A few months ago, I was sitting in a meeting. During that meeting, someone said:

“Satisfied customers don’t refer.”

Satisfied customers don’t refer. Only customers who’ve experienced something remarkable and truly noteworthy refer their family and friends. Satisfied customers are just that – satisfied – and are unlikely to make the extra effort to tell others about their positive experience.

Apply this logic to our organizations. We spend millions of dollars and countless hours measuring employee engagement and focusing on corporate culture. Is possible that clues to answering these questions are in plain sight? If the logic holds true, just “satisfied” employees aren’t more likely to refer potential employees.  But employees who experience something remarkable – something truly outstanding and different – should refer others more often.

After all, this place is awesome, right?

While we always have to be aware of other factors that might influence the number of referrals (e.g., a healthy employee referral bonus), what else might the frequency and number of employee referrals (whether we hire them or not) tell us about how our employees feel about where they work?