OfficeVibe has released a report that shows The Global & Real-Time State of Employee Engagement. They found that organizations are not helping their employees enough to learn and grow. In fact, 53% of employees say they haven’t improved their skills significantly in the past year (OfficeVibe, 2016).
This is a huge problem for organizations because learning and development is one of the key drivers of employee engagement. If your employees are not given the opportunity to continuously improve their skills to make themselves more marketable (now and in the future), one of two things will happen: 1. their engagement levels will drop (or remain low), and they will give mediocre performance or 2. they will leave you for someone who will invest in their future and development. Both options have dire consequences for your organization.
Why do employees want learning opportunities? When you provide your employees with learning they feel acknowledged and they feel connected to your company’s growth and vision. When you invest in your employees, they will want to invest their motivation and energy back in to your organization. This sense of purpose motivates them to feel part of something bigger than themselves.
Plus, when you invest in your employees’ skills and competencies, they will be able to provide better service internally with their colleagues and externally with your customers, both of which improve your bottom line with increased productivity, loyalty, and sales.
To find out what your lack of employee engagement is truly costing your company, get your free personalized report here.
If you’re ready to start investing in your employee’s learning and development, get a quick 15-minute demo of our global learning solutions that seen incredible results.
A leader’s primary function is to empower all employees to achieve desired customer service standards and exceed customers’ expectations.
If you’re a leader or an individual contributor reflecting on your success and failures from 2016 and are ready to leap into 2017 with a killer employee engagement and development plan, here are 7 tips to get you started:
- Listen to Employees and Customers. Develop listening tactics to determine where you stand with all customers. Develop your associates to become listening posts or data miners to maintain a pulse on the customer interactions and the customer experiences. Make it a habit to listen to your associates and look for obstacles to remove. One way you can do this is to schedule regular ongoing meetings where your associates can bring up internal and customer concerns in a safe, receptive environment. Then as a team, create an action plan of how you can address these concerns and be sure to follow up and reinforce these principles.
- Continuously Improve the Quality of Information. Find ways to improve the quality and quantity of customer information that each associate receives. The best organizations and inspirational leaders understand that 80% of the focus of information should be directed to the front-line associates who are serving their customers. Remember, people without information cannot act; people with information are compelled to act.
- Remove Obstacles. Remove restrictive rules, unbalanced performance measurements, lack of resources, inadequate learning and development, influences of compensation, and other areas that inhibit superior service performance. Start with simple things that can make a big difference for your associates such as strict dress code policies, flex or vacation time, or work from home policies. When you give your employees some flexibility and control over their environment it will pay huge dividends in their engagement and motivation.
- Allow Room for Autonomy. Give employees flexibility to make responsible decisions and use judgment and allow them to handle routine deviations of normal customer transactions/interactions. Develop your employees to think and act like owners and become inspirational leaders. The only way to do that is by giving people the autonomy to use their brains.
- Lead by Example. Provide accountability and “walk the talk”. Remember, focus and goals are set not by words, but by actions. Inspirational leaders have the habit of leading by doing, and then educating, enabling and providing room for empowerment.
- Measure Delight, Not Processes. Create effective service and loyalty measures to allow employees to understand how to be successful in serving your internal and external customers. Focus on outcomes, not recipes or procedures.
- Recognize and Celebrate. Catch people doing things right and recognize and reward them for it. Celebrate great business outcomes. Recognize employees who create value for customers and others will follow. Inspirational leaders have learned to catch people doing things right, moment by moment, not just once a year in their performance review. Establish an organizational engagement program to recognize your employee’s exceptional performance in a personalized, ongoing way. (Find out more about GES’s Organizational Engagement solutions here.)
If you want to establish alignment throughout your organization, motivate your employees to higher levels, and improve your bottom line in 2017, it starts with your leadership!
When leaders invest a small amount of time on bettering themselves and providing recognition and appreciation, it will produce a significant and lasting positive impact on employee performance and the customer experience!
I hope the tips above are helpful for setting your 2017 leadership goals!
When it comes to designing your learning and development program, you want to make sure that it’s designed to effectively engage and motivate your employees to use it.
Here are 4 things learners consistently tell us they want in a Learning and Development program:
- To learn in their own language from someone they can relate to. Employees want their learning in their language, not subtitled or voiced over, with culturally relevant examples. Although your global company serves one umbrella mission and has unified values, learning scenarios, customer problems and internal processes may be different depending on global location. It is important for learning to take this into consideration to have the best engagement outcomes for all global employees.
- Quick. Not Boring. Your employees are busy. They don’t want to waste time with long, boring, irrelevant content. For them to be highly engaged with your learning program they want their information in short, succinct, bite-sized doses. This is easier for them to process, practice, and makes for better retention rates, so that they can apply their learning to real-life scenarios. Additionally, when you layer in that short, succinct content over time, repeated and reinforced, I promise you will have significant, measurable learning results.
- Content when they want it, where they want it. To piggy back on the short, succinct delivery, learners want their content in a format that is flexible and convenient for them. In our fast paced connected world, it is critical for your learning program to be mobile capable, so that your employees can learn in time and on demand, when and where it’s suitable for them.
- Skills that they will actually use. Learners want skills that will help them succeed and grow in their current positions. They want skills and competencies that make them more marketable. To make learning actionable the learner must practice, drill and rehearse in a safe environment, and commit to following up and reinforcing those principles. You need to spend 10x the amount of time, energy and resources on follow up and reinforce of your learning principles as you do designing and delivering them.
Find out more about GES’s global, mobile Learning Solutions which layer skills and competencies in bite-sized doses over time with a focus on action planning and reinforcing the learning principles. Here’s a quick preview of our learning design below. Contact us for a 10-minute demo to see the learning in action.
Yesterday I talked about how your workforce is increasingly more part-time workers. Read more about that here.
Many of you are relying more and more on part time or seasonal workers to deliver a stellar service experience to your customers. So how do you motivate them when you both know they might only be with you for a short amount of time? Although it might seem counter intuitive, you must invest in your employees, even though they might only be with you for a short time.
Here are 3 ways you can enable and engage your seasonal and part-time workers:
Provide learning and development opportunities. People want skills and opportunities that will make them more marketable now and in the future. When you provide your part-time employees with learning and development opportunities, several affects will happen. You will attract (and then retain) the best talent. You will give them skills to interact more effectively with your customers and provide better service. You will provide alignment with your company’s culture and values. You will teach and motivate them to provide better customer service.
2. Remove obstacles that get in the way of them delivering exceptional service. Many large companies have too many bureaucratic processes and procedures in place that get in the way of their employees delivering exceptional service to their customers. Because many part-time workers are part of the front lines, often they do not feel enabled to go the extra mile to help a customer; however, this can often mean the difference between losing a customer and creating decades of loyalty. Examine your policies and procedures and assure that they are absolutely necessary to function. Remove those that do not serve your higher company mission. Some of the most successful customer service companies place very little rules on their employees (e.g. Nordstrom, Southwest Airlines, Starbucks, Netflix, Apple, etc.) with very high success and exceptional performance. Plus, when you enable your employees with learning and development (as mentioned above), you set them up to understand your company values and deliver service with those values in mind.
3. Recognize and reward them for exceptional performance. Every employee wants to be recognized for their work and treated uniquely. To motivate employees to continuous levels of high performance you should have an employee engagement recognition program in place. The most successful recognition programs are customized and personalized so that your employees get the rewards and recognition they want, at every touch point. During the holidays, and in December specifically, many people have split focus – thinking about everything they must get done, tired and distracted from holiday parties – and their energy starts to wane. That is why it is critical to motivate them (and especially seasonal workers) with incentives, rewards and recognition to continuously keep their eye on the prize – making your customers happy!
For more information on how to engage your part-time talent check out our book Leading From the Front Line: Learn How To Create Exceptional Experiences on Amazon or learn about our Employee Engagement Programs here.
Today’s workforce is becoming increasingly more part time. What I mean by part time is not necessarily the number of hours per week an employee works, but more their tenure at your company. Today’s generation entering the workforce views jobs as opportunities to gather a portfolio of experiences, moving from organization to organization to acquire different skills, sometimes by choice and sometimes by necessity. This part time economy and part time workforce presents both unique opportunities and unique challenges for organizations and their leaders.
As a business leader, you are probably relying more and more on part time or seasonal workers to deliver a stellar service experience to your customers. So how do you motivate them when you both know they might only be with you for a short amount of time? Although it might seem counter intuitive, you must invest in your employees, even though they might only be with you for a short time. This is the key to enabling and engaging them to create an exceptional experience for your customers. And remember, one terrible customer experience can ruin decades of loyalty, so it is critical that you give your employees the tools to serve your customers, even if they will only be with you for a short time.
Tomorrow I will share with you 3 ways you can enable and engage your seasonal and part-time workers. Stay tuned!
Your talent is busy. They want their learning when they want it, and where they want it – in-time and on-demand.
In a global economy, where many of your workers may not have easy access to a desktop computer, translating your instructor-led and traditional eLearning to a mobile platform is critical for growth and engagement at your company.
For example, in India, only 4% of people have a computer, whereas 95% have a tablet or a smartphone. This is a prime example of why a mobile capable learning solution is key for global delivery.
Not only is mobile learning important for global delivery, but it is also more convenient and efficient than regular eLearning programs.
Having a mobile learning solution that tracks and measures your progress, with seamless synchronicity across all devices, makes it easy for the learner to practice, drill and rehearse in a safe learning environment, whenever and wherever it’s convenient for them. Easier access makes for more connected and engaged learning, translating into better service for both your internal and external customers.
At GES our Layered Learning solution has complete global and mobile capabilities. Our mobile learning interface is multi-platform and multi-language capable, with seamless synchronicity across all devices. You get the full user experience with full functionality on all devices. Your progress is tracked, measured, retained and stored on the learning management system.
We have already seen an incredible proliferation of mobile technology, and for many of us, mobile is our main source of connectivity. If you haven’t already, now is the time to implement a global, mobile learning solution in your company in order to keep up with the desires and demands of your increasingly busy workforce.
Find out more about our Layered Learning solution or get in touch for a 10-minute demo to see for yourself.
Have you ever seen a poorly voiced over Kung Fu movie where the actor’s lips are moving but the voice coming out doesn’t match!? It’s almost laughable at how awkward and distracting the voice over is, and that’s even with the massive action and entertainment value.
So when it comes to your eLearning program, why has it become acceptable to have one blanket solution for every country and use subtitles and voice over to address multi languages?
Let’s face it, most eLearning solutions are already incredibly long and boring for your employees, and when you add in voice over on top of that, it can be downright rude.
In fact, many learners have told us that they find voice over to be a form of disrespect, not to mention that their learning scenarios are not customized or culturally relevant.
The key to having a great learning and development solution that can create change in your organization is for that learning to be engaging and for your learners to connect with it.
GES’s Layered Learning solution is truly global. That is because every spoken and written word is in the participant’s native language (no voice over), with culturally relevant language and scenarios. This allows the learner to better engage and connect with the content, and creates much higher levels of significant, measurable results.
Find out more about our custom Layered Learning solutions or contact us for a 10-minute demo to see it for yourself.
If you want your employees to be engaged and energized you must believe deeply in the power of relationship building, authentic recognition and continuous learning in your organization.
The best companies — the ones who are at the top of their respective industries — recognize and reward their talent for their good work day-to-day, minute-to-minute, at every touch point.
Recognition can and should take on many forms – it doesn’t just have to come in the form of tangible gifts and rewards.
More than ever, people want to be enabled with learning and skills that make them more marketable. They want to be looked in the eye and acknowledged for their hard work with an authentic and personalized thank you.
Here are a few ways to build authentic relationships with your employees:
1) Provide skill development to enhance your relationships both internally and externally.
By providing skills to your people in the form of learning and training, you are investing in their future and their growth. When your talent is provided with the skills and knowledge to better serve your customers, not only will your talent feel enabled and recognized, but it creates exceptional experiences for your customers. When your customers are happy, your relationship with them grows, and as a result and you are more likely to have loyal, raving fans – and that’s worth investing in!
2) Communicate with your talent openly and authentically.
Make communication with your talent a habit, by scheduling designated touch-point meetings, such as weekly check in meetings or monthly report reviews – whatever the form may be, it is important to commit time to one another and honor those commitments.
3) Get to know your people beyond the job they do.
When you get to know your people on a personal level, it makes them feel valued, acknowledged and cared for, which builds your relationships, fosters loyalty, and motivates them to greater success.
Building business relationships with your colleagues and clients may seem simple, but in order to strengthen and grow those relationships it is critical to go beyond just the surface level of ‘knowing’ them. For instance, do you know about your colleagues’ families, pets, hobbies, etc.? Some people may think, there’s no time for the personal in business, but if you’re not getting personal with your team members, your business is losing money and ROI.
4) Treat each employee uniquely as they want to be treated.
Creating personalized and authentic relationships with each and every member of your team will be sure to strengthen your business practices and make you a better leader, team member and generally a better person along the way.
The right learning and development can greatly enhance employee engagement by developing talent and helping them learn new things and improve their performance.
Almost everybody around the world wants to feel that they are doing a good job and producing positive results. Moreover, it is critical that they are valued by their organization for the important role they play in serving internal or external customers.
In addition, few people like to remain static in their work environment, and prefer to have variety in their work and development potential in their role.
Learning and development provides the best solution to satiate all of these human needs while dramatically improving employee engagement!
Additionally, innovative companies who invest in their people through learning and development are viewed more favorably by employees than those organizations that don’t.
However, 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. This is where most companies’ good intentions fall woefully short!
Organizations and leaders who desire to demonstrate their commitment to their people can sometimes get carried away with the “sheep dip” approach to learning (one size fits all); leaving some people confused about the rationale behind skill development.
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.
It sounds obvious but without this being made explicit, organizations run the risk of learning and development being viewed as a chore or a one-size-fits-all program instead of a personalized reward.
The answer is to create personalized and customized learning and development with action plans that facilitate employees and their managers to have one-on-one conversations about the purpose of the learning and what’s in it for them.
When done efficiently, learning and development will then provide the fuel to motivate and engage employees like never before. Employees will feel valued for their contribution and they will understand that the organization supports them by providing skills and development to make them more productive, successful, and marketable!
If you think about it, providing learning and development really is key to having an engaged workforce and achieving sustained business success.
Over the next few weeks we will be delivering a series of posts demonstrating the ROI opportunities available through your Employee Engagement program.
Here is ROI Opportunity #1: Create an emotional connection with your employees.
When you invest in your employee’s engagement, it helps to show them you care about them beyond just the job they do. It shows that you care about their overall happiness and well-being and that you want to recognize and reward them for their efforts.
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