that reducing our impact on the environment is important.

But it is often difficult for businesses to act with a united voice and purpose around sustainability. Many organisations will say that they’re doing the right thing, but if their employees see a different picture from within it can create a crisis of authenticity.

So if there’s a growing need for businesses to be engage authentically with sustainability, how can this be achieved?

In this episode of ExperienceCast, David Goldsworth, Head of Innovation and Strategy at Virgin, argues that the first thing to do as a business is to look at whether you are sustainable. According to Goldsworth, it is important to begin by looking at your own carbon footprint before beginning to build a customer proposition. One way to do this authentically is to involve colleagues from across the business in exploring the issue, and importantly before you have the answer.

The next step is to identify a business opportunity in sustainability for your organisation. Focusing on opportunity creates a positive message that is much easier to sell internally, and so for sustainability this is as much about what you start doing as what you stop doing. Just as importantly, a positive sell within a business can really help to motivate employees. This can be particularly effective if it involves some vulnerability along the lines of, ‘this is a complex issue, we might not get it right straight away, but we want everyone to be involved in shaping our approach’.

Then it’s a case of engaging employees across the business in an open debate on the issue. To make this work, Goldsworth believes that you must: 

  • Provide a context and framework for the debate
  • Provide a clear timeline and end point
  • Provide rules of engagement and guidelines to enable positive participation
  • Provide multiple ways for people to engage in the conversation in order to obtain a full landscape of views and opinions from across the business.

By enabling everyone to participate in shaping the narrative around sustainability, you create an authentic narrative that people connect with and believe is genuine.

For lots of businesses, there are opportunities to satisfy a consumer need around sustainability.

And who wouldn’t want to work for a business that does that?

A huge thank you to our guest panelist David Goldsworth for generously sharing his experience for this podcast.

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Photo by Victor Garcia on Unsplash

What do we mean by engagement? Engagement with what?

What do we mean by engagement? Engagement with what?

 

Companies want engagement, both from their customers and increasingly from their employees.

But what do we mean by engagement? And how do we create it?

A lot of companies want to be customer-focused, but the problem is often that this ambition is only skin deep. This creates problems for employees, whose experience of the brand is notably different from the image presented to customers.

It’s all too easy for businesses to focus on the wrong things in terms of experience. If you’re just relying on your contact centre to take care of customer experience, then you’re missing the point. Customer experience is the responsibility of everyone in the organisation, whether they are directly customer-facing or not.

Brands who do experience well succeed in creating a strong engagement with the brand for both customers and employees. But many businesses fail to get beyond the barriers of departmental silos, and never achieve the collective responsibility for CX that results in authentic engagement.

“The real power of an experience-driven business is that it engages both employees and customers in very similar ways. Great CX enables you to win and retain customers, get a bigger share of wallet, and more recommendations. Similarly, great EX enables you to win and retain talent and achieve more discretionary effort from employees, who then recommend more great people to work for the company.” Stewart Bromley, COO Atom Bank.

Just chasing engagement on its own is unlikely to lead to success. Engagement is a relationship, and a successful relationship is built on clear expectations and coherent, coordinated actions.

If we want engagement, we have to be honest about what customer and employees are engaging with, and why.

Don’t forget: you can get your questions answered by our ExperienceCast panel. Just send us your question, and we’ll feature it in one of our forthcoming episodes.

Guest panelist: Stewart Bromley, COO Atom Bank. The ExperienceCast team would like to thank Stewart Bromley for generously sharing his insights.

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Engaging a generationally diverse workforce

Engaging a generationally diverse workforce

Our guest panelist:

  • Pat Osborne, Transformation Manager at LV= Insurance

It’s just as tempting to segment our employees as it is our customers. But in today’s connected workforce, this is not only inappropriate – it is ineffective.

Why? Because whether we are a customer or an employee, we increasingly want our experience to be personalised.

The more we segment, the more we lose focus on the specific needs of individual people. And as soon as this happens, we run the risk of these individuals becoming disconnected.

One way to achieving this at scale is to engage meaningfully with line managers, and give them the power to personalise employee experience. Line managers should instinctively know what individual employees need and expect – if they don’t, they’re not listening effectively. We also need to be conscious of other key influencers who are not part of the formal management structure, especially in a connected or social community-driven environment.

If we are to engage a generationally diverse workforce, we need to truly listen to individual needs, respect difference, and allow employees to do things in different ways. The benefits to the organisation are likely to be increased loyalty and trust, and access to invaluable information about how to improve the business as employees become more confident in sharing their knowledge internally.

Thank you to Pat Osborne for sharing his insights on this week’s ExperienceCast, and also to all those people who shared their questions and comments during the session. We very much appreciate your input.

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Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash