Human Sigma: Improving employee-customer encounters

If it is clear from the research that employees hold the key to raising profits and value in a company, why is it that management has been traditionally inept at measuring and managing them?

We have only learned how to measure this accurately in the past 10 to 15 years, so part of the problem has been a simple lack of reliable metrics. This inability to measure engagement also prevented the accumulation of the data needed to build a solid understanding of how to engage employees.

Now that we have a considerable amount of data, it has also become clear that many of the assumptions companies have made about their employees have simply been wrong. For example, there has been a tendency on the part of many executives to value control over quality by scripting employee behaviors when they interact with customers. These executives view employees as mistakes just waiting to happen, as impediments to doing business, and as costs to be minimized. It is difficult to engage an employee who knows that he is viewed as a costly nuisance at best by the organization’s leadership.


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To thrive in today’s business environment, companies must transform their businesses preemptively, not defensively.

It is not surprising that many companies find their strategies and business models increasingly out of step with their environments. See more at:

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Jim Woods is president of The Jim Woods Group. A management consulting firm. Go here to see his work He advises and speaks to organizations large and small on how to increase top line growth in times of uncertainty and complexity. Some of his speaking and consulting clients include: U.S. Army, MITRE Corporation, Pitney Bowes, Whirlpool, and 3M. See more at his website

Posted in Customer Service, Entrepreneurship, Leadership
One comment on “Human Sigma: Improving employee-customer encounters
  1. […] Think Tasmanian devil. These folks are volatile, inconsistent, and unpredictable. They fly off the handle easily and feel empowered by making others walk on eggshells. They stifle free dialogue by shutting other people down, and they kill the possibility of having productive conversations by breeding insecurity in their relationships.  […]


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