Most millennial workers are approaching their careers with high expectations. They want to find a role and organization that fit their life and give them a sense of contributing to something bigger than themselves. They are very interested in doing work that feels meaningful and purposeful to them. And they want to be able to use their talents to do their best work and are consistently looking for opportunities to get better through learning and development.
Now when it comes to engaging your talent, millennials are no different from every other worker in every organization – one size does not fit all. Every generation of talent want to be treated how they want to be treated. As a leader, this means uniquely enabling each worker with the personalized skills, competencies, rewards and recognition that they want, when they want it.
Many argue that workers of the non-millennial generations tend to stay longer in their jobs, so that makes them more worth investing in. However, with the new work economy moving so fast and continuously changing, even so-called loyal employees will move on if they are offered a better opportunity to learn and grow with an organization.
As a generation that is growing in the workplace and swiftly moving into more management and leadership positions, learning is consistently rated as a top driver of employee engagement and attraction among millennials. Gallup found that, “Millennials are more likely than both Gen Xers and baby boomers to say a job that accelerates their professional or career development is “very important” to them (45% of millennials vs. 31% of Gen Xers and 18% of baby boomers).” (Gallup, 2017).
A key takeaway for leaders from the vast amounts of research focusing on millennials is that they are speaking up and letting their employers know what they want and their passion for growth and learning is playing a huge role in driving workplace change.
As a leader, the key areas you should focus on when it comes to attracting, engaging and retaining your millennial talent are learning, development, work-life/family balance and flexibility. As a leader your primary role should be listening to your talent and removing obstacles that get in the way of successfully delivering these things to your workforce.
Although there are small variations in the levels of engagement, and desired perks and benefits for the millennial, GenX and Baby Boomer generations, a lot of the larger picture findings were very similar. All generations of talent consistently report that they want to feel acknowledged, they want to be enabled with learning and development, and they want to be rewarded (with personalized perks and benefits) for their good performance.
For more information about how you can develop your talent with learning opportunities get in touch for a 15-minute demo of our global, mobile learning solutions.
I recently wrote a blog about re-skilling the workforce to prepare for technology, which got some traction amongst readers. This is an extremely popular topic lately, due to the nature of the changing work economy and the proliferation of technology in all aspects of our lives.
Companies are turning to technology, robots, apps and kiosks to streamline their service, automate simple tasks, save money and increase profits. Technology can be a great option for organizations to improve their processes and procedures; however, it is important that leaders consider all the implications that technology can have. And it is important for individuals to consider what they should be doing to re-skill and grow to make themselves irreplaceable.
Answer this question honestly, would you rather interact with a computer/robot, or a friendly, caring, human being who can personalize your service? Please take note, the friendly, caring and personalized part are extremely important to this question, because not all human beings are going to deliver the service interactions that their colleagues and customers desire. That is why as a leader it is critical that you focus on re-skilling your talent with soft-skills such as authenticity, friendliness, fun, and hospitality, that 1. A robot cannot duplicate and 2. Makes them the most desirable to interact with.
I’ll give you a scenario to consider. Have you ever been at a grocery checkout and noticed that the line for the self-checkout was shortest? But once you proceeded to check out, you had trouble with the scanner, an “unidentified object” in the bagging area and your points card wouldn’t scan properly. This has happened to me on many occasions, and I’ve noticed the customers around me who chose the human cashier have typically gotten out much faster.
Technology can be great in some circumstances, but often, organizations are trying to implement technology in place of humans to reduce costs at the expense of the best service.
In a recent interview with Quartz, Bill Gates floated the idea of the government taxing robots which replace human workers to potentially slow automation and fund other types of employment for humans (Quartz, 2017). Right now, robot automation is primarily effecting front-line roles such as customer service agents, phone center reps, warehouse workers, and probably drivers in the future. Re-directing some of the funds in some sort of tax would still net a profit for those companies changing to robot automation, but it would also support the re-skilling or re-focusing of the humans being displaced by robots.
What do you think of a robot tax? Could it work to slow down automation and help re-skill workers into new jobs? Share in the comments below!
Check out my latest book The Seven Personalization Principles to find out more about how you can re-skill yourself and your employees with 7 soft-skills focused on personalization that will make you irreplaceable, not matter what job you’re in.
Creating wellness in the workplace should be part of everyone’s job. As a leader, you have a responsibility to drive wellness behaviors by leading by example and grow the culture of wellness amongst all employees.
Investing in your employees well-being will return many dividends. Some clear benefits of investing in a culture of wellness are:
- Lower turnover
- Increased attraction of new employees
- Decreased absenteeism
- Decreased health disorders including lack of sleep, anxiety, depression, and obesity
- Greater employee productivity
- Higher employee engagement
A case st2017).saved the company $250 million on health care costs, a return of $2.71 for every dollar spent on the wellness program (HBR, 2012).
Three criteria are essential for your company to progress in wellness:
- investment from leadership and setting an example
- the motivation and behavior of employees
- recognizing and rewarding those behaviors so others will follow
Creating a wellness culture in your organization starts from the inside out by recognizing, rewarding and enabling your employees for their behaviors and actions on a daily basis.
A wellness culture is developed and supported by your leadership, recognition practices, clear and consistent communication, and engaged employees.
What are you doing to ensure a commitment to wellness is embedded in the culture of your organization?
Get in touch with us today for a 15-minute demo of how you can implement a culture of wellness in your organization with a recognition program.
Last year I released a book called The 7 Personalization Principles, which profiled 7 outstanding organizations that aligned their company mission and values to create exceptional, personalized experiences for both their employees and customers. Through that research, I noticed many patterns in the perks that these top companies were offering their employees to engage them. Gallup also recently released The State of the American Workplace, which reported many of these same perks through their data.
Based on that research, here are the top 6 company perks to consider implementing in your organization to engage your talent in meaningful ways:
- Flex-Time. Netflix was one of the companies that stood out most in this category. They have an extremely flexible work environment where they set high performance expectations. With this they offer their employees a lot of flexibility when it comes to their hours worked. Additionally, they have unlimited vacation time and unlimited maternity/paternity leave during the first year of a child’s birth.
- Remote work. Gallup found that 39% of employees work remotely in some capacity (Gallup, 2017). Allowing your employees to work remotely either full time or part time can be beneficial for both the employee and employer. For example, employees can be flexible with their time, reduce their commuting hours, and have a quite space to concentrate on more demanding projects without interruption from their colleagues. For employers, remote work can reduce real estate overhead costs, serve as a motivator and form of engagement, and show your employees that you give them autonomy and trust.
- Autonomy. Autonomy treats employees to act like owners and make good decisions within a framework of the company values. This serves as a powerful motivator and engager, by enabling employees to do their jobs authentically the way they want to, without micromanagement. Nordstrom, for example, is one company that offers their employees a lot of autonomy to interact with customers how they see fit. They only have one rule in their employee handbook – to use their best judgement at all times.
- Learning and Training. Learning is one of the key drivers of employee engagement, so it is no surprise that your talent want opportunities to learn and grow in your organization. In fact, Gallup found that millennials especially want to be given these learning and professional development opportunities to accelerate their careers.
- Professional Development. Starbucks is an excellent example of a company who consistently emphasizes and encourages learning, training and professional development. They offer full tuition reimbursement to their partners and encourage them to continuously develop themselves. They also strongly encourage promoting talent from within the company, which gives partners incentives to continuously develop their skills.
- Monetary bonuses, rewards. It’s important not to underestimate the power of a bonus or allotment of recognition points to recognize high performance. In fact, 54% of employees said they would switch jobs for a company that offers monetary bonuses as a perk (Gallup, 2017).
There are also some perks that Gallup found employees expect and are considered “basic benefits” including: a retirement plan, health insurance, paid leave, paid vacation, insurance coverage other than health insurance (Gallup, 2017).
GES’s Global Learning and Engagement solutions can help you meaningfully engage your workforce and will check off many of the top perks listed here. To learn more about how you can implement these perks in your organization get in touch for a free 15-minute demo of our Employee Engagement Solution.
Let’s start by answering these few questions:
- How far away from you is your phone right now?
- How many times a day do you check your phone?
- How many minutes/hours a day do you spend using your phone for reading, accessing email, apps and other content?
The truth is, 94% of smartphone owners carry their phone with them frequently and 82% say they never or rarely turn their phones off. Plus, 59% of smartphone owners report they use apps on their phones at least several times a day and 27% saying they use them “continuously” (PewResearchCenter, 2015).
These stats don’t surprise me. In fact, excluding phone calls, 99% of my business interactions are done on my phone or tablet.
As a leader, it is critical that you acknowledge these behavior patterns that your employees are so clearly displaying!
When it comes to recognition, engagement and learning, your employees want what they want, when they want it. That means making your Employee Engagement and Learning programs completely mobile integrated.
Think about it, as a leader you would be able to reward and recognize your talent with a tap of the screen (maybe when you’re out grabbing a coffee or waiting for your conference call to begin). Plus, your administrators can access real time reporting and redemption information from anywhere! And finally, as an employee, having mobile integration means having access to their reward portal to redeem points, browse the peer-to-peer recognition feed to congratulate their colleagues, or accessing their learning modules when and where it’s convenient for them.
I talk a lot about leaders removing obstacles that get in the way of their employees doing their best work. Mobile learning and employee engagement gives employees easy access to their organizational engagement portal 24/7 so they can engage with the platform when it’s convenient for them!
In the engagement and incentive market, recognition happens in the moment. By having a truly mobile experience, this fills the gap of only being able to give incentives and recognition when you’re at your desktop. By having a flexible, multi-device platform that is both easy and intuitive to use, it increases utilization and engagement.
Additionally, mobile capabilities are so important for a global workforce, because not every worker always has access to a desktop computer, especially when you look at the statistics globally. Employees and leaders are busy, and it’s costly to take them off the job for traditional training. Having mobile integration increases ROI for global organizations because it will be accessible for even more employees. Plus, delivering layered learning through the convenience of a mobile app, companies will be able to provide just-in-time training and education to accelerate the results.
Think this is something you would like to integrate into your organization? Find out more about GES’s completely mobile integrated, global Employee Engagement and Learning Solutions. Plus, sign up for a free 15-minute demo to experience the platform for yourself!
It’s Friday!! How many of your colleagues come in every Friday saying TGIF, Thank Goodness It’s Friday! It’s become a sort of catch phrase in our society, obsessed with clocking in long hours, burning the midnight oil, and then crashing on the weekends.
But what if you stopped living for the weekends and started living everyday saying TGIT, Thank Goodness It’s Today! That instead of loathing the 40+ hours you put in at your job, you found a job that fit your life.
Burnout has become a real epidemic in the workplace and once an employee hits a certain threshold there’s often no going back. 64% of North American employees report high levels of stress (Statista, 2016).
Some signs that you or a colleague might be exhibiting employee burnout include, feeling tired or sick, muscle tension, headaches, no longer caring, procrastination, irritability, and no sense of satisfaction or pride associated with your work (OfficeVibe, 2014).
As an employee, some things you can do to reduce your stress and burnout when at work include:
- Relaxation techniques including yoga, meditation and deep breathing.
- Making time for exercise (even if it’s a 20 minute walk around the block on your lunch break).
- Taking time off. This time away from the office can often give you time to reflect on how you can perform more effectively and efficiently when you’re there.
- Communicate openly. Learn to communicate with your team and let them know when you are overwhelmed or are unable to take on any more work capacity. When you communicate, you will often find people who are able to help with a project.
As a leader, you play a critical role in preventing employee burnout and stress and creating a work-life balance and environment conducive to productivity and high performance. Some ways that you can create a culture where employees are engaged, loyal and want to refer others are:
- Remove obstacles that get in the way of your employees doing their best work. This might include examining unnecessary policies and procedures such as dress code, vacation time, remote working, or flex time.
- Provide Learning and Development opportunities. Give them the tools they need to do their job. Your talent want to feel enabled to best serve their colleagues and customers and want skills that will make them more marketable now and in the future.
- Give autonomy to your employees. Don’t micromanage your workers. This just makes them feel small and unimportant. Train your employees to understand your company’s values and vision and allow them to make good decisions within that framework.
- Communication openly and authentically. Schedule regular meetings where you can touch base on your employees. Once a week or every 2 weeks is a good time frame, this way you stay on top of knowing their workload, when they are overwhelmed, and when problems arise you can help to solve them quickly.
- Recognize and reward service and performance. Authentic recognition is so important to make your employees feel acknowledged. When you recognize your employees (both monetarily and non-monetarily), they will feel more engaged and energize and willing to put forth their best efforts.
For more information on creating a company culture where your employees (and customers) will want to stay longer, and positively refer others get in touch for a 15-minute demo of GES’s Employee Engagement Solution.
There is a revolution taking place. A revolution focused on finding happiness and wellness. On turning inward for alignment. On practicing mindfulness, appreciation and gratitude.
Many of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs, artists and inventors have used the practice of gratitude to find this connection and happiness. For instance, world renowned motivational speaker, Tony Robins integrates gratitude practice as an essential pillar of his teachings. Also, author/entrepreneur, Tim Ferris identifies gratitude as one of the key practices of many of the wildly successful people he profiles in his new book Tools of Titans.
As many people practice gratitude and appreciation in their personal life, we should take notice and learn how we can transfer this critical practice in our workplace culture.
The best organizations and the best leaders show appreciation and recognize their talent day to day, minute to minute, at every touch point. Appreciation and gratitude is built in to the company culture and it is reinforced with a formal recognition program.
Employees also respond much more highly to engagement programs when there is an aspect of informal appreciation involved. This shows that appreciation is embedded in the company values and culture, and not just part of a program. The power of a simple thank you can lift people up, boost morale, and increase productivity by further encouraging positive behaviour and actions.
Some ways you can show gratitude and appreciation for your employees include:
- Writing in a daily reflection in a gratitude journal (this is a tool outlined in Tools of Titans by Tim Ferris – The Five Minute Journal).
- Sending a personalized Thank You Email to an employee for their hard work/effort.
- Recognizing an exceptional employee in front of their peers at a team meeting.
- Awarding Spot Cards to your employees for on-the-spot exceptional performance.
- Awarding employees with points in their performance portal for completing a challenging project.
- Listening to your employees and removing obstacles that get in the way of them doing their best work.
- Offering flex-time, comp-time, or vacation time as a reward for doing exceptional work.
- Giving your employees personalized learning and development opportunities that they are interested in, to help them further grow their skills and competencies.
To learn more about appreciating your organization, check out GES’ Employee Engagement programs or sign up for a free 15-minute demo to see it in action.
The best organizations seek to create exceptional experiences from the inside out for their employees and customers. When conducting research for my latest book, The Seven Personalization Principles, I came across many great company mission statements that focused not only on the logical and physical elements, but also the emotional connection the organization has to their employees and customers.
Some of these companies are profiled in my 7P book (indicated with *), which takes a deeper dive into deconstructing how the organization’s strategy, structure, systems, shared values, style, staff and skills contribute to an experience of personalization for their employees and customers, which makes them stay longer, buy more and positively refer others.
Here are some of the top mission statements I came across:
- Starbucks* “to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.”
- Nordstrom* “to provide outstanding service every day, one customer at a time.”
- Southwest Airlines* “dedication to the highest quality of customer service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and company spirit.”
- Amazon “to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices.”
- Facebook “to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.”
- Red Hat “to be the catalyst in communities of customers, contributors, and partners creating better technology the open source way.”
- Hyatt “to provide authentic hospitality by making a difference in the lives of the people we touch every day”
- American Express “to be the world’s most respected service brand. To do this, we have established a culture that supports our team members, so they can provide exceptional service to our customers.”