Gallup helps its clients grow from the inside out. Unlike other consulting firms, it says, which provide services in traditional disciplines like cost reduction and re-engineering business processes, the Washington, D.C.-based firm focuses on "true organic growth," driving revenue and increasing profits from continuing operations. Gallup uses its research into human nature to determine how human behavior and relationships drive organizations. "Organizations can grow," the firm posits, by developing engaged customers and building engaged workforces of talented employees.
Following that philosophy, the firm's strategic consultants deliver relevant, timely, and—the firm says—visionary research on what people around the world think and feel. Through two practice areas, workplace, and customer practices, Gallup offers solutions aimed at talent acquisition, leadership and succession, strengths-based development and, of course, employee and customer engagement.
And the survey says …
Gallup, has become a household name in public opinion surveys, tracking public attitudes on political, social and economic issues. The company was founded in 1935 by Dr. George Gallup as the American Institute of Public Opinion. Four years after Dr. Gallup's death in 1984, his sons, Alec and George Jr., negotiated a merger between the American Institute of Public Opinion and Selection Research, Inc., a recruitment services firm that matched up employees with new positions using structured psychological interviews. The combined entity, still operating under the Gallup name, grew over the next decade, expanding into consulting, printing, daily news and management education.
On the right path
Gallup's alternative, behavioral-based approach to building better businesses is described as the Gallup Path, which analyzes the "linked path" between every employee's individual contribution and the organization's ultimate financial goal: an increase in its overall value. The chain includes five different points that can drive business performance. First, having the right people in the right roles with the right managers—so the Gallup Path thinking goes—will drive employee engagement. Engaged employees, in turn, drive customer engagement, which drives sustainable growth. Sustainable growth, ultimately, drives real profits—and not those shady short-term profit increases that come about through creative bookkeeping. Gallup's client projects don't concentrate on any single point in the Path, but rather integrate all points to promote strong returns in value—sustainable growth, higher profits and rising stock prices.
The Path was an outgrowth of the firm's research in management sciences, economics and psychology. Its own studies have revealed that satisfied employees are not only more productive, but also more likely to weather stress and periods of disruption. Retaining indispensable talent through difficult markets is an enormous advantage, and it leads to sustained growth when the market normalizes. Strong leadership is also essential, so Gallup offers executive coaching, giving corporate officers unbiased outside feedback.
Don't forget everyone who isn't on the payroll
Gallup also makes sure to address the sine qua non of doing business: the customer. Its research has distilled customer engagement down to 11 attributes, which it calls the CE11. These attributes, all of which can be influenced through advertising, public image, purchasing experience and other factors, include overall satisfaction, intent to repurchase, intent to recommend, pride in a brand, belief in the integrity of a brand and other emotional values. To most effectively help a client influence these factors, Gallup has assembled a comprehensive database that contains intelligence from almost three million customers, 16 industries and 53 countries. The goal, the firm believes, should always be to transform transactions into relationships.