Businesses looking to develop their client relationships should pay greater attention to employee engagement, according to Sue Mitchell, author of The Authority Guide to Engaging your People.
Ms Mitchell has identified five main tenets for businesses to observe including: creating meaningful work; matching your leadership style to each individual at your company; providing the resources to deliver results; providing development opportunities and working to your strengths.
To create meaningful work, Ms Mitchell said employers must share a clear vision, purpose and mission formed around core values and set high standards.
In matching your leadership style to an individual a manager must avoid micromanaging, but use a coaching approach, ensure you understand each person’s motivation, listen to their perspective, and give them opportunities to design how they will work to achieve desired outcomes.
Bosses must create an organisational structure that is adaptable to provide the resources people need to deliver results with ways to listen to front line employees for ideas on how to streamline, improve efficiency and effectiveness, align with company purpose and values, and reduce frustrations. This must be partnered with development opportunities for employees.
Ms Mitchell said: "Building on strengths is far more productive than trying to fix weaknesses. Build your team around recognising strengths and matching roles to strengths.
“Build development plans around enhancing strengths rather than just filling in the gaps and developing weaknesses. When everyone recognises their own and each other’s strengths and works to strengths, they are more committed, engaged and fulfilled.”
She added: “If you want to raise performance, increase profits, and have customers that love you and recommend you – then be sure to invest in leadership development and coaching for your managers so they know how to engage their people.”
Andrew Montlake, director at London-based Coreco Group, said: “We do see that everything is interlinked, but don’t get me wrong, the most important person to us is the client and the customer journey and how they’re treated and how they are taken from end to end of the process as smoothly as possible and contacted in a way they want, when they want that really is the key.
“However, you should never forget about the people who work for your company. Ourselves, about 18 months ago we brought in a human resources manager to look at our offering to employees and in terms of marketing we concentrate on both the external and internal offering, making sure that the people who work here are as happy as possible.”
Ms Mitchell is founder and director of Aeona, a coaching and leadership development consultancy.
Mark Banham is a freelance finance journalist