I would argue that there is not a lack of motivation in the workplace today, there is a lack of development. Employees consistently tell us that to feel more engaged in the workplace they want skills, training and development that will help them grow and make them more marketable now and in the future.
Some ways that you can develop your employees to increase their employee engagement are outlined below.
Skills and Training.
Give them the opportunity to receive formal training and learning through either an eLearning or on the job training program. This will give them tangible skills and tools they can add to their tool belt that will be able to be more competent with their customers and colleagues.
Give them projects and challenges that provide real life, hands on experience to practice their skills and grow their problem-solving abilities.
Give them a chance to shadow those in roles above them or in different departments so they can learn about different responsibilities in the organization. Provide them with ongoing learning, advanced training and support so that they can grow within the organization, otherwise they will grow someplace else.
Transparency and Coaching.
Provide your talent with clear information about how they can succeed within the organization. Clearly communicate your organizational culture and values. Be transparent about expectations and the direction they are headed so that they feel respected and valued for their contributions.
When you invest in the development of your employees by giving them learning, development, growth opportunities and coaching, they will be more enabled to do their job, and more motivated to create exceptional experiences for their colleagues and customers. This in turn will make your internal service cooperation stronger, and your workforce more efficient and productive – all of which will make your customers happier so that they want to stay longer, buy more and positively refer others.
Additionally, innovative companies who invest in their people through learning and development are viewed more favorably by employees than those organizations that don’t, which means you will have a positive reputation to be able to recruit and retain the top talent in your industry.
The Importance of Personalization in Development
If your organization’s learning and development is going to make a significant impact on employee engagement, employees must see the personal benefits of undertaking developmental activities. In order to harness the positive effects of learning, employees have to see the link between where they are now and where they want to get to, and how learning and development is going to bridge this gap. That is why it is important not to take a one-size-fits-all approach to your employee’s learning and development, but rather work with each individual to create a plan of how and what they want to learn. Read more about the importance of creating a personalized approach to development in this article here.
If you would like to find out more about create a custom eLearning program to train and develop your workforce, view my calendar here or get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a 15-minute discovery call.
With technology and automation booming in the service industry, personalization has become one element that will humanize your employee and customer service and differentiate yourself from other people, organizations and brands.
Your people, both internal and external, want fast, friendly, hassle-free experiences. They want authentic human-to-human interactions that they can’t get from a robot, app or kiosk.
It’s important for your company to have a personalization strategy or plan in place in order to continuously have fast, friendly, hassle-free, personalized service interactions and compete with growing technology and innovation.
Getting Started with a Personalization Strategy
When beginning to develop a personalization strategy, first ask yourself these questions:
- What does your company currently do to personalize your internal service with employees?
- What does your company currently do to personalize your service with customers?
- How have these practices contributed to better service inside and out (faster, friendlier, hassle-free)?
- What can you do internally to improve service cooperation and make it more personalized and authentic? (See 7 principles below for some tips)
- What can you do externally to improve customer service, loyalty and retention by making it more personalized and authentic? (See 7 principles below for some tips)
7 Guiding Principles of a Personalization Strategy
If you do not yet have a personalization plan or strategy in place in your organization, here are 7 principles you can follow to guide you in creating a plan that will make both your employees and customers stay longer, buy more and positively refer others. We believe that these 7 principles are mutually exclusive and that you need to have all 7 principles in place in your organization in order to have exceptional service inside and out.
- Authenticity. Are you real and genuine in everything you do? Authentic people speak the truth and communicate openly with their colleagues.
- Hospitality. Do you make your colleagues and customers feel welcome at every touch point? Start with a positive attitude.
- Empathy. Can you understand and share the feelings of another human being? When you have empathy for your colleagues and customers, you are better able to make decisions that are fair for both parties.
- Commitment. Are you willing to do whatever it takes, no matter what? Being committed means living your values each and every day, even when it’s uncomfortable or inconvenient.
- Competency. Do you have the skills and ability to excel in your role? Being competent means you are enabled with the learning and skills to do your job well and solve your customer’s problems.
- Friendliness. Friendliness is learned at a young age. Being nice and friendly to your colleagues and customers can create decades of loyalty.
- Fun. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Having fun at work can de-escalate stressful situations and make interactions with colleagues and customers much more fulfilling.
Making a Plan
Start your personalization plan by going through each of the principles above for both your internal and external service.
- Take stock in how you might already do things great in your organization and what areas could use improvement.
- Use the principles to brainstorm with your team about how you can improve in these 7 key areas. For example, if you find your service lacks competency, perhaps you might look at implementing a formal learning/training program or manager coaching.
- Create a plan of action for the next quarter for how you will begin implementing these ideas in your organization. Put steps in place that will make your employees accountable for providing this personalized service with both their colleagues and customers. Perhaps that takes the shape of a formal recognition program whereby you can recognize and reward your employees for positive personalized behaviours. This will reinforce a company culture of personalization.
You can read more about these principles in our latest book, The Seven Personalization Principles: Learn the Principles to Thrive in These Disruptive Times or read more about it here.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can put these principles in place with a learning or recognition program, get in touch with me to set up a quick discovery call to discuss your organization’s engagement goals and objectives at email@example.com.
Every business organization across the globe has one thing in common and that is, that they all serve a customer. Most organizations would prefer to stay in business, so they are looking for ways to make sure their customer service is exceptional.
Why do you want to create exceptional customer service? If you create great experiences for your customers, they are more likely to stay with you longer, buy more of your product /service, and positively refer others to your organization. And that means more business and more profits for your company! Who doesn’t want that?!
Customer Service Starts on the Inside
The best organizations on the planet know that exceptional customer service, starts on the inside of the organization with the way that they engage and develop their employees. If you treat your employees with respect, authenticity and transparency, they are more likely to understand the expectations of the organization and can deliver what leadership is looking for.
Train and Develop Your Employees to Provide Great Customer Service
Next, comes training and developing those employees to be enabled with the proper skills to effectively serve your customer. You should provide your talent with ongoing learning opportunities, coaching and mentoring.
You can do this with a formal learning program (and even incent their learning with a learn and earn rewards program). You could also provide opportunities for your employees to work on challenging projects that have them problem solve and trouble shoot new situations they haven’t worked on before.
Another effective way to develop your employees is to provide one on one coaching with their managers and leaders. This allows for a very personalized plan to continue their growth in the organization. A great way to integrate one on one coaching, is to make it a step or part of your formal learning program. For example, GES’s learning programs have a focus on action planning, where learners create a plan of action as to how they will implement that learning in real life scenarios. Those plans of action are emailed directly to their supervisors, who can then meet with them and play an important role in the follow up and reinforcement of putting those learning principles into action. If you want to learn more, check out Why Action Planning is the Key for Successful Learning.
Recognize and Reward Your Employees for Providing Great Service
Lastly, if you recognize and reward your employees for going above and beyond with their colleagues and customers, they are more likely to continue that behavior. It also reinforces that behavior within the organization and sets expectations for other employees to know what types of behaviors are being rewarded so they are more likely to mirror them.
And who doesn’t like a little healthy competition sometimes? Recognizing exceptional employees can spark a bit of healthy competition in the talent pool, and further motivate others to reflect those behaviours. For example, you could provide weekly/monthly incentives for top performers to be recognized, or you could simply reinforce a culture of peer to peer and manager to employee recognition where all positive behaviors are acknowledged and rewarded.
For more information on positive recognition and reward incentive programs click here.
I hope this blog gave you some helpful tips on how to engage and develop your team so that they can provide better experiences for your customers to make them stay longer, buy more and positively refer others! If you have any questions or want to start a program in your organization to put these principles into action, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’d be happy to have a quick chat with you and your team!
If you’re a global learning leader, you know that your learning needs are often much different than that of a non-global organization. When addressing their global employees, many organizations may have eLearning programs with one blanket solution for every employee in every country.
But when designed the right way a global learning program can achieve significant results towards enabling your employees with skills and competencies by providing personalized, in language, culturally relevant learning in an accessible, understandable way that will engage them in a way that they value.
Diverse Learners, Diverse Needs
Employees have told us that the one size fits all learning programs that have voice-over, subtitles, etc. leave them feeling unengaged. They reject these programs and consider them to be boring, long, and disrespectful since it has not been customized or made culturally relevant for them. Instead, global organizations need to create Learning content that is spoken in the native language, delivered with cultural sensitivity and relevance, without voice overs or subtitles.
Here are some ways to create a global learning program that is respectful of your diverse learners and their diverse needs that will engage them in a personalized way:
Global Availability & Cultural Relevance
You want to create a learning program that is available globally to all of your workers, yet is personalized to take into consideration cultural relevance. An effective global learning program will create a message that unifies your global brand, while taking into consideration the cultural and global differences across the organization’s locations.
An exceptional global learning program can often be integrated with a global total recognition program (offering a learn and earn environment). A great global program will have rewards that are delivered in country and are culturally relevant. This also benefits your organization because there are no tariffs and taxes on your employees rewards because when rewards are shipped and points are redeemed, it happens in the country of choice.
Global learning leaders are being told by their employees that not only do they want their learning to be culturally relevant but they also want it delivered in language. An exceptional global learning program will deliver every spoken and written word of the learning in the participant’s native language with no voice overs or subtitles. Our customers have told us that they find learning in their own native language to be more respectful than voice over or subtitled learning.
Another consideration global organizations need to consider for their global workforce is accessibility. Mobile capabilities are so important in this age of global technology, because not every worker always has access to a desktop computer, especially when you look at the statistics globally. For example, with India, 4% of people have a computer, 95% have a tablet or a smartphone is key for global delivery.
In addition, employees and leaders are busy, and it’s costly to take them off the job for traditional training. 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! This also allows global organizations to deliver just-in-time training and education that can accelerate results.
Are you a global learning leader? What sort of features are you looking for in your learning program? Share in the comments below!
About GES’s Global Learning Solutions:
Since 2007, GES has served over 400,000 customers, in over 17 languages (Arabic, Chinese, Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, and growing!), in 170+ Countries across the world. Find out more about our Global Learning and Global Engagement solutions and set up a complimentary consultation for your organization today.
How much will it cost?
The cost of a recognition program will surely range across companies, their offerings and service. Typically, the price will vary depending on how many users of the program. However, one thing to keep in mind when you are evaluating a recognition program is whether the vendor employs Embedded Margin pricing or Software as a Service.
Embedded Margin vs. Software as a Service
From our experience on both sides of these models, typically it is most cost effective as well as most transparent for your employees to go with a Software as a Service vendor. In a software as a service relationship, you will typically pay a subscription fee per user of the program versus marking up the products to pay for the costs of the program.
Benefits of the SaaS Model
In a SaaS model, rewards should be delivered at cost with no mark up. This means your talent not only gets the maximum value, but they also get the maximum selection for what they can redeem, further enhancing engagement for your global recognition efforts. Embedded margin providers don’t do that – they mark up their items. It’s also important to ask about any set up, customization or implementation fees (at GES we do not charge any of these fees).
Other additional costs to consider are what your vendor support and staffing will look like. For example, at GES our SaaS costs include a concierge service team who handle every program detail to ensure hassle-free service for your employees. This includes supporting employees interacting with the system and helping program administrators managing the recognition program.
These are just a few questions and service features to keep in mind when evaluating your recognition service provider.
How will we measure results?
Results of a recognition program can be measured in various ways both qualitatively and quantitatively. Some of the ways you can measure the results of your recognition program include: increased employee engagement levels, productivity, loyalty and ambassadorship to the company, net promoter scores, health and wellness of your employees (including absenteeism and sick days), increased customer experience and customer retention, and last but not least, increased profits!
Your recognition provider should be able to track whatever metrics you want, such as performance, service, sales and behaviours. For example, GES’s recognition portal’s real-time reporting tracks every transaction that occurs in the system and all data can be pulled to determine engagement levels and use.
You may also want to be able to survey your employees internally in the program so you can pull some qualitative data about their experience with the program and their levels of engagement.
Year over year data should be compared to show the overall ROI of the recognition program. You should be able to see positive gains in productivity, efficiency, wellness, etc., that can be translated into a dollar value for your program.
How will it improve our organizational processes, profit, productivity, etc.?
An engaged employee is a more productive employee. An employee recognition program will help increase your internal service cooperation, which translates into better customer service, thus helping improve your top or bottom line. A good recognition program reduces the complexity of your overall employee engagement strategy, by allowing you to drive 6 or 7 programs under one umbrella and one budget (for example, safety, wellness, on the spot recognition, recognition campaigns, service anniversary, etc.).
The Stats to Back it Up
According to a recent report by OfficeVibe, “disengaged employees cost organizations between $450 and $550 billion annually,” (OfficeVibe, 2017). In their roundup of employee engagement stats, they make a very compelling case for the profitability of engaging your employees:
- Highly engaged business units result in 21% greater profitability.
- Highly engaged business units realize a 41% reduction in absenteeism and a 17% increase in productivity.
- Highly engaged business units achieve a 10% increase in customer ratings and a 20% increase in sales.
- Companies with engaged employees, outperform those without by 202%.
- Customer retention rates are 18% higher on average when employees are highly engaged.
Engage All Your Stakeholders
An effective recognition program will engage all stakeholders in your organization including leaders, employees, sales partners, and your customers.
Leaders – It will allow your leaders to build an emotional connection with your employees, increase their own engagement levels (as well as others), attract and retain the best employees for your company, and provide skills that will make your employees more valuable.
Employees – An effective recognition program should put your employees at the centre of the program – allowing them to have a personalized experience where they can choose how they are rewarded (for example, with GES’s program employees can choose the rewards they want from our global online gallery). You want to be able to have comprehensive reporting to track awarded points and redemption rates, which will help you understand what motivates your team so you can continue to encourage and reward those positive behaviours. A good recognition program will also take advantage of non-monetary forms of recognition, such as peer-to-peer nominations, social news feeds and fun gamification elements.
Sales Partners – You can use an effective recognition program to motivate your sales people to achieve their goals, including maximizing cross-selling opportunities and increase lead referrals. You can use a recognition program to create friendly competition with built-in leaderboards, which also give high-performing sales teams’ recognition with their peers. These types of recognition programs help to reinforce positive desired behaviors among your sales staff and encourage higher achievement levels.
Customers – You can even integrate a great employee recognition program with your customer recognition program. A customer recognition program should provide tools to influence, motivate and engage your customers to create sustained loyalty. Like your employee program, a points-based system should allow customers to choose their own rewards. You can also use it as a tool to conduct surveys to gather new information and influence change in your customer’s behaviors and buying habits.
Why should we buy from this vendor?
Selecting the right recognition provider can be overwhelming and tricky. On top of evaluating all the features, capabilities, etc. one thing that is critical to pay attention to is that they do what they say they will do. Trust your gut when you’re connecting with them. Do they follow up on time? Do they provide you with the materials or information you asked for in a timely manner?
It’s also important to be able to get recommendations from their current and/or past customers. They should be able to provide you with several contacts that you can connect with directly to ask about their experience.
Ask organizations if they have any customer case studies or results that you are able to review to see their proven track record.
You can check out some of GES’s customer results we have achieved with our 400,000+ customers, achieving billions in engagement ROI.
What are the capabilities of the program?
You want to find a recognition program that is completely customizable for your business goals and objectives. It should reflect the distinct voice for your brand and unite everyone in your organization when it comes to the company’s culture, mission, vision and values.
When evaluating a recognition provider, some of the program features you might be interested and should ask about include:
- Peer to Peer Recognition
- Manager to Employee Recognition
- Spot Cards
- Social Recognition
- Budget Manager
- Birthday Awards
- Service Anniversary
Depending on the needs of your organization and whether you are a global company, you might also want/need global functionality. Some things to consider include:
Are the rewards culturally relevant?
Can the program be offered in multiple languages? (For example, GES’s global recognition programs are available in 16+ languages including Arabic, Chinese, Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, and growing!)
Are the rewards sourced and fulfilled in country or will you have to pay shipping, taxes and tariffs on the rewards? Keep in mind this might eat into your recognition budget. (GES’s global rewards are fulfilled in country in 170 countries across the world).
In this age of technology, mobile capability is critical to have for your recognition program. Not only does it allow for leaders and peers to recognize in the moment, but it also assures that the participants have the same user experience no matter where or how they login to the site. Our research has shown that companies who recognize their talent day-to-day and in-the-moment have much higher levels versus those who only recognize at certain milestones or tenure events.
If you’d like any further information on how to evaluate a recognition program, feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com or you can request a demo of our solutions here.