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CX Research from Twilio, Leapsome, and Workhuman-Gallup

Topics Include European Consumers and Brands, Perception Gap Between HR and Employees, and Recognition at Work

CX Research from Twilio, Leapsome, and Workhuman-Gallup

Twilio: European Consumers Embrace Open Relationship for Brands

In a new era of brand engagement, European consumers are favoring open relationships with brands, wishing to play the field and seeking variety from among a multiplicity of brands. And yet, despite exhibiting such non-monogamous behavior, consumers also still value trustworthiness and consistency from brands.

Those are among the surprising conclusions revealed in the new Relationship Economy 2023 Report by communication tools provider Twilio, which surveyed more than 6,000 consumers and 1,800 marketers across Europe for the study. The report indicates that European consumers possess an emotional affinity toward an average of 4.75 brands and place a premium on practicality over loyalty.

In this new landscape, expertise and efficiency take precedence over emotional connection, reinforcing the notion that loyalty stems from company action and is no longer a given based on the product or service alone. Even so, European consumers prioritize brand honesty (44%) and reliability (41%) above all else, mirroring the qualities they most value in their personal romantic relationships, the report notes.

Related Article: CX Customer Wins for Vonage, SAP Emarsys, Twilio, Concentrix Brazil, and Genesys

Samantha Richardson, CX consultant at Twilio, says brands need to be thoughtful about the way consumers approach relationships.

“Nowadays, a relationship doesn’t have to be lifelong or exclusive to be considered meaningful. A short-term engagement can still be genuine and courteous. It’s about being real and respectful in every interaction. This behavior shift is important for brands: While it might be harder to gain customer loyalty than a decade ago, the reward is much greater when they get it right,” Richardson declares.

The study also shows that in this new consumer environment, marketers are pinning their hopes on first-party data to enable more accurate personalization (56%), create better CX (53%), build trust (50%), and put the customer back in charge (37%). Furthermore, the emergence of AI will make it easier for brands to build unique interactions with each customer and create longer-lasting relationships.

At the same time, European consumers agree that marketers do not always understand them, with 81% of respondents reporting that they have dumped a brand following a lack of reliability (44%), difficulty in getting a response (30%), and constant calling or messaging (28%).

San Francisco-based Twilio, the source of the report, is the provider of a cloud communications platform that enables businesses to embed phone, voice-over-IP (VoIP) and messaging into web, desktop, and mobile applications through web service application programming interfaces (APIs). The company recently unveiled a robust lineup of customer AI-powered solutions.

Leapsome: Perception Gap Appears Between HR and Employees on Various Issues

A significant gap in perception exists between human resources (HR) leaders on the one hand and employees on the other on issues of engagement, alignment, and performance, according to the new study, Beyond the Cubicle: Leapsome’s Workforce Trends Report, conducted by German software company Leapsome with British market research firm YouGov.

For instance, although half of HR leaders believe their employees are “completely engaged,” only one in three employees feels the same way. Moreover, 85% of employees feel they understand the direction where their company is going and their role in it, while HR leaders estimate that only 61% possess a similar understanding. Likewise, 80% of employees see themselves as top performers, as defined by consistently going above and beyond what their roles require, but HR estimates that only 65% of employees do so.

One reason for the gap is that only 35% of HR leaders in the US track essential metrics such as turnover and engagement rates; of those tracking engagement, only 31% use dedicated surveys. Addressing this gap is essential for future planning and long-term success, the study says.

HR also needs to invest in better understanding employee sentiment, which may involve more frequent and actionable performance reviews, more regular feedback mechanisms, and dedicated engagement surveys. Encouraging a feedback-rich culture with regular recognition and opportunities could also be helpful and make employees more productive, the research notes.

Jenny Podewils, co-CEO and co-founder of Leapsome, says the disparities between HR and employee perspectives point to the ongoing importance of an open dialogue. “Understanding the nuances between HR leaders’ perceptions and employees’ experiences,” she says, “is crucial for any organization striving for excellence.”

On the flip side, the study found US employee well-being on the rise due to better work-life balance and less job-hopping mainly because of workplace flexibility arising from a hybrid or remote work model, as well as a strong sense of preparedness between both HR leaders and employees for any possible economic challenges ahead.

Leapsome, based in Berlin, Germany, is a people-management platform used by companies to drive employee engagement.

Workhuman-Gallup: Recognition at Work Boosts Engagement and Aligns Values

A new study from Workhuman and Gallup finds that recognition plays a significant role as both a foundational element at the workplace and as a catalyst for organizational culture.

The report, Empowering Workplace Culture Through Recognition, notes that employees who strongly agree that recognition is an important part of their organization’s culture are 3.7 times as likely to be engaged, 3.8 times as likely to feel connected to the culture, and half as likely to experience frequent burnout compared with those who do not. Satisfied employees are also more than five times as likely to strongly agree they would recommend their organization as a great place to work and 55% less likely to be seeking new job opportunities.

“This new research serves to illustrate the choice that lies ahead for company leaders: to either invest in culture and define it for themselves, or risk it being defined for them,” says KeyAnna Schmiedl, chief human experience officer at Workhuman, the provider of human capital management software co-headquartered in Framingham, Massachusetts, and Dublin, Ireland.

Schmiedl says that according to the research, engaged employees describe their company’s culture with words such as caring, innovative, and inclusive. In contrast, actively disengaged employees are more likely to use words like toxic, disorganized, and chaotic. She says, “It’s up to leaders to decide which of those cultures they want associated with their companies, keeping in mind this isn’t just about their employee satisfaction scores or the tone of the office, it’s a choice that determines if their business is future-proof or not.”

Related Article: Recognition Is A Key Factor for Employee Engagement and Well-Being

The report also reveals that just 34% of employees say their employer has a recognition program in place. Of those who have one, only 13% of the workers rate it as excellent.

Ed O’Boyle, global practice leader at Gallup, the management consultancy firm based in Washington, D.C., says recognition facilitates alignment within an organization. He says, “Giving great recognition is an effective way for leaders to communicate the values and behaviors they most want to see from their employees. It also sets the example for establishing a culture of recognition and inspires employees at all levels to receive and give recognition that is authentic and meaningful, and to do so often.”

The report identifies four steps to create or improve a recognition program. These include establishing workplace culture goals and values aligned with one’s business strategy; using recognition to reflect workplace culture goals and values; evaluating and continually refining the recognition strategy; and promoting quality recognition across the organization so that the workplace culture can flourish.

Author Information

Alex is responsible for writing about trends and changes that are impacting the customer experience market. He had served as Principal Editor at Village Intelligence, a Los Angeles-based consultancy on technology impacting healthcare and healthcare-related industries. Alex was also Associate Director for Content Management at Omdia and Informa Tech, where he produced white papers, executive summaries, market insights, blogs, and other key content assets. His areas of coverage spanned the sectors grouped under the technology vertical, including semiconductors, smart technologies, enterprise & IT, media, displays, mobile, power, healthcare, China research, industrial and IoT, automotive, and transformative technologies.

At IHS Markit, he was Managing Editor of the company’s flagship IHS Quarterly, covering aerospace & defense, economics & country risk, chemicals, oil & gas, and other IHS verticals. He was Principal Editor of analyst output at iSuppli Corp. and Managing Editor of Market Watch, a fortnightly newsletter highlighting significant analyst report findings for pitching to the media. He started his career in writing as an Editor-Reporter for The Associated Press.

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