You spend 2000+ hours at work every year, that’s 23% of your time, 3 full months or ¼ of a year! Whichever way you look at it, you spend a lot of your life ‘working’, so you might as well enjoy your experience! Most people would rather be great than ordinary. It is your job as a leader to develop your employees and engage them so that they will give you their discretionary energy and create exceptional experiences for their internal colleagues and your external customers.
Here are some of our top featured blogs to help you develop and engage your employees. Click below to read more!
A Guide to Being a Servant Leader
Don’t Be A Bosshole
Get Your People Geeked About Learning
Is Your Learning Program Like Drinking Through A Firehose?
Take Your Engagement Program from Meh to Hell Yah!
How To Get Your Customers To Love You
I hope these blogs are helpful for you to develop and engage your employees and yourself so that you will be energized, enabled and motivated to create exceptional experiences that make your customers stay longer, buy more, and positively refer others!
Follow these links to learn more about how to implement at Engagement or Learning program in your organization.
If you want to be a successful global organization you must understand, empathize and account for the diverse needs of your global workforce. When addressing their global employees, most companies have eLearning and recognition programs with one blanket solution for every employee in every country.
However, employees have told us that these programs 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, companies with global employees need to create Learning content that is spoken in the native language, delivered with cultural sensitivity and relevance, without voice overs or subtitles.
When it comes to global recognition, employees have told us that they want their rewards delivered in country with culturally relevant rewards. Doing this also benefits your organization because there are no tariffs and taxes on your employees rewards — when rewards are shipped and points are redeemed, it happens in the country of choice.
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.
Global organizations face unique challenges with learning and recognition, but when designed the right way, a personalized, in language, culturally relevant learning and recognition program can achieve significant results towards enabling your employees with skills and competencies in an accessible, understandable way, and engaging them with rewards and recognition that they value.
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.
The term employee engagement is thrown around so loosely nowadays that it has lost much of its meaning.
Many organizations talk about employee engagement as a program — something they squeeze out of their annual budgets to check off some box they’ve been tasked with from the powers that be.
And don’t get me wrong, some of the perks that HR offers with their employee engagement programs can be great. For more info on the ones your employees want, check out the Top 6 Company Perks to Consider for your Talent.
But these types of perks are now becoming so common that employees almost expect them, and they’re no longer serving as a major motivator of engagement.
The best organizations, the ones who continuously see ROI from their employee engagement programs, have 2 key elements:
1. They use learning and development as a key motivator
2. They personalize their recognition
The key to not having the same old boring engagement program is enabling your employees and empowering them with skills and competencies needed to excel in their role and grow in their future. 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. Watch this quick video for more information on The Intersection of Learning and Engagement.
Next, you must recognize and reward them in a personalized way. This means getting to know your employees, and asking them how they want to be engaged and recognized. Build rapport with your employees — this allows you to understand what motivates and drives them and to personalize their employee experience. When you truly know them and what they want, you can acknowledge and recognize them in a personalized way, which will make them feel visible and valued. Recognition can range from monetary rewards, extra vacation time, or be as simple as looking them in the eye and giving them an authentic, personalized “thank you”.
The keys to perking up that boring engagement program is with personalized recognition and enabling your employees with learning and development. What kind of recognition resonates best with you? Share in the comments below!
Customer service is an inside-out proposition. That means, for you to create exceptional customer experiences you must first have great internal service throughout your organizations. I think it is the only way for you and your organization to be able to consistently create memorable experiences for your external customers.
The best service organizations in the world all have one thing in common, and that is that they have exceptional internal service cooperation. Gallup recently found that “Highly engaged business units achieve 10% increase in customer metrics and 20% increase in sales. Plus, when taken altogether, the behaviors of highly engaged business units result in 21% greater profitability” (Gallup, 2017).
That’s right, engaged employees = greater profits for you and your organization!
Here are a few ways to create exceptional internal service in your organization that will translate into customers who stay longer, buy more, and positively refer others.
Firstly, you should always stay positive and polite. Nobody wants to work with someone who brings down the team, and customers especially do not want to spend their time and money to interact with someone who is negative. When you are positive and polite with your colleagues, they will be more responsive and efficient, which results in better service for your external customers.
Be sure to honor your commitments with both your colleagues and customers. Communicate transparently about any obstacles you encounter that might delay your service. If you communicate honestly and transparently you will set their expectations and be able to over deliver on your service!
It’s also important to step out of your silo and learn about the organization and service workflow. This will help you to discover how your output can be a better input for your colleagues and customers.
Lastly, you should always look for ways to be helpful by directly or indirectly supporting a customer or co-worker. It’s easy to play the “It’s not my job” game, but when you have a servant attitude that puts your colleagues and customers first you will find much more joy in your service interactions.
An employee engagement program can also be very effective at supporting this “inside out” proposition. When you recognize exceptional internal service cooperation with both monetary and non-monetary rewards, your talent is much more likely to invest their energy and motivation in the form of exceptional service.
For more information about implementing a recognition program in your organization to accelerate your internal service cooperation, get in touch for a 15-minute demo of GES’s Engagement Solutions.
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.
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.
At the core of employee engagement is a feeling of lightness, goodness, and fulfillment, about who you are, what you are doing and how you will do it. When these feelings don’t align, it’s quite possible that you need to examine the culture of your organization to align its mission, vision and values to achieve employee engagement.
Here are a few ideas to help you create a healthy culture that makes for healthy and engaged employees.
Aligning your organizational culture and beliefs should start with listening to your employees. Truly listen to what your employees say are obstacles that get in the way of them doing their job and how you can remove those obstacles. This often takes the form of removing outdated policies and procedures and giving your employees autonomy to make good decisions that are aligned with your company’s values.
Foster and encourage life-long learning opportunities. When organizations encourage growth, and invest in the future of their employees, the employees are more likely to feel energized, engaged and vibrant about their contribution to the company.
Create a culture of inclusion and diversity. Make sure you have policies in place that protect from harassment and mistreatment of all individuals in your organization. Plus, when you focus on diversity as your strength, you will create a culture of inclusion through living by example.
Ensure a safe work environment. Make sure your employees are trained and aware of the occupational health and safety practices and procedures. Encourage and enforce a safe environment by rewarding safety with your employee recognition platform.
Encourage friendly competition when it comes to health and wellness. Integrate a wellness program as part of your employee recognition platform. When your employees feel good from the inside out, their performance will reflect that.
When you create healthy work culture, you will have healthy, happy and engaged employees that will create all kinds of ROI for your organization, including higher productivity, reduced absenteeism, improved morale and relationships, decreased stress, increased retention, and increased recruitment.
Find out more about how GES’s Employee Engagement programs can help you create a healthy culture with a free 15-minute demo.
It seems like mindfulness and meditation have become a much larger part of the mainstream discourse nowadays. People are looking for an outlet to cope with stress and anxiety, but also to make space and time to reflect and for creativity to flow.
I believe mindfulness and mediation are extremely beneficial for leaders and employees, and integrating these concepts and philosophies into your employee wellness programs and company culture could offer you and your employees great benefits.
Some benefits of mindfulness in the workplace include:
Self-control. This can be a benefit when dealing with both colleagues and customers. Sometimes people may say or do things you do not agree with, but when you practice mindfulness it gives you a calm, peacefulness to return to when things feel out of control.
Improved concentration. When your employees and leaders can focus better on their work, your organization will be more productive, and your customers will be pleased by how clear and prompt their service is.
Mental clarity. Having increased mental clarity gives employees better ability to make good decisions efficiently, which keeps your processes flowing better, and again, makes for better, more efficient and effective customer service.
Emotional intelligence and empathy. Those with higher emotional intelligence are better able to connect with their colleagues and customers and understand their needs. They are also able to better put themselves in someone else’s shoes, and assess situations with empathy and compassion for other perspectives, with makes for better relationships, communication and service outcomes.
When you use mindfulness practice in your employee and customer interactions you can better gauge how to personalize your interactions with them as individuals. When you are present in your interactions with customers and colleagues, it gives you the ability to better read situations quickly and adjust your response and reaction accordingly. This will make for better customer and employee outcomes.
What benefits have you seen in both your personal and professional life from practicing mindfulness? Share in the comments below!
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!