Your employees are your first customers

Your employees are your first customers

It is common for companies to believe customer loyalty is the key to profitability, but, in reality, employee loyalty is even more profitable and important to companies. Organizations should adopt the mindset of engaging their employees first, because engaged employees drive customer happiness.  Loyal and engaged employees are more aligned to customer’s needs and generate 37% higher sales and 31% higher productivity on average (according to a recent article in Harvard Business Review). This organically translates into customer loyalty and, in effect, drives profitability.

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Disengagement not permitted

“You wouldn’t let people smoke in your office because of the harmful effects it has on others.  Like smoking, disengagement is damaging to your workforce.  People who are unhappy and underperforming are bringing down the rest of your employees – including top performers who are engaged.“

Motivation made meaningful

“The most effective way to drive long-term performance is to provide employees with an intrinsic motivator – the ability to choose their own rewards.  Empowering employees to redeem for what is of value to them is an enjoyable experience, motivating the employee to perform the activity that resulted in this outcome again.”

With your gamification strategy, don’t roll the dice

Nintendo, Snakes & Ladders, Pinball: these words alone evoke competition, strategy, and excitement – largely because humans are fundamentally psychologically stimulated by games.  It’s no wonder that more and more employers are adopting the Gamification trend as an approach to motivating the workforce in an effort to uniquely inspire employees to drive greater business results.  Gamification in a work environment uses game-like dynamics to target the same psychological behaviors humans inherently exhibit in gaming and apply that to tasks at work.

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New demands trump old workplace traditions

“Two of the youngest generations now occupy 57% of the workforce.  This new demographic’s demands trump old workplace traditions.  In order to recruit and retain top talent, evolve your engagement strategy by offering career progression opportunities and creating a recognition rhythm where feedback is instantaneous.”

Drive results with a culture of communication

A, I need your help –

Our workforce isn’t producing the results we need, and I think it’s because they don’t know what they are expected to accomplish.  What spark gets individual employees to go from vague, general goals to ones with targets?  Our team of managers has much difficulty getting to results /outcomes with their respective teams.

Help!

Seymour Results

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Evolve old workplace traditions to engage employees

“Although the workforce has evolved and is now consumed by over 50% of Millennial employees, companies’ recognition practices have remained the same.  Retaining talent and driving results have become two obstacles that employers constantly struggle to overcome.  To boost engagement, drive performance, and get results, employers must move beyond Traditional Years of Service awards and implement a culture of everyday feedback.”

Infuse your team with a sense of mission

“Effective management is critical to driving motivation.  Historically, successful management was defined as the ability to obtain compliance from employees.  Today the science of motivation overrules this notion by illustrating a significant gap between compliance and engagement.   The key to successfully building employee engagement is by instilling autonomy in employees.”

This just in: Your employee engagement is down

Can’t keep it up?

You’re not alone. Employers worldwide can’t keep it up either. If you’re experiencing snowball effects such as:

  • Increased turnover rates
  • Decreased employee empowerment
  • Unsatisfying performance results
  • Poor team culture

…then it’s time you admit that your employee engagement strategy needs a makeover.

 

Aon Hewitt recently released their disturbing analysis on employee engagement levels in 2011 in workplaces across the world. They reported shockingly low levels of engagement, levels that have failed to increase since 2008.

 “At the end of the third quarter, Aon Hewitt analyzed its employee engagement database of more than 5,700 employers, representing five million employees worldwide. The findings reveal an engagement level of 56 percent thus far in 2011, which is the same as 2010, but lower than 2009 (60 percent) and 2008 (57 percent). Traditionally, engagement levels between 65 percent and 100 percent represent a high-performing culture; 45 percent to 65 percent indicate the workforce is indifferent to organizational success or failure; and anything lower than 45 percent represents a serious or destructive range.”

Take a moment to reflect on that. And then ask yourself, why? Why are we letting ourselves fall victim to the “what goes up must come down” law of nature?

It couldn’t be spelled out more clearly for employers: employees + engagement = business results. And that’s what makes it difficult to understand why companies have failed to evolve – or even adopt – an engagement solution. There are many possible reasons why this problem has been perpetuated. Here are three major trends in 2011 that I believe to have contributed to disengagement. Last year, employers continued to:

  • Remain uninformed about the significance of employee engagement
  • Stereotype “engagement” as a fluffy and immeasurable topic
  • Be completely preoccupied with social media

It’s 2012 now; if you’re looking for business success this year (and really, who isn’t?), then it’s time to get informed about employee engagement.  It’s been researched, studied and published – HR industry analysts stand behind the performance and engagement equation, with recognition being the best form of driving engagement and motivating your workforce. The reality is that a “thank you” is much more powerful than a bonus, not to mention entirely aligned to business success. Makes you wonder why you’re not recognizing more, doesn’t it?

If you can identify with any of the three trends above that reigned top of mind in 2011, I encourage you to consider these in 2012 to boost your employee engagement scores:

  1. Set realistic goals and be transparent with your teams about expectations
  2. Open the lines of communication and meet regularly with employees to provide feedback and facilitate status reports
  3. Establish a recognition rhythm by following-up and using the power of a “thank you” to reinforce positive results

Is 2012 the Year of the Woman?

Guest post written by: Laurie Ruettimann

Twenty years ago, I graduated from high school. This makes me old enough to remember when 1992 was labeled “the year of the woman” in America. In what seemed like an amazing push for equal rights, there were five female senators in our upper house of Congress.

Five!

Unfortunately, there are 100 seats in the Senate.

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The Tech industry needs to change

Despite the current economy, when it comes to the technology industry, the job market not only has recovered — it’s booming. Now, with the biggest competition for technology companies headquartered in Silicon Valley, employers are finding themselves contending for the industry’s top talent.  Hiring and retaining employees in a competitive market significantly depends on understanding the needs of the Next Generation – Millennials – who now occupy more than the majority of the workforce.

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