Can consumer insights play a role in employee engagement
An often overlooked aspect of the consumer insights function is the potential role this organization can play in driving employee engagement. How may you ask? Typically, the role of the consumer insights function is to understand the external market place - the industry, consumer and customer behavior etc. However, for a consumer insights function to be successful in delivering its mission internally, this function has to play a role in driving employee engagement. By proactively drawing employees into the conversation on what's important to current and potential customers, employees can focus on those critical projects that can truly make a difference to their customer. C-Suite typically drives corporate transformation agendas, starting with a corporate purpose and mission statement. They lead, communicate and energize their employees around the company purpose. That's critical. And that's exactly where consumer insights can enable activation of the company's purpose. A positive consequence can be a corporate culture that's externally focused and more in touch with what's truly important - winning the hearts and minds of their customer base.
This cultural transformation cannot occur exclusively in presentations, in large employee meetings etc. This cannot just be about one function advocating on behalf of C-suite. This has to be role modeled by C-Suite. Internal communication channels need to be created where employees can engage in listening, internalizing and acting on what they are hearing. The successful organizations create this type of infrastructure in partnership with insights to enable their employees to be actively involved in this process. Its not an easy task to deliver this, I know. However, gaining that buy-in and ensuring that commitment endures is critical for the success of the company.
As the market research industry goes through tremendous transformation and disruption, its easy to get focused on the next new capability and tool. That's needed as well. And this speaks to the complexities of the role of the insights leader - part educator, coach, trainer, innovator., and oh yes, insights generator!
At the end of the day, success will only happen when the organization acts on the insights this function provides. And for that, the corporate culture has to be open to hearing what's happening externally.
Do you have examples of successes and failures in this area? I'd love to hear your thoughts.