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Employee Engagement

Via Business 2 Community : 4 Key Employee Engagement Success Factors

A strong team is productive, loyal, and dedicated to customer satisfaction. An ideal team makes it their mission to go above and beyond. When everyone’s motivated to do just enough to keep their jobs, how do you motivate workers to continue to learn and grow? By understanding the factors that affect employee engagement you can motivate your workforce.

Fully engaged employees have been shown to be 21 percent more profitable. Address employee disengagement in the workplace can help your business’s bottom line and overall success. Here are some of the biggest employee engagement success factors, and how to make improvements that raise both motivation and productivity.

Employee engagement success factors to cultivate

Employee engagement boils down to the quality of your company’s relationship with its people. Do you show workers appreciation? Do you give social rewards in addition to monetary ones? Do employees feel comfortable and empowered to speak their minds, share good ideas, and encourage coworkers?

These details go far in making employees feel like they’re doing more than “just” a job. It makes them feel they are stakeholders in your business—active participants doing meaningful work. When this happens, employees will feel a deep connection to their organization, and they will care about success as much as you do.

Here are some of the major factors that affect employee engagement and how to improve them.

1. Company culture

What’s the overall emotional climate of your organization, and how do people feel in general? Is the workforce relaxed, friendly, and smiling? Or is it tense, closed-mouthed, and alienated? Assess the general morale, perhaps supplemented by a survey asking employees to detail their feelings about the company culture, and then find ways to improve it.

Your culture is made up of values and behaviors. Make engagement itself a value and encourage engagement as a behavior. Seek to increase collaboration as much as possible and support making social connections.

Explain your company’s overall mission and tell every employee how their individual work helps to further that mission. This gives your team a sense of purpose and belonging, which are important for a strong culture of engagement.

Finally, include everyone—even those in entry-level or junior roles. Employees who feel excluded from company culture will demonstrate poor productivity and under performance.

2. Employee participation

Never view employees as cogs in a wheel, thoughtless drones content to do repetitive tasks. Everyone has ideas and encouraging employees to share their thoughts has benefits: you not only show that you value their intellectual capabilities, but you might get some useful information, as well. After all, who has more insight into the work your company does than the people doing that work every day?

Give employees a platform where they can easily share their ideas with all levels of the organization. Allow people to have open conversations about work, education, or even on social topics. Because even conversations that aren’t directly about how to work better can strengthen social ties and cohesion. You may receive critical feedback, and if this is the case, don’t panic. Show your ability to take difficult feedback into consideration and your team will respect you all the more.

Finally, encourage employees to recognize each other’s accomplishments. Not only does it spread warm, fuzzy feelings between coworkers, it makes people feel they are empowered to give praise. The more you allow and encourage people to express themselves, the more they will feel valued and engaged.

3. Good management

The majority of employees interact with their managers and supervisors on a regular basis. These leadership positions are one of the main ways that the employee-organization relationship is expressed and experienced by most people. So, choose the right managers.

Your managers should be motivated by a desire to help employees expand and reach their full potential. They must have detailed knowledge about your industry and the roles they oversee in order to make wise decisions.

Employees need managers they can respect: competent, smart leaders who aren’t in it for the sake of their own egos. You need to coach your management team on engagement strategies, ensuring they watch employee progress while constantly giving feedback and emotional engagement.

In many ways, managers are the face of your company. Be careful who you choose to represent you, as the wrong person can do irreparable damage to the employee-organization relationship.

4. Frequent recognition

Of all the steps we’ve discussed, employee recognition could be considered the most important.

Without the work employees do every day, your company couldn’t exist. Make sure to express this! It’s especially important that managers and leaders give recognition, as it’s proven to be a powerful form of reinforcement. Recognition should be frequent, as 85 percent of employees who were recognized weekly said they felt satisfied, and 75 percent of employees who were recognized by management at least once a month reported high levels of job satisfaction. And yet, most employees do not receive recognition from management frequently enough.

The data is clear: With 46 percent of employees feeling only “moderately” valued by supervisors and 30 percent feeling “not very” or “not at all” valued by supervisors, a little recognition goes a long way. It makes people want to work harder and can solve a lot of your pain points, including high turnover, low morale, or a poor company culture. Make it a priority to recognize your employees on a frequent basis and make the act of recognizing a social activity everyone in the company can get involved in. Recognition is the leading driver of employee engagement; don’t lose sight of this massive opportunity to improve your business and employee experience through recognition.

Via Thrive Global : Proven Strategies to Improve Employee Productivity at the Workplace

Employees have a very important role to play in the success of any business. Make your employees happy and you will reap the benefits of increased productivity levels thus leading to business growth. But how do you turn a poor performer into your most productive employee? Well, this is not quite hard considering you only have to make a number of changes to current habits at the workplace.

Before you know it, you will be increasing productivity levels thus taking your business to the next level. Here are proven strategies to keep your employee productivity at the maximum hence getting the most out of them.

Set Realistic Goals

It with no denying that most managers tend to find it hard in determining whether their employees are performing effectively or not. This is mainly because many employers fail to keep their employees on track.

Instead, they leave the staff with a huge mountain to climb by not clarifying expectations. When this is the case, your business is set to hit rock bottom eventually since things are not going in line with your set goals. To avoid finding yourself in this situation, you should start by setting realistic goals while at the same time asking supervisors to offer support where necessary. Through this action, you are destined to increase their productivity, as they already know what you expect from them.

Always Keep Your Employees Happy

A stressful workplace environment is not going to help your business with anything rather than reducing the productivity levels of your employees. Furthermore, it tends to increase the levels of absenteeism and disengagement.

It is for this reason that you need to make your employees happy by showing how much you respect, value and appreciate them. With a happy workforce, it will prove quite easy for your company to move forward.

Offer The Right Tools and Equipment

Even though your team’s skills are fundamental to the performance of your business, it is still mandatory that you equip them with the right tools and equipment.

By making use of the right tools, your employees will find it easy in performing their duties efficiently while also saving on time. However, this does not mean purchasing any tools and equipment that you think might work. You will have to keep pace with the changes in technology by making use of high quality and modern software or any other equipment that can serve you effectively.

Final Thoughts

Improving employee productivity at the workplace is not that hard as many employers may think. All it takes is for you to make use of the right strategies if things are to run smoothly. With the above three tips, you are set to get the most out of your staff as they will be willing to work to the best of their ability.

Do not hesitate in trying out new methods such as practicing positive reinforcement or improving the workplace conditions as they come in quite handy whenever you want to improve employee productivity.

Via Forbes : Your Ultimate Guide To Keeping Millennial Employees Engaged

Like you, I have read plenty of articles about Millennials in the workplace. But I’ve never actually spoken with a Millennial workplace expert. And that’s why I was especially excited to interview Adam Smiley Poswolsky, author of the book The Quarter Life Breakthrough and consultant to companies interested in attracting, retaining and empowering Millennial talent. I caught up with Adam on our From the Dorm Room to the Board Room podcast, and the following excerpt from that interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Andy Molinsky: You have your finger on the pulse of the Millennial mindset. What are Millennials looking for in jobs?

Adam Smiley Poswolsky: I think young people are scared. They’re nervous. They’re entering a very uncertain world. Many of them are suffering from high student debt and uncertainty. They’re not looking to work somewhere for a very long time and get a pension because that kind of contract has been blown up. They’re much more focused on meaning, social impact, purpose, training and mentorship.

Molinsky: So, does that mean you don’t agree with the stereotype of the unmotivated Millennial?

Poswolsky: I think those stereotypes are completely false. Most young people are very motivated. They’re just expecting certain things to happen quickly, and they want more transparency and authenticity in the workplace. But when a mission aligns with who they are and what they want, and when their values align with their workplace and role, they’re going to show up, work really hard and do a great job.

Molinsky: Do you think Millennials are impatient?

Poswolsky: Well, Millennials are used to getting things immediately, whether it’s an Uber or Lyft, Airbnb, a hotel or a date. And of course that’s not how things happen at work. They can’t just swipe right and say, “I want to be promoted,” or “I think we should change the way our organization does this.” That’s not how things work.

Molinsky: So, as a company then, how can I get it right managing my Millennials?

Poswolsky: Focus a lot on learning, education and development – and not just professional development, but also personal development, whether it’s kind of pairing talent with life coaches, or helping their bosses become better coaches.

Via Inc : Employee Engagement Improves the Most When This Is Delivered

This is why progress is so integral to employee engagement and five ways managers can extend it to employees.

Sixty-six percent of Gen Z say gaming is their main hobby. And recently gaming outpaced cable, more 23-36-year-olds (53 percent) pay for gaming services than who pay for TV (51 percent).

Why is gaming so engaging? It provides a sense of progress.

Gaming elements–like the progress bar/map or the story completion percentage–clearly inform players of where they started, how far they’ve come, and what’s left to accomplish. The improvement of a game character’s skills or gear enhancements also contribute to a gamer’s sense of progress. You don’t get a sense of progress from watching television.

Progress in meaningful work has the strongest impact on employee engagement according to Teresa Amabile, the co-author of The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work.

Conversely, the number one event that diminishes employee engagement is experiencing a feeling of moving backward in the work they are doing, having setbacks. The negative effect of setbacks at work can be 2-3 times greater than the positive effect of progress.

Amabile’s research discovered that it’s the everyday actions of managers (and co-workers) that can make the difference in catalyzing or inhibiting progress. Yet, when Amabile surveyed 600 managers about what has the strongest impact on employee engagement, they ranked “progress” last.

There is a massive chasm between what employees need/want and what managers are delivering.

What can managers do to engage Gen Z employees?

  • Search for progress. “Create a climate of attention, where everyone is looking for opportunities to support one another’s progress and nourish the people who are making it,” recommends Amabile.
  • Break up goals. “Managers should break big goals down into smaller, achievable ones, so they can maximize the sense of progress that workers can experience,” says Amabile.
  • Acknowledge forward movement. Whether it’s accomplishing a small win, overcoming an obstacle, learning a new skill, achieving a breakthrough, or completing a goal, managers should recognize and reflect back to the employee their progress.
  • Meet weekly. Employees are 3.5 times more likely to be engaged at work when given meaningful weekly feedback. Weekly meetings can provide managers with a better pulse on where and when an employee is progressing (or stalling).
  • Create very specific goals. Ambiguity stalls action and inhibits progress. Replace broad goals like, “Complete the project” with specific (and smaller) goals like, “Send a one-page project overview to Landon by this Friday at noon.” If an employee’s goals are clear and specific, it enables them to track and celebrate their own progress which creates a more independent, productive, and engaged worker.

Progress is a key ingredient but it isn’t the full recipe for employee engagement and motivation. In order to sustain employee engagement, managers have to “nourish the human spirit by acknowledging their value and encouraging them when work gets difficult,” says Amabile.

Support people and support their progress.

This isn’t an exotic concept, but it’s too often underestimated and overlooked.

That should end now.

Via HR Technologist : Employee Engagement vs. Employee Experience: Are They Really That Different?

In a complex and competitive labor market, an effective employee experience strategy can give you a definitive edge. It is key to improving retention, ensuring loyalty, and garnering referrals – cementing your organization as an employer of choice. This is why it is important to look beyond only employee engagement and reinforce the quality of the overall employee experience aided by technology.

Modern HR practitioners are always looking to find new ways to elevate the employee experience, but studies suggest that this is not so easy. The emerging workforce, comprising a sizeable segment of millennial workers, wants a sense of purpose and meaning to their jobs. Only offering the basic perks and benefits is not enough to ensure a positive holistic experience.

When we sat down with Lisa Sterling, Chief People and Culture Officer at Ceridian, she reaffirmed this sentiment. “Improving the employee experience goes far beyond the Instagrammable, short-term perks like bean bag chairs, foosball tables, or free snacks in the office.”

So, what makes for a great experience, and is it different from your existing employee engagement tactics?

Employee Engagement vs. Employee Experience: Understanding the Basics

In the last few years, the definition of employee experience has changed significantly.

Deloitte’s 2017 Global Human Capital Trends focused on the transition from engagement and culture into a 360-degree experience blueprint. Fast forward to 2019, and this year Deloitte highlighted how employee experience is directly linked to human experience and why finding purpose at work is so necessary.

Simply put, engagement is only one part of the conversation. Lisa explained this further: “The employee experience is the sum of everything an employee sees, hears, feels, and believes about their employment throughout the employee lifecycle. However, employee engagement is a ‘component’ of the overall employee experience which impacts their level of productivity and, in turn, can impact a company’s operations – positively or negatively.”

Interestingly, the concept of employee experience (EX) is inspired by customer experience (CX), where an individual’s relationship to the organization is determined by trust, seamlessness, and loyalty. HR can bring the same level of “emotional connect” to employer-employee relations by adopting employee experience strategies.

How Can Technology Influence Employee Experience Strategies?

Technology has the potential to transform workplaces and dramatically reduce friction. Whether you’re talking about CX or EX, frictionless experiences are key to retention and loyalty. In their 2019 report, Deloitte investigated employee satisfaction with the tools and technologies at work. An overwhelming 62 percent said that the scenario was only “somewhat satisfying – dissatisfying.” This indicates that there’s a long way to go when it comes to using technology for positive employee experiences. Similarly, access to information, job design, and daily workflows were other areas of concern.

We asked Lisa for her views on how technology can help improve employee experiences, and she had these three recommendations:

1. Empower your employees with self-service modules

Self-service has proved immensely successful for streamlining customer journeys. Employers are also “taking a page out of this book,” says Lisa, with self-service integration into every employee service module. According to her, “adopting intuitive tools that make traditional cumbersome HR processes (like trading shifts or vacation requests) easy for employees to consume” can significantly contribute to better experiences.

2. Adopt experience-focused HR technologies

Recently, there has been a rising trend of experiential tools targeted towards the global workforce. From employee management tools with social integration to L&D platforms that mimic experiential ecosystems, there are several options to explore. “Learning experience platforms (LXP) will often have a YouTube or Netflix-like user interface, making it simple for employees to find, consume, and share content with little training,” said Lisa.

3. Cut down the learning curve with AI-driven assistants

Employees do not want to spend their precious time navigating through workflows and figuring out how to best use the available technologies. Deloitte’s 2019 report indicated that 60 percent of employees want easier access to data and information. AI-based virtual assistants can take text or voice inputs to quickly offer relevant insights. “For instance, employees can converse with a virtual assistant to see shift schedules, swap shifts, check on leave balances, or request time away from work, without navigating complex screens,” highlighted Lisa.

For any employee experience strategy to succeed, HR practitioners must pay close attention to all of these details and answer these questions:

  • Are your employees empowered to make autonomous decisions?
  • Are technologies being leveraged strategically to foster a culture of “happiness” and purpose?
  • Is it as easy to get started with work (EX) as it is to buy a product (CX)?

Think Beyond Engagement: Why Employee Experience Is so Important

In a competitive labor market, the brightest talent can pick and choose from a variety of prospective employers. Your employee experience strategy will directly impact retention and satisfaction at the workplace, upping referral scores, and amplifying your employer brand.

“Best-in-class companies will attract – and keep – their top talent based in part on how well they differentiate themselves with employee-centric experiences,” Lisa mentions.

This is why EX has steadily moved up on the list of company priorities in recent years. As HR reimagines itself as the strategic arm of an organization – and not just an administrative cog – interest and investment in employee experience strategies will only grow.

“This greater focus on the employee experience also aligns with HR’s changing role of becoming a more strategic business partner, with 83 percent of HR leaders saying that employee experience is either important or very important for their organization’s success,” agrees Lisa.

It Is Time to Move Beyond Engagement-Only Strategies

When you consider the direct link between EX and business outcomes, it is easy to see why an “engagement-only” stance is no longer enough. Driving home the employee experience versus employee engagement debate, Lisa concludes by saying, “Companies who place an emphasis on employee experience encounter more than four times the average profit and more than two times the average revenue.”

That seems like a good reason to start building some robust employee experience strategies if you haven’t already begun. Using technology to identify how you can elevate the employee experience can help you develop great strategies that aid retention and improve business outcomes.