The best (and amazingly easy) thing you can do to increase Employee Engagement
Across organizations from disparate industries, employee engagement seems to be falling. This has primarily been observed to be as a result of a shoddy creation of mission and vision statements. A lot of companies create statements that are too specific and simplistic. This means that employees do not feel any sense of ownership towards a broader ideal. Mission and vision statements lead to the fulfillment of the corporate strategy which in turn gives way to its execution. The strategy must be a set of simple rules that all can follow and not a long statement. In fact, instead of separating the mission and vision documents, they can be streamlined into a single one. Proper metrics must also be decided on strategy implementation effectiveness.
Employee Engagement and Customer Loyalty “Joined at the hip” at Peoples Bank
At Massachusetts based Peoples Bank, customer loyalty and employee engagement go hand-in-hand. The bank was founded in the nineteenth century so has evolved tremendously during this long period. One such hallmark is customization, which the bank is careful not to overdo. Loyalty initiatives are data driven and thus easy to measure. Thanks to digital marketing especially using social media, customer acquisition is less of a problem, so greater focus is put on retaining them. While technology does play a part, human interactions continue to hold top prominence as innovations are derived through direct contact. Such innovations or interactions cannot be relayed out on any algorithm. Focus has also been put on the office design so that it bears the resemblance of a modern service organization.
Satisfy your Employees’ desire to Connect
Employees at any organization forever express this desire to connect to others. There exists this curiosity to know more about the people they work with. This sort of networking must be encouraged within organizations as this leads to employees feeling part of something bigger than merely their basic work. This collaboration also sets off business innovations rather than organizations where knowledge gets trapped within silos. Companies must thus provide rosters or directories where employee information with names, pictures and job titles will be put up. At Starbucks for example, even during talent recruitment, the focus is made on doing something much larger than serving coffee. The coffee chain encourages its employees to socialize beyond work either through organic means or their supported community activities.
How Spotify balances Employee Autonomy and Accountability
Autonomy at workplace has several ramifications. On the one hand, it can be the ideal platform towards creativity and developing business innovations. But on the other, it can also lead to negligence and ambiguity at work. Spotify is one company that has developed the ideal system to balance between employee autonomy and accountability. For a start, Spotify allows complete independence for innovating but proven, established norms or processes must be followed either way. As innovation cycles in the digital age last barely a few months, the group’s alignment has to be controlled. Thus at Spotify, teams are small so that supervision is easier. Their teams are known as squads, are agile, cross-functional and self-organized. On average a squad includes not more than eight people. The leader of the squad is chosen by the members and not dictated form above as is the norm elsewhere. The player-coach form of leadership is encouraged as it best promotes management training. Squads together comprise tribes. Spotify even has guilds which have members from across squads. In this method innovation is encouraged, but the established processes continue to be implemented if found successful. The constant review within squads ensures that the autonomy does no impinge upon the accountability levels. So all the squads eventually align together while not falling prey to excess control.
Searching for the perfect Employee Engagement Tool? Seven things to Consider
Behind every successful organization these days, there happens to be top notch employee engagement. Thus a study has separated out seven things that need to be kept in mind before designing such a tool. Firstly, tools may differ, but it is people’s requirements and relevance of the tool that are most important. Whatever tool finally gets selected, must be tailored for relevant company usage. This tailoring must also keep in mind company values. However, any tool used can only be an aid to corporate training, but not a magic pill. Clear benchmarks must be established against which performances will be measured. Similarly, prioritization must be done on which projects and requirements are of utmost necessity from the tool. While a lot of data will now be generated, this sort of data will only be useful to the company if proper analysis can be made to decipher exquisite business intelligence. The algorithm must be set in such a manner that the most accurate of results are deployed.
An ‘Employee Value Proposition’ Mindset just might fix Employee Engagement
A lot of companies have tried ways to fix employee engagement, yet few have emerged as winners. This is primarily because of the toxicity that many employee engagement surveys have come to be associated with. Instead of anything constructive, such surveys have added to the fear mongering among employees. Those employees who express legitimate concerns are being identified to be driven out. They are being labeled with terms such as “cynics”, “saboteurs”, “brats”, “drifters”, “prisoners”, “honeymooners” and the like. To rectify this an Employee Value Proposition (EVP) must be adopted. EVP replaces the word customer with employee from the marketing team’s terminology. Here, the onus on engagement falls on the company and not the employees. The surveys conducted are with greater purpose. Unlike other mass-oriented surveys, the EVP is targeted just as marketers would based on segment. EVP has been hailed as a masterstroke for talent management as it designs the survey and then analyses keeping in mind the requirements of future and past employees. It adopts a more holistic view as proven via the study conducted by BI Worldwide which clearly showed that EVP enables employees to be happy and not just engaged.
Engagement Strategies to emotionally Connect with Employees
Companies that do not emotionally engage with their employees are on the oath to loss in productivity as engaged employees produce far more than disengaged ones. Employees whose only emotional connection is dreading about their job security will never be able to implement or foster innovations. A study conducted by the Harvard Business Review reveals that a staggering ninety five percent of employees do not understand the relation between their work and the overall corporate strategy to be achieved. Another research by Glassdoor meanwhile suggests that majority of younger recruits prefer to work for places with good employment reputations rather than those with simply good products emanating out. The best company culture is one that values employees as team members and allots them the conditions necessary to thrive. In order to emotionally connect with employees, a strong corporate communications plan must be in place. Live events or conferences tend to cascade positive feedback by the employees about the company. If the attendees get experiential coverage, chances are high that some of them will turn product advocates.
Why Organizations get the Employee Engagement they Deserve
The kind of employee engagement persisting in any organization largely depends on how the senior management prompts the same. Engagement can broadly be classified into four levels- disengagement, compliance, contribution and commitment. Constant team changes, downsizing, termination of projects or closure of stores is a terrible approach towards talent management and renders employees as disengaged. For some kinds of organizations like the US Navy, a command and control set-up is preferred. Here the management seeks to instill compliance as the entire communication is top-down instructional. Another set of organizations prefer a communication stream that encourages contribution and initiatives. The corporate communication maxim in this form can be categorized under five stages which are – Tell, Sell, Test, Consult and Co-create. Another level of companies altogether want their employees to give complete commitment. At such places, people are hyper committed. They will not execute any task just because they’ve been told to, but will do only if they feel some connect to the values. The communication with such employees will need to be less transactional in nature, but more emotional.
How Zero-based Budgeting can Inspire Employees
Management consulting giant Bain conducted a survey in the Asia-Pacific region to deduce that four-fifths of those polled have or will be employing Zero Based Budgeting (ZBB). However, just as historical trends would attest, they aren’t that popular. In fact in nine out of eleven cases, employees of organizations where ZBB has been implemented will refer their friends not to join the firm. In order to bridge this gap, a way has been found out. It is called zero based redesign. This as a system has been known to rekindle a sense of ownership among the company’s employees. Agility in procedures can also be induced in this manner. To achieve this, overheads must start getting treated as investments rather than expenses. Instead of highlighting the technical and financial policies, its human centric focus must be focused on. The top management needs to take up a leadership position to drive the intended strategies.
How Middle Managers can boost Employee Engagement and Customer Experience
It is well known that employee engagement is one of the key differentiators to drive improved customer experience and business results. A study conducted by Gallup states that organizations whose employees are highly engaged display a third less of absenteeism, about two-fifths fewer quality complaints, about half the safety accidents, lower staff turnover rate and improved customer ratings, productivity and thus profitability. The same research also claims that the major reason for the difference in the level of such engagement is the talent management abilities of the organizations. Thus it is suggested that greater investment must be made on the corporate training for the front-line managers. These managers receive only a third of the training that emerging leaders do and an abysmal fifth of top management. This is possibly due to their higher numbers implying an exponential increase in costs. A method can be borrowed or adopted by Semco where team leaders’ bonuses and benefits are dependent on their ratings received from team members. In this way, in every organization, team leaders must pose certain questions to their colleagues, on the basis of which their compensation will be somewhat tied to. These questions are what good did he/she do during the week, what wasn’t done quite so well and where there is a scope for improvement. Any organization that encourages openness and transparency in communication will be able to reap the benefits of such an approach.
Reorganization without Tears
Team reorgs are tricky events at best. Majority of the employees worry about the safety of their jobs and water-cooler conversations abound. Two common mistakes are committed by the management team. The first one may be termed as wait and see approach where all decisions are delayed till the last moment when it all comes out from the top leader. Rumours keep spreading around, leading to anxiety and ultimately the leaders need to submit to come out with answers before stipulated time. The other common error is the ivory-tower idealism approach. Here the top management may have genuine good intentions but the way it is broadcast to the people, cynicism instead spreads. The talent management or reorg team may deliver webcasts or take tours of the premises, but the employees still feel neglected. The best way to go past both these conundrums is to ensure corporate communication is effective at all times. People must be constantly spoken to until the point is driven home. Also the leaders must themselves be clear as to what the employees are looking to hear, and deliver the communication accordingly. There has to be engagement regarding the process among employees themselves and a formal forum for this needs to be facilitated by the executive level. A proper design must be in place to make sure this reorganization takes place without undue stress within the organization taking place. The other stakeholders also need to be taken in to confidence. This includes the worker unions, customers, suppliers, regulators and independent board members.