The latest results of the Net Happiness Score survey of the MSPA (Mystery Shopping Professionals Association) Europe of 43,775 stores show a decline in the quality of employee engagement, with an average score of 31%, compared to 34% last quarter.
The UK continues to perform relatively well on this measure compared to the rest of Europe, but a fall from 57% to 55% will be a concern for businesses given the close link between high employee engagement, a positive customer experience and a healthy bottom line, says Jill Spencer, Vice President of MSPA Europe.
For the MSPA survey mystery shoppers visit stores, entertainment and other venues to assess how happy employees appear to be in engaging with each customer, with a possible maximum score of 100.
“MSPA and other industry research shows that employee happiness has a high influence on customer experience, and ultimately impacts profits. HR and Training Departments understand this, and are now using mystery shopping as a research and improvement tool to measure the relationship between the customer experience and staff happiness.”
The Institute of Customer Service has published further evidence of the importance of happy employees. The ICS study highlighted the fact that a disengaged UK workforceis turning customers away from the companies they work for. The damage this is causing is extensive – the data shows that just 11% of customers say they would repurchase from an organisation following a bad experience with an employee, whilst 43% of customers will also actively warn others against using the organisation.
The good news is that some UK businesses are taking action and bucking the trend. React Surveys – an Elite member of MSPA Europe and contributor to the Net Happiness Score survey in the UK – posted positive results. Strong performance was evident in the research company’s UK Retail sector clients (64%), whilst UK Leisure & Entertainment sector clients saw the best month-on-month improvement, a 43% to 56% increase.
Nicky Barrell, managing director at React said, “Clients can map their mystery shopping scores against employee satisfaction data within an on-line reporting portal that we provide. Upbeat and engaged front-line staff are essential for companies that want to improve their bottom line in tough trading conditions.”
How Net Happiness Score is measured
MSPA member companies across Europe ask their mystery shoppers to assess employee interaction during their visits each quarter on a scale of 0 – 10, to generate a Net Happiness Score.
Responses 0-6 are regarded as detracting perceptions, 7-8 passive perceptions, and 9-10 positive perceptions. By subtracting the percentage of detracting perceptions from the percentage of positive perceptions, the net score of happy employees is calculated. If there are 100% positive perceptions, the score will be 100 and if there are 100% detracting perceptions, the score will -100.