Customer-Centric Culture

Getting Employees to Care: Employee Experience and Culture

How do you get your employees focused on customer experience improvement? Start with clearly defining the collective goal to strengthen your culture and improve EX.

Group of young coworkers celebrating achieving a goal
Sean McDade, PhD

Sean McDade, PhD

Founder & CEO, PeopleMetrics

Employees. You’re going to have to win their hearts and minds if you’re going to build a customer-centric culture.

You might think about starting with an iron fist - “You’d better start caring about the customer experience now, or else.”

However, it’s difficult to achieve an emotional state (i.e. “care”) with a logic-based approach (i.e. “get them to do it”).

To make it worse, the question “How do we get employees to care?” creates a division between you and your employees from the start.

You’re implying an “us versus them” approach.

But employees are part of the collective “we” that makes up your company. They have needs and opinions and impact.

There are three things at work here: experience, culture, and goals.

The first two exist whether you focus on them or not.

Group of young coworkers celebrating achieving a goal

1. Experience

The employee experience is present in every company.

It can be seen in your turnover statistics.

Or your time sheets.

Or the number of applicants who come via employee referral.

It lives in your productivity stats, your error rates, your absenteeism, and your customer satisfaction scores.


2. Culture

Culture is the same way.

It lives in the way people communicate, tell stories, behave, and run meetings.

How people act over the course of your day-to-day operations is reflective of your unique culture.


3. Goals

Goals, on the other hand, only exist if you create them.

They require conscious acts of refining vision, strategy, and success.

If your company goals aren’t clearly defined, you’re not going anywhere.


The Formula for Great EX

Experience, culture, and goals don’t have a straightforward, linear relationship—but they are correlated.

In my experience, great employee experiences and strong cultures are often found in companies with clearly articulated visions, strategies, and goals.

This might be due to the fact that the companies who are able to articulate purpose and success are also more likely to be managing the employee experience and culture.

And with all of these things working in harmony, the company is more likely to reach its goals.

To be fair, such companies are few and far between.

The bulk of companies are trying to figure out where to start: employee experience or culture?

Where To Start?

Employee experience or culture?

Companies that choose to work with us in employee experience often find it’s an insightful starting point.

First, we help them identify the emotional and functional factors at work for their employees.

Then we use that data to build a plan to create higher levels of motivation and commitment.

We’re happy to help any company with employee experience, regardless of its goals.

It’s important work.

But when a client has a stated goal to deliver great customer experiences, and therefore needs to create a customer-centric culture — then, well, they’re in our sweet spot.

We see that as really important work.

Ask The Right Questions

So, back to the start. If you’re asking, “How can we get employees to care?” try rephrasing it for better effect.

Try “How can we better communicate goals?” or “How can we help our team feel a sense of purpose?” instead.

Remember, better employee experiences start with clearly defining the collective goal. You’re all in it together.


One team. Better experiences.

Contact PeopleMetrics:

About the Author

Sean McDade, PhD is the author of Listen or Die: 40 Lessons That Turn Customer Feedback Into Gold. He founded PeopleMetrics in 2001 and is the architect of the company’s customer experience management (CEM) software platform. As CEO, he guides the company’s vision and strategy. Sean has over 20 years of experience helping companies measure and improve the customer experience. Earlier in his career, he spent five years at the Gallup Organization, where he was the practice leader of their consulting division. His company offers CEM software with advanced machine learning solutions and hands-on analytical support to help companies make sense of their CX data. Sean holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration with a specialization in marketing science from Temple University in Philadelphia. He has published eight articles in peer-reviewed scholarly journals and has taught over 25 marketing classes. Sean was named a 40 under 40 award recipient of the Philadelphia region. He is an active Angel Investor, including investments in Tender Greens, CloudMine and Sidecar.

Topic: Employee Experience

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