Employee Engagement's Impact on Customer Satisfaction in UK Food Retail Sample

Understanding the Dynamics Between Employee Engagement & Customer Satisfaction: A Case Study of Tesco

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To What Extent Does Employee Engagement Impact Customer Satisfaction In The Uk Food Retail Sector?


Background to the research

Employee engagement is defined as workers' attachment to their organizations. They use the devotion, participation, and encouragement they bring to their jobs to advise their hard graft. Invested workers recognize the company's objectives and act according to someone else's aims with those of the organization. Workers who are involved are much more immersed and thus more ready to spend a period with every consumer and personalize their encounters. Engagement will be projected to the buyer, and long-term brand loyalty ought to serve as the outcome. Further, engaged employees directly benefit the customer’s satisfaction so it is important for the business to have engaged employees.

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Background to the case study

The food retail market in the United Kingdom is large and diverse, with a diverse variety of resellers in the market. The grocery market is dominated by a few major grocery stores chains, such as Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda, and Morrisons, which compensate for a huge portion of food purchases across the nation. The food retail sector in the United Kingdom employs a multitude of individuals in positions that range from client service to logistics and supply chain management. The case study is based on Tesco which is one of the largest supermarket chains in the UK. The study includes certain discussions about the different aspects of employee engagement and customer satisfaction at Tesco. According to Statista, retail sales amounts in local supermarkets were worth roughly 176 billion British pounds in 2021.

Aim and objectives of the study

This study aims to analyse the influence of employee engagement on customer satisfaction in the UK food retail sector.

To achieve the aim, certain objectives of the study are:

  • To evaluate the literature based on employee engagement and develop certain influences it has on the satisfaction level of customers.
  • To inspect the effect of employee involvement on the satisfaction level of customers in the UK food retail sector.
  • To analyse some important elements of employee engagement in the UK food retail sector.
  • To give some management suggestions regarding employee engagement that can be improvised for enhancing the level of satisfaction of the customers.

Research questions

  • How employee engagement affects the satisfaction levels of the customers?
  • How to use employee engagement strategies in the UK food retail sector that affects the satisfaction levels of the customers?
  • What are some important elements of employee engagement in the UK retail sector?
  • What are some of the recommendations which can be proposed for improving employee engagement in the UK food retail sector for achieving customer satisfaction?

Literature review

Define employee engagement (EE) and customer satisfaction

As per the opinion of Bellon, and et.al., 2010 employees who are engaged are deeply engaged in and excited about their job. Because of these sentimental ties, workers will go further than the invitation of duty. Employee engagement is not the same as staff morale. Workplace happiness can be defined as fulfilment. Satisfied employees are more likely to support consumers with a friendlier demeanour and an elevated rate of client service. This results in more pleasurable customer satisfaction, higher client retention, and enhanced revenue. Sun, and Bunchapattanasakda, 2019 states that Customer satisfaction, on the opposite hand, describes the degree of tranquillity, pleasure, or fulfilment that consumers experience as a result of a company's goods or services. It gauges whether a business exceeds or matches its customers' expectations and needs, and it indicates the general level of the consumer encounter. Greater consumer loyalty, repeat purchase, feel euphoric referrals, and improved revenue growth are generally associated with satisfied clients. Employee engagement requires several key operations to be successful. Great impression principles in the organization, recognizing and tackling employees' needs, professional life terrain with customized development projects to assist workers in achieving their objectives, good communicative tools, but instead existing organizational groupware for mutually beneficial learning and shared information exchange, and assisting the company in expanding the use of best practices, along with a great incentive and praise program, are examples of these. According to Kwon, and Kim, 2020 an organization's productivity is determined not just based on the amount of time its person spends in the business, but also by the number of effort individuals put forth in carrying out their duties, guaranteeing the most effective utilization of resources. This, in turn, allows them to mature and learn new skills. Customer experience and employee engagement are intertwined. A drop in user satisfaction can be caused by a variety of issues. However, it is critical to recognize that your staff has customers in their sights, and their strategy, perception, and capacity to trouble-fix will all have a direct effect on a product’s quality. The level of engagement of a worker will decide their achievement and, finally, portray the customer satisfaction comments. It shows that employee engagement and customer satisfaction are interrelated as the motivated employee always put effort to fulfil the requirements of customers.

Models/theories of EE/CS

According to Saks, A.M., 2022, an employee engagement framework serves as a template for determining what inspires people to be successful and fulfilled at work. Each model uses organizational philosophy to assist businesses in developing their possess system for boosting employee engagement. The Zinger model of employee engagement mainly concentrates on different actions which must be taken by managers to engage employees. This model focuses on human needs to perform better and enhance the level of strength. The objective is to establish a workplace where staff members are both brought and reenergized from their job. Furthermore, current leaders must foster an atmosphere where staff can develop and start exercising their unique talents. It is important to build strong relationships for better teamwork that is a value for employee engagement. An emphasis on advancement helps staff improve their abilities while also creating a feeling of urgency and intent. In addition to this, Otto, Szymanski, and Varadarajan, 2020 state another model which is the Deloitte model is truly based on setting goals and making clear communication with the people at the workplace. Managers who collaborate with their staff as well as provide constant feedback are likely to see rises in productivity and interaction. It helps to manage the performance and reviews help get original outcomes with an appropriate growth of the business. Along with this, a positive environment at work is equally significant to develop recognition and managing the valuable impact of employees. Furthermore, the last model is the AON Hewitt Model which helps to bring the outcomes of business into the equation. In this, the company practices certain things like communication, and efforts of inclusion and give a major opportunity for supporting the employees.

According to Dam, and Dam, 2021, the theories of customer satisfaction are essential to save the business and its values for the process. When a customer encounters the physical expression of a company's brand guarantee yet doesn't receive the quality of service they predicted, Disconfirmation can explain the current expertise of disconfirmation. According to contrast theory, when individual product functionality falls short of both the user's anticipations for the item, the discrepancy between both assumption and consequence will lead the customer to overplay the imbalance. The comparison-level theory of client satisfaction is an offshoot of the marketing concept that holds that consumers evaluate their satisfaction levels based on an implied contrast to an endogenous control instead of the final output (Book, Gatling, and Kim, 2019.). A popular theory on customer satisfaction is worth actively. This is evident in a variety of recurring instances, such as those encompassing brand loyalty, trial equipment breakdown, and availability locally. In customer satisfaction, equity theory contends that people require uniformity between what was anticipated and the reality they encountered. Evaluative Congruity refers to the degree to whereby a customer's feelings are congruent with the judgmental opinions and views he or she retains about customer satisfaction.

The impact of EE on customer satisfaction

As per the viewpoint of Baqir, and et.al., 2020 employee engagement can have a significant impact on customer satisfaction. When employees are engaged and motivated, they tend to provide better customer service, which leads to higher customer satisfaction. Engaged employees are generally more productive than disengaged employees. This can lead to faster response times, better problem-solving, and more efficient service, all of which can contribute to higher customer satisfaction. Engaged employees give better customer service and they also set some realistic expectations for the customers and make sure to meet those expectations. There is a clear link between involved staff members and consumer satisfaction, as well as attaining business goals. Employee participation, in these other words, drives client satisfaction. However, Santhanam, and Srinivas, 2019 state when employees are engaged, they feel a sense of connection to their work, the company, and their colleagues. They are more likely to take pride in their work and go the extra mile to ensure that customers are satisfied. Engaged employees are also more likely to be loyal to the company and its goals, which can lead to a more positive work environment and better teamwork. This positive work environment and teamwork can result in better communication, more efficient processes, and a greater focus on meeting the needs of the customer. Engaged employees are also more likely to be innovative, which can lead to the development of new products or services that better meet the needs of customers. Engaged employees are committed to their work and feel a sense of ownership in their role. They are more likely to go above and beyond their job duties to ensure customer satisfaction, and they are better equipped to handle challenging situations. Overall, investing in employee engagement can have a significant impact on customer satisfaction and can help businesses to build a loyal customer base and drive long-term success. As per the opinion of Burnett, and Lisk, 2019 Organizations have to put a suitable system in place for developing the career paths of their higher levels of engagement employees to keep their spirits high and inspire them to do their own best at all times. Engagement is determined by how well and effectively the organization's procedures and processes are followed. Getting well-defined practices is not enough; they must also be accompanied and enhanced regularly. However, the activities of employee engagements have a positive impact on the level of customer satisfaction and handling the changes and preferences of people (Jaharuddin, and Zainol, 2019). It elevates the process of making an appropriate level of understanding of the customers to a great extent.

Research Methodology

Research Design

  • Research Philosophy

It is a system of researchers’ thinking by which fresh and dependable knowledge regarding the object of research can be obtained. It is considered a basis of research that includes the formulation of the problem and process. In this research, there is the use of primary methodology so there is the involvement of pragmatic research philosophy. In this study, the pragmatic philosophy includes the research design which incorporates the operational decisions based on what will work best to identify the answers to questions (Tamminen, and Poucher, 2020). It enables innovative research in dynamic ways to find out the solution to research problems.

  • Research Approach

The process chosen by the researcher to obtain, analyse and define data is referred to as a research approach. In this study, the chosen research approach is an inductive approach that helps in research findings from dominant and some raw data which brings the process by the structure methodologies (Tyagi, and et.al., 2021). With the help of this approach, the process of research mainly begins with certain observations along with measures and helps to detect the themes in the data.

  • Research strategy

A research strategy is a systematic plan or approach to conducting research. It involves a set of methods and techniques used to gather and analyse data to answer research questions or test hypotheses. The strategy of research includes different elements for conducting the research that mainly covers research design, data collection methods, analysis technique, and sampling strategies that help to identify the process of data. The overall direction of the research, including the method through which the study is carried out, is provided by the research strategy.

Justify the data collection methods

It is considered as a rationale of the research or it can be stated as the reason behind conducting the research which mainly covers the design and methods which are used in the process of research. For this study, the selected method for data collection is primary data collection and it is raw data which is based on the questionnaires. The data collection methodology was performed through simple random sampling where the probability sampling was by selecting random people who are coming to the store of Tesco and taking some random population. Further, it allows people to have equal chances regarding selection. The technique helps to get more accurate information about the food preferences of people and how frequently they purchase from Tesco. However, the target audience is mainly aged 20 to 30 as they are more likely to go outside and shop. So, it gives a clear scenario regarding the purchasing patterns of people and ensures preciseness. In this, one of the most important elements is the response rate from the customer side as it plays a very crucial role in the data collection process.

Data analysis procedure

In this research, the data analysis procedure is followed with certain steps like using the tools to define the objective of the research. Further, the use of data collection technique is the primary methodology where the survey through questionnaire has been performed. After this, the process of data cleaning helps to make changes in the collected data so that it helps to remove errors and unwanted data points. The primary methodology helps in the process to develop a certain level of arrangement to deal with real-time data.

In addition to this, the quantitative data analysis technique is used for the primary methodology as it helps to analyse the data in a more precise way. These methods for data analysis can be used autonomously or in tandem to assist senior executives and choices in gaining actionable insights from different kinds of information. This procedure helps to develop certain outcomes for the study and is beneficial for analysing various facts about the research.

Possible ethical issues related to the research

Ethical issues in studies are some of the styles that investigators use to safeguard respondents' rights when constructing study designs and establishing trust between survey respondents and investigators. There are certain possible ethical issues related to the research as follows:

  • Protecting confidentiality: If participants participate to share sensitive or private data, the investigators must take extra precautions to maintain the data secret. There are more chances of facing huge risks regarding data breaches in the process of data collection (Facca, and et.al., 2020).
  • Obtaining informed consent: The informed consent ought to specify the reason for conducting the study, the questions that will be requested of people, the techniques have been using, how data will be used, the conceivable results of the investigation, and any related discomforts and consequences that the attendees may face.
  • Avoid misleading practices: This is generally needed to foster scientific merit in situations where respondents are given to collect data the about study to collect authentic information concerning their speech and actions.
  • Offer the right to withdraw: This can be a possible ethical consideration as it depends on the offer and the right to withdraw as it depends on the respondents. Except for secretive observational data, study participants must have the entitlement to cancel their participation at any period.

Research ethics are significant moral guideposts for investigators to follow in preventing dishonesty when able to conduct and going to report study results.

The methods by which you would ensure that the research was both valid and reliable

To ensure the validity and reliability of the research, it is important to consider certain important factors for the process of study. In this study, the validity and reliability of data will be done with the help of the SPSS method. It helps in providing the data analysis for the bivariate as well as descriptive statistics along with the numeral results and predictions for the classifying groups. It also helps to manage data transformation, features of direct marketing, and graphing. Thus, it will be helpful for the researcher to understand various disciplines for analysing complex data. However, it helps in the research to avoid certain errors and develop accurate data by managing the input of data.

Possible limitations to this research

It is unavoidable that the research will come with certain limitations, which is to be expected. Further, it is essential to acknowledge the shortcomings of work so there are certain limitations to this research as follows:

  • A review of the literature is a vital component of any investigation so it helps determine the scope of past efforts in the field of research. However, if focused on the most recent and advancing research issue or a too-thin research question, you might not have much, if any, previous study on the topic.
  • Implementation of the data collection mentions as there is an extensive experience in primary data collection so there are more chances of flaws (Baig, Shuib, and Yadegaridehkordi, 2020).
  • The scope of discussion is another limitation as there is less experience in conducting research and producing such large papers. It affects the research at some points so it is suggested to concern the area of discussion as a major aspect for getting better outcomes.
  • The sample size is determined by the subject matter of the study. If the sample size is inadequate, statistical studies will fail to detect serious correlations within the given dataset. It can be considered as a limitation of the research and affects the process of data collection technique.

Research plan (timescale)

Activity Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8
Identify research area
Formulate research questions
Write research proposal
Literature Review
Data Collection
Data Analysis
Analysis and Interpretation
Findings and Recommendations

The above mention is a research plan with a time scale that clearly shows the duration of each work done and provides details about the same.


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Baqir, M., Hussain, S., Waseem, R. and Islam, K.A., 2020. Impact of reward and recognition, supervisor support on employee engagement. American International Journal of Business and Management Studies, 2(3), pp.8-21.

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Book, L., Gatling, A. and Kim, J., 2019. The effects of leadership satisfaction on employee engagement, loyalty, and retention in the hospitality industry. Journal of Human Resources in Hospitality & Tourism, 18(3), pp.368-393.

Burnett, J.R. and Lisk, T.C., 2019. The future of employee engagement: Real-time monitoring and digital tools for engaging a workforce. International Studies of Management & Organization, 49(1), pp.108-119.

Dam, S.M. and Dam, T.C., 2021. Relationships between service quality, brand image, customer satisfaction, and customer loyalty. The Journal of Asian Finance, Economics and Business, 8(3), pp.585-593.

Facca, D., Smith, M.J., Shelley, J., Lizotte, D. and Donelle, L., 2020. Exploring the ethical issues in research using digital data collection strategies with minors: A scoping review. Plos one, 15(8), p.e0237875.

Jaharuddin, N.S. and Zainol, L.N., 2019. The impact of work-life balance on job engagement and turnover intention. The South East Asian Journal of Management, 13(1), p.7.

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Otto, A.S., Szymanski, D.M. and Varadarajan, R., 2020. Customer satisfaction and firm performance: insights from over a quarter century of empirical research. Journal of the Academy of Marketing science, 48, pp.543-564.

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Sun, L. and Bunchapattanasakda, C., 2019. Employee engagement: A literature review. International Journal of Human Resource Studies, 9(1), pp.63-80.

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