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Employee Engagement

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.

Via Engagedly : 5 MISTAKES THAT HURT EMPLOYEE RECOGNITION PROGRAMS

Employee recognition programs are a great way to boost employee engagement. However, more often than not, they end up doing the opposite of engaging people.

Poorly structured employee recognition programs end up causing a lot more harm than good. If employee recognition programs have failed in your organization in the past, use this list of 5 common mistakes that you can prevent from happening in the future!

Don’t Use A One Size Fits All Approach

Giving everyone the same reward or recognition lessens the weight of the gesture. Recognition should be, unique and personalized. Different types of excellence deserve different types of recognition. And only when recognition is personalized will employees believe that the employee recognition program carries weight.

Don’t Let The Program Die

This is what usually happens to employee recognition programs. Once they get off the ground, usually the organization gives it a few tries and then completely lets go of it. Employee recognition programs are something that must be sustained and continually revamped as well. Conventions for recognition can change over a period of time. And what worked well a decade ago might not work that well currently.

Don’t Recognize Too Late

This is another mistake many organizations are guilty of making, having recognition come too late. When recognition comes too late, it loses value. The employee probably won’t even remember what they are being recognized, or alternatively, they might be angry about the fact that it came too late. For recognition to hold value, it should be immediate. Preferably soon after the employee has completed the work.

Don’t Give Empty Praise

No praise is most definitely better than empty praise. Empty praise rings hollow and breeds more resentment than do good. For praise to be valuable, it should be specific as well. That way, employees know that their work is being recognized for the right reasons.

Don’t Assume You Know What Everyone Wants

Another common but fatal mistake that employee recognition programs make is that they assume that everyone wants the same thing. Or worse, they assume that everyone wants only monetary rewards. Most of the times, monetary rewards are appreciated but what some employees might appreciate more is public recognition. Or some might prefer to be recognized privately. Or alternatively, some might want more flexibility, as opposed to more money. One thing employees value is the ability to have a life outside of work. Rewards or recognition that keep them at work instead of allowing them to relax will only make them feel like they are not being appreciated.

At first, employee recognition might feel like a chore. But recognition is necessary. It doesn’t just engage people, it also motivates them. Once you create a culture that recognizes and values people, it will also end up creating a workplace where people do want to work.

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