Now that December is here, everyone is preparing for the year end, closing out projects, and setting plans and intentions for 2018.
This last month of the year is a great opportunity to inspire and motivate your talent for the year ahead. It’s also a great opportunity to recognize and reward them for the great work they accomplished this year!
Motivation and recognition are so important in December, because it can otherwise be quite a distracting month. In the US, employees are coming back from one big holiday and gearing up for the next. Many people also schedule their remaining vacation time during December, which can result in not a whole lot getting done this month.
Here are some tips to inspire and recognize your employees leading into the holiday season and create some workplace engagement and merriment that will set the tone for 2018!
Make the World a Better Place. The holidays have always been considered a time for giving back. Why not emphasize the importance of this and show that your company culture and values match those of your employees? A recent study conducted by MetLife found that, “Part of sharing values is looking outside the four walls of the office – 61% of employees say that it is important to them to work for a company that contributes to the local community” (Business Wire, 2017).
Some suggestions include, throwing workplace wide giving campaigns such as food drives for charity, or even give your employees a day off or time to volunteer with their favorite local charity.
Emphasize Shared Values. Building upon the last tip, the study also found that, “Fully nine out of 10 employees (89%) say they are willing to trade some of their salary to work at a company whose values match their own – a great deal of their salaries in some cases” (Business Wire, 2017).
Take this season as an opportunity to really emphasize your company values and culture and promote them throughout the workplace for better alignment. This can take the form of internal communication campaigns, promotion of peer-to-peer recognition, manager to employee recognition, and opportunities for learning and development. There have been countless benefits attributed to companies who have organizational alignment of their culture and values. Read more about the 4 Ways to Create Organizational Engagement here.
“Companies can reap rewards when they share values and act on these values, as employees who felt their values aligned with those of their employers were more than twice as likely to be satisfied in their jobs (78%) and feel loyal to their companies (77%) than those whose values didn’t match (32% and 31%, respectively). When values match, more than three-quarters (78%) plan to stay at their company, compared to 57% when values are misaligned” (Business Wire, 2017).
Have a 2017 Recap Retreat. What better way to celebrate your achievements from 2017 and motivate and set goals for 2018 than with a retreat! This is probably best done at a smaller scale within workgroups and could be a day away from the office with reflective meetings, session planning, brainstorming and more. But be sure to throw a little fun in there for motivation and incentive! Perhaps that includes interactive games throughout the day, a wine and cheese mixer or maybe even a motivational guest speaker!
Celebrate the Season. Take an opportunity to put ‘work’ aside for one afternoon or evening and celebrate together with a staff meal. Perhaps it becomes a potluck lunch or a fancy holiday party, whatever it may be, make sure your leaders take an opportunity to sincerely thank employees for their hard work this past year. Give employees a chance to mingle together and share in the holiday spirit.
You can also use this as an opportunity to recognize key players from 2017 and reward them as you see fit. Every year our staff holiday party is filled with fun, laughter and plenty of recognition, including rewards for top players, token gifts for all staff members, games, food and music! It’s a wonderful evening of celebration and it gives everyone the opportunity to mingle with people from other departments they might not typically see regularly.
Focus on Wellness. Not only is this a time where many people end up sick or rundown (at least that’s the case here in the cold Toronto weather), but some people may also struggle emotionally (and physically) with the holidays. This could be a good chance to run an internal fitness and wellness campaign through your total recognition program. Perhaps you reward employees for their steps walked or exercise achieved. You can even have some friendly competition with a big prize for the winner!
It’s also important to try and promote healthy eating around this time, as it’s the time when lots of sugary treats are brought in to share. You can counter balance that by having healthy snacks on hand in the office lunch room such as fruit and vegetables, or maybe even having a healthy catered lunch (not a pizza party).
To me, wellness means being balanced physically, mentally and emotionally, so having support for those employees who might experience a hard time around the holidays it crucial. This could take many forms such as having a counsellor or therapist available during office hours, having a massage therapist come in for a quick massage (this was one of my favourite things), having a yoga teacher come in for lunch time yoga sessions or perhaps having a work wide meditation morning to calm the mind and set intentions with guided meditation. Read more about the Benefits of a Wellness Culture and how to Improve Wellness Metrics with Recognition and Engagement here.
Investing in your employees’ wellness will return tenfold in their productivity and engagement. Plus, “Nearly two-thirds of American workers expect companies to go beyond providing a paycheck and contribute to their well-being (59%), and contribute to the well-being of society, as well (57%)” (Business Wire, 2017). If you’re not providing these opportunities, it’s likely that they will lack in motivation and look for opportunities to work for a company that does.
If you found these tips helpful, get in touch to learn more about creating employee engagement and alignment with this type of culture utilizing an Employee Recognition and/or Learning program. Get in touch at email@example.com or book a 15-minute discovery call in my calendar here.
A new article published by the Wall Street Journal suggests that the robot revolution could actually create upwards of 21 million jobs (Furmans, 2017). So, although some paint the future of robot automation as grim for the workforce, this article suggests that although some jobs may become obsolete, new ones will be created to replace them.
If your industry is being or will be effected by technology automation, the major question you should ask to stay at the top of your competitors is, what are we doing to develop our people to compete in the robot economy?
Here are some core ideas you should focus on to stay ahead of your competitors in the robot economy:
Focus on Personalized Service Interactions
You can take away the human, but you can’t take away our desire for human interaction. Yes, perhaps in many situations, customers have a desire for the automated service of an app, kiosk or online shopping. But, this will never take away the need for human quality assurance. We’re not at the point yet where we can just trust that technology has got it right. There are still human checks and balances in place behind robot automation that assure the customer experience is exceptional. This is where you can assure that your customer is happy — by providing them with quality, personalized service interactions. Read more about why a Personalization Strategy is so important for your organization here.
For example, I have noticed lately that almost all of my online shopping orders have come with a packing slip that has been personally checked by a real live human. And often I have received a personal handwritten note of thanks for my order or for being a customer. And you know what, I can say that 100% of those personally checked orders have been correct, and I appreciate that extra step they have taken to assure the quality of my order before it has been sent out.
Another example of a personalized service interaction is the customer experience at Sephora stores. Their front-line employees provide you with a hands-on experience, demonstrating how the makeup and beauty products work, and offering you free samples to take home and try. After all of this you think they would be pushing the in-person sale, but often they actually encourage you to go home and buy it online when you are ready. They provide you with the product information/codes and a coupon for free shipping! These are just a few examples of how you can reframe the way you think about personalized service interactions with your customer in the age of robot automation.
Focus on Innovation
You know the adage ‘think outside the box’, well that has never rung truer than in these times. It is so important for organizations to have innovation at the core of their organizational values. Encouraging innovation means being prepared to deal with failure. It also means encouraging employees to speak openly and freely about their ideas. Perhaps even giving them a platform or projects to do this. Read some of the Best Mission Statements from Innovative Organizations here.
Some stodgier organizations may roll their eyes at the ‘hippy’ cultures at organizations like Facebook, Google, etc. where they have ping pong tables, resting pods, fun staff outings, happy hours, etc. but the fact of the matter is, these types of environments really do foster creativity and thinking differently. And in the last decade these organizations have consistently shown to be at the top of their competitor lists.
The major disruptors of our times have been those organization that have focused their core principles on innovation, adaptation and growth. Take for example, Netflix, and organization that first snail mailed out DVD rentals to their customers. They have now essentially changed the entire television and film landscape and continue to develop and grow their business as media investors, creators and distributors.
Focus on Training and Re-Skilling
As an organization or an individual contributor, it is important now more than ever to focus on the learning and development of your workforce. Your talent want to learn and grow within your organization and they want skills that make them more marketable now AND in the future.
A focus on re-skilling the workforce to compete with the demands of robot automation is critical. Those organizations that invest in re-skilling and training their employees in times of rapidly growing and changing technology will be at the forefront of service.
Leaders should be sure to network inside and outside of their industry to keep up with (and stay ahead of) the trends. This will allow your organization to assess where you need to update your knowledge base, and what areas you should be focusing on when it comes to learning and development of your talent.
Developing a custom eLearning program keep up with the changes and demands of your workforce is an exceptional way to offer training and development to your talent. Just-in-time learning and microlearning, offer your employees a way to continuously grow, while not taking them off the job for lengthy periods of time.
If you’d like to learn more about what a custom eLearning solution could look like for your organization, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or set up a 15 minute discovery call through my calendar here.
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.