Recognize and Make the Most of Linchpin Roles

Not all roles are created equal. Many companies don’t take the trouble to understand which are their linchpin roles—as distinct from high-performing or high-potential people. These are roles that have a big influence on the customer experience or that provide critical support or coaching to employees who shape the customer’s response. Given scarce resources, targeting these roles can be an efficient way to raise employee engagement and thus customer advocacy.

Linchpin roles often include frontline supervisors and managers, who exert a great deal of influence behind the scenes. We have found that local manager engagement is highly correlated with local team engagement, which in turn correlates with better customer Net Promoter® scores (NPS®). Skilled managers, it appears, help to raise the enthusiasm and sharpen the focus of team members whose behavior serves to delight customers.

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