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5 Common Employee Engagement Mistakes to Avoid

Posted by Sylvia Giltner on Mon, Oct, 01, 2018 @ 05:10 AM

 

Management’s relation to their office staff can often make or break a company. Employees are often engaged with a company not because of salary or love for a given industry. They are more likely there because they share a common vision, goals and values of the company they work for.

However, mismanaging employees can lead to several awkward situations. In order to avoid those, managers, team leaders, and HR should be aware of common employee engagement practices which are bound for failure. Let’s take a look at several examples and how you can avoid them and build stronger employee relations.

  1. Failure to communicate

The employees you work with are part of a bigger picture, just like you are as their manager. Communicating your briefings, thoughts, feedback, and criticism effectively is an important part of your everyday interaction. Chris Mercer, CEO of Citatior spoke about his writers’ team recently: “I like to think of my team as an extension of my family. We share Skype meals, help each other out of short deadlines and back each other up when a tough client comes by. This has led to a much more comfortable working environment as I make sure that everyone gets along.”

Don’t avoid your team members and office staff just because they are lower on the office hierarchy. Instead, offer them a friendly smile and ask them how their day went. A small consideration can go a long way in ensuring your employees are content and ask you for your personal and professional opinion from time to time.

  1. No role-models

Whether you are a part of upper management or a project manager, your employees are likely to look up to you from a distance. While you are most likely not the ideal professional they imagined, you should make sure that they see you that way.

Role models are a huge part of office culture and people frequently use these individuals to set their own professional goals. Be an example people can use to develop their own skills and grow in the organization. Help a member of your staff or an intern in front of everyone to inspire your colleagues. Failing to act like a professional can result in poor corporate culture and a lack of trust and teamwork.

  1. Micromanagement

Project managers are responsible for work delegation and project management. However, this doesn’t constitute micromanagement in the traditional sense. Micromanaging someone else’s work can be a double-edged sword. The project might go the way you planned personally, but you will lose a lot of respect and credibility with your employees.

Worse yet, they might be demoralized by your micromanagement if you communicate they are not doing their jobs right. James Daily, a project manager at FlashEssay was recently quoted about his experience as a team leader: “I had a hard time finding a balance between micromanagement and team autonomy. Once I realized my coworkers are just as capable as I am, I decided that the best course of action for a leader is to act as support.”

Trust your employees know what they are doing and encourage them to come to you for any help they need. Be available and offer a help but never place your actions and opinions on others. You will build a much healthier, development-driven office culture.

  1. Little to no coaching

Coaching plays a pivotal role in employee development and overall satisfaction. No employee will stay loyal to a company if they are not growing their professional and personal skills. In order to boost your office’s retention rate, provide supportive coaching to your employees.

Make time for one-on-one conversations about their employment satisfaction, set goals for the next quarter and check in with them from time to time. If employees notice you care about their development, they will be more satisfied with what they are doing and motivate others to work just as hard.

  1. Recognition

Whether you are in charge of junior staff members or experienced employees, recognition is important. As a project manager or a shift supervisor, you are in charge of ensuring projects are completed on time and on budget. This does not mean taking credit for all the work being done.

Natalie Andersen, HR manager at GetGoodGrade spoke about her experience with employee recognition: “Sending order after order without a “thank you” in between rarely works long-term. Employees deserve to be recognized for the work they do at the company, even if it amounts to verbal gratitude.”

Make sure to put in a good word for your coworkers and celebrate small successes as they happen. Recognition can really make someone’s day when they work hard to finish a project on time. Failing to do so will result in a severe drop in morale and productivity, not to mention the subsequent retention rates which will undoubtedly take a hit.

Ongoing engagement (Conclusion)

Being on good terms with your employees is an ongoing commitment. It’s not enough to do one good deed a month and check the employee engagement box. Build a support system for your employees to motivate them. Don’t treat coworkers as cheap labor and opt for a more professional approach. Once you establish a new office culture, you will be surprised at the results of healthy work relations.

Image source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/man-wearing-black-dress-pants-and-brown-dress-shirt-1080848/

Tags: employee engagement

6 Ways to Empower Your Employees to Be More Productive

Posted by Sylvia Giltner on Sun, Jun, 03, 2018 @ 16:06 PM

empowered_employees-resized-600-3

Being a manager or a team leader can be difficult to process. While you are in charge of a group of people and have the place of authority, you also have a duty to your employees. In most cases, productivity and employee motivation is a direct reflection of their manager’s mood, experience and overall character.

This can make it difficult for young, inexperienced managers to effectively motivate employees to be engaged and  productive. Luckily, employee motivation isn’t anything new in the corporate world, so let’s take a look at some actionable and effective tips that can help you raise productivity and morale across the board.

  1. It’s not about the money

It’s true that we work for money and the ability to sustain ourselves in a modern capitalist society. However, most employees are unmotivated and lack productivity for very different reasons.

Low salary is very rarely the reason for a lack of productivity, which means you should steer clear of “bribing” employees with bonuses. Instead, communicate your displeasure with their overall (not individual) productivity.

Don’t point fingers at anyone (even if you might know who the real detractors are) and focus on the bigger picture instead. Emphasize you are also an employee like themselves and you are there for them if they need you. This will create a good starting point for your relationship and a foundation upon which productivity can be restored.

  1. Happiness versus Motivation

Don’t misinterpret employee happiness with motivation and productivity. For example, if you give your employees a box of chocolate each, they will be happier – but not more productive.

Productivity is often associated with professional development, working environment dissatisfaction, coworker misunderstandings, too much overtime, etc. It’swise to openly discuss these topics with your employees in order to determine what the real issue is.

Remember you are also under the microscope of your own manager or CEO. If the employees aren’t productive, the results will reflect that, after which you will have to explain what is going on. Make sure to have the right answers for your own boss and start communicating with your coworkers as soon as possible.

  1. Be a role-model

As we’ve mentioned before, managers and team leaders are often seen as role-models. Your coworkers, employees and office staff will most likely have aspirations for professional development. This means that they will pay close attention to the way you walk, talk and act with those inferior to you (professionally speaking).

Veronica Wright, CEO of ResumesCentre says: “The better the managers are at their own work, the better their employees will be for it”. Make sure to arm everyone with relevant company information, take your position and job description seriously, as well as smile to everyone. Sometimes all it takes is to look in the mirror and ask yourself what “you” are doing wrong instead of looking for a culprit on the office floor.

  1. Voicing concerns

It’s quite common for employees to keep their mouths shut when they have something to say – the prospect of being punished is too much to handle. This means that there is often a lot left unsaid and coworker relations tend to tense and buckle under the pressure.

People that don’t talk to each other will often work poorly together, not to mention the fact that important projects rest on their shoulders. Try implementing a feedback-oriented working environment in your office starting with yourself. There is no better way to break the ice than to simply start from your own experiences, thoughts and fears.

Employees that share common issues, goals and clear the air through professional communication are far more likely to be productive. While it may seem silly for grownup people to share thoughts around the table, clearing the air like this can completely transform your office’s workflow.

  1. Level the playfield

Most office conflicts stem from misunderstandings between employees and management. Managers often forget where they started their career while employees constantly claim their managers doesn’t understand them.

This catch-22 is quite common in the corporate world and is a root cause of poor productivity, low retention rates and a lack of morale. Managers that want to boost their employees’ productivity should work to leveling the playing field between management and employees. Remember you are all employees of the same company – the difference is only in your job description.

If you claim that you are “better” than your staff, it will likely end in a disaster. Pull up a chair, ask your employees how they feel today and ask them if they need help. Chances are that their eyes will widen with disbelief at first, which will lead to a much healthier professional relationship between you.

  1. Showcase and reward

Lastly, it’s important to share in your successes and take responsibility for your failures. The best and most beloved managers know when to reward someone and when to take the blame. Pointing fingers when going gets tough and claiming the rewards when it strikes gold will quickly erode your employees’ morale and productivity.

Be the example that your employees can really look up to and try to reward their productivity in small but significant ways. Even an “employee of the week” system with a collective clap from everyone can drastically brighten the mood.

James Scott, CEO of EssaySupply notes: “Do what you can to make sure that your employees feel important and that they matter to the company. This is the best way to increase productivity and company loyalty across the board. It will not only make your results shine but also put you in good graces with your own manager for the good work you have done.”

 

Long-form empowerment (Conclusion)

Employee empowerment only works if you take definitive action – a long-term commitment with a constant risk of failure. However, being on good terms with the people you work with is worth fighting for.

You will not only bring good results to your company but also create friendships with the people you work with. Being casually professional can work just as being strict and to-the-letter. Make sure to strike a good balance and be there for your employees when they need you.

Tags: empowerment, employee empowerment, employee engagement, loyal employees

Integrity as a Value

Posted by Tom Smith on Wed, May, 16, 2018 @ 09:05 AM

 

As you know, I begin with the vision, mission, values and strategic positioning when I begin working with any organization. If the management team is not aligned with all four, it's impossible to develop a cohesive integrated marketing communications plan and deliver a consistent message to your employees and your prospects.

 

The most important value to me is integrity - doing what you say you will do when you say you will do it. If you're unable to do what you say you will do when you say you will do it, why should anyone trust you about anything else - your products, your services, your guarantee, your word?

 

As the leader of a business organization, you set the tone for the organization. You are the role model for everyone in the organization who need to be aligned in order for your organization to achieve its goals. Your organization will not achieve its goals unless everyone is aligned with the same vision, mission, and values and is communicating the same strategic positioning. You need your employees to be just as accountable as you when it comes to doing what you say you will do, when you say you will do it.

 

If your do not do what they say they will do when thy say they will do it, they detract from the organization’s integrated approach with regards to vision, mission, values, and strategic positioning. Consistency builds trust. Inconsistency results in confusion and distrust. If some of your employees are doing their jobs with integrity and others are not, your customers and prospects will be confused - as will your brand.

 

There are four important steps for your employees to do their jobs with integrity.

  • Teach employees what you mean by integrity

If your employees don’t understand the concept of integrity, they cannot reap its benefits. So your first job is to make them aware of integrity. This can be done in a number of different ways. It is easiest to teach integrity through stories, animated movies, films, slide shows and concrete examples. You should take the time to display these resources at the workplace

Here is a great story to show employees the importance of living with integrity and transparency. Integrity is not just about doing what's right even when others are not. Living with integrity serves as a role model for colleagues, suppliers, channel partners, and your competition. Here is another story which depicts strong, creative leadership. Stories are a great way to deliver a compelling, and memorable message

 

  • Compensate employees fairly

Integrity starts at the top and scare the daylights out of a lot of c-level executives with whom I have worked. If you are not paying employees fairly, your employees will not be with you for long and certainly will not be engaged. They will be angry that you are taking advantage of them and their situation and constantly looking for a new job rather that focused on achieving the objectives of the organization. It's critical to you pay similar compensation to employees who are in similar roles. It’s obvious if an organization’s compensation discriminate with regards to age, sex, or race, the organization, and its management is not living with integrity. Integrity is not just about telling the trust and being transparent, it is also doing what is right and treating everyone fairly so they can grow and flourish together. Even if you don’t pay fairly, still.

Paying people fairly does not mean you cannot make distinctions between older workers with more seniority or experience or those with management potential. If an employee deserves more than others, especially for reasons that may not be entirely obvious to all members of the team, ensure they are fairly compensated. Everything can not be translated into a tangible ROI. Some people are bringing skills and value to the organization that cannot be quantified.

 

  • Know your competitors

Every organization has competitors. Ensure your employees know who your competitors are and what makes you "different and better." This is part of the message they should be delivering when asked who they work for and what do you do, as evidenced by a custodian at NASA

Employees are more likely to be engaged, empowered, and live with integrity when they know what makes the company they work for "different and better" than their competition. Employees will end up holding each other accountable for doing what they say they will do. I wonder what would have happened has Enron management and employees embraced integrity?

 

  • Engage with employees

Employees model the words and actions of their leaders. That's why it's important for management to share their thoughts and be open to having difficult discussions.  Employees want to know how they are doing. While it's better to focus on leveraging the positives, it's necessary to be honest with employees about where they are not lving up to expectations, pulling their weight, or doing what they say they will do. As such, regular one-on-one is vital to building their integrity.

This goes both ways. In a transparent organization, employees should be encouraged to talk to management about any issues they see out of alignment of living with integrity, without reprisal. This empowers employees and leads to greater innovation and progress.

 

Tags: integrity chain, employee engagement, employee empowerment

Broken Hiring Policies in Technology

Posted by Tom Smith on Tue, May, 15, 2018 @ 11:05 AM

This was originally published on the site for my work but was removed over concerns over starting a "flame war." It's a conversation we need to have so I'm sharing on my personal blog. Please keep it civil. Thank you.

 

The Congressional Black Caucus recently visited Apple, PayPal, Twitter, Square and Airbnb to assess whether Silicon Valley was making any progress in becoming more racially diverse. It wasn’t long before the lawmakers discovered that while some of these tech giants had made “small progress,” most had become less diverse over time.

Thanks to Jori Ford, Senior Director of Content, G2 Crowd, a review website for business software and services, for sharing her thoughts with me about inclusion and diversity in the technology industry. Jori, who identifies as black, Korean and LGBT, believes the chief problem is that the tech industry’s hiring practices are broken.

Rather than hiring racially diverse candidates for their skills and experience, tech companies are on a mission to fill empty quotas. But, at G2 Crowd, this isn’t the case, which is one of the key reasons Jori was attracted to the company.

How have broken recruiting and hiring processes led to tokenism (age, race, gender) in tech?

When you think about standard recruiting policies, you see recruiters and HR checking to see if candidates match skills needed. As a candidate you apply, interview, learn whether you’re qualified, and then you’re either selected or you are not.

When you are part of an underrepresented group you already know there’s not going to be a lot of people like you in the process – see Google, PayPal, Uber, and many others. You think you’re a statistic with 90 percent fitting the ideal profile — heavily male, white or Indian.

Unrepresented groups as a whole less than 1% are African American women.

As I ask questions about diversity in interviews, responses have been jarring. Many organizations do not have their own definition of diversity. They’re giving it little to no thought. Transparency in statistics and day-to-day work environments are key.

At G2Crowd, everyone has to take a test and all you have to do was pass. This balances the playing field for everyone.

When you’re not allowed to see who is working at the organization looking for diversity it makes for a walled system. At G2Crowd, is was interviewing in a fully glassed room that allowed me to experience all of the culture around me. The interview is a time when the company is conveying its business to a candidate and the candidate is seeing and evaluating the culture they will be included in. Inclusivity is key to recruiting.

If you don’t see anyone like yourself it makes you wonder if you’ll be accepted by the members of the organization. It’s all about perspective and we each have our own perspective which makes it hard to see outside. It’s hard for me to see where I fit in. Am I welcomed in the space? To get past perspective, there has to be someone you can see, someone you can connect with as an individual.

What’s the solution?

Make sure there is an active pipeline of diverse candidates. Organizations are having difficulty building the pipeline. They need to build the people they want to come and work for them. A lot of people look to incubators, but incubators lack underrepresented groups as well.

I believe it starts as K through 5 STEM programming. The decision doesn’t start in high schools and college. Paige & Paxton elementary STEM curriculum get kids started early before they’re even thinking about college.

Many colleges are funded by larger organizations who say they want diversity but then the lack of diversity is again prevalent.

What are the benefits of having a diverse organization besides being the right thing to do?

Organizations with more diversity have more challenging thoughts and different perspectives that result in more interesting and disruptive strategies to affect the world. Organizations need that thinking in-house before they begin building solutions. Diversity brings different perspectives to the table. You end up with business strategies you wouldn’t have come up with otherwise.

Who’s doing a good job?

G2Crowd is doing well. We have diverse age groups, neutralization of demographic factors through testing that show candidates they are valued for their mind. The interview process is transparent, not judgmental. You interview with a diverse, cross-functional panel of people.

What do minority developers need to keep in mind?

Don’t let statistics deter you. "Token" doesn’t mean what you think. Even though numbers show a sliding scale, people are necessary to make the change. Show your talent and make it known – step into the opportunity. Programmers are taught logic and statistics; however, the math isn’t always the reality, you can shape and mold the reality.

What should organizations that are serious about diversity and inclusion do?

Look at Project Include, they help organizations, and in particular management teams, learn where to start.

Inclusion is not an initiative. Organizations must humanize and see the people beyond the actual brand. It all comes down to people. Let people see the people for who they are and how they look or you won’t have diversity.

It’s about inclusion and people wanting to be someplace where they’re included and their voice is heard.

Tags: transparency, total radical transparency, employee empowerment, employee engagement, innovation

One Thing EVERY Company Can Do To Improve Customer Experience

Posted by Tom Smith on Mon, Nov, 17, 2014 @ 12:11 PM

free wifi > customer experience

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I just attended the Internet Summit (#isum14) at the Raleigh Convention Center.

 

I heard plenty of speakers sharing statistics about the growth of the internet, the growth of mobile and how to use the Internet to improve customer experience.

 

Ironically, internet access at the Raleigh Convention Center became limited as the attendance reached 2,000 people.

 

The one thing every business can do to improve the customer experience is to provide an always on, high-speed internet connection.

 

We're all using mobile devices, or laptops, to do business, research, stay in touch and stay informed.

 

By providing always-on, high-speed internet access, you're making your customers', and employees', lives simpler and easier.

 

Making customers' lives simpler and easier gives you a better chance of having a "customer for life."

 

Making your employees' lives simpler and easier gives you more empowered and engaged employees that are more likely to provide your customers an outstanding customer experience.

 

Conferences will have happier attendees.

 

Hotels will have happier guests.

 

Airlines/airports will have passengers that are able to get work done, or stay connected with their loved ones, even if their flight is delayed.

 

Restaurants and coffee shops will provide a valuable service to guests whether they're there on business or pleasure.

 

Businesses will ensure their clients, customers or guests are able to say connected while they're in their offices or stores.

 

How would high-speed internet access differentiate your business from your competition?

 

How would making your customers' lives simpler and easier change their impression of, and willingness to continuing doing business with, you?

 

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Tags: customers for life, customer experience, customer satisfaction, empower employees, customer retention, satisfied customers, customer centric, employee engagement, employee empowerment, customer service

Use NPS to Improve Customer Experience NOT to Disempower Employees

Posted by Tom Smith on Tue, Nov, 04, 2014 @ 10:11 AM

use NPS to deliver an outstanding customer experience

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I received a disturbing response to a blog post about companies with outstanding Net Promoter Scores (NPS) from a young man who works for a company that is using the scores to hammer employees.

 

This is NOT the purpose of NPS.

 

Happy, engaged employees = happy engaged customers.

 

If you penalize employees for a poor NPS you have a much bigger problem on your hands.

 

Use an employee NPS survey to determine how you're doing as an employer.

 

If your employee NPS score is significantly lower than your NPS score, you need to be doing more to empower and engage your employees -- not increasing throughput with reduced numbers.

 

My wife is a fan of Panera and I'm a raving fan of Chipotle. These are supposed to be two of the best quick serve restaurants (QSR) in which to work.

 

I've recently written to both companies as I see the stress on the faces of customer-facing employees, who are my friends, trying to meet the increased demands of corporate to drive throughput and efficiency higher and higher to make Wall Street happy.

 

While investors are your customers, they're not going to keep you in business.

 

If you aren't treating your employees well, then your employees probably aren't treating your customers well.

 

And if your customers start leaving, so will investors.

 

Use NPS and eNPS to understand where you're already strong with regards to customer and employee engagement and what you need to work on.

 

Don't use it to punish your workers.

 

That's short-sighted and ultimately bad for business.

 

Empower Employees to Get Insights Download the Free e-book "How To Get Insights From Analytics" to Accelerate Sales

 

Tags: customer experience, empower employees, net promoter score, customer engagement, raving fans, employee engagement, NPS

5 Obstacles to Employee Engagement and 5 Steps to Overcome Them

Posted by Tom Smith on Fri, Oct, 10, 2014 @ 10:10 AM

describe the image

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks to research provided by Bruce Temkin and the Temkin Group.

 

Only 28% of employees are highly engaged with executives being the most highly engaged and those being employed at small companies being the most highly engaged employees.

 

The top five obstacles to improving employee engagement:

 

  1. Lack of a clear employee engagement strategy.

  2. Inconsistent buy-in among middle managers who may, themselves, not be engaged.

  3. No clear owner leading the effort.

  4. Limited funding to support employee engagement efforts.

  5. Senior management has not identified employee engagement as a priority.

 

Given the focus on sales and monthly/quarterly earnings, it's not a big surprise that neither employees, or customer, engagement is a high priority for many companies.

 

They do not see the correlation between engaged employees and engaged customers and the long-term benefits satisfied customers can provide the firm relative to new prospects.

 

The five "I's" of employee engagement:

 

  1. Inform -- provide employees with the information they need to understand what is expected of them.

  2. Inspire -- connect employees to the company's vision and mission.

  3. Interact -- support employees with training, coaching and feedback. Understand what drives your employees. Hint, it will vary by individual.

  4. Involve -- take action with employees to improve processes and solve problems. Your customer-facing employees have a good idea of where your products and services are, and are not, meeting your customers' needs and expectations.

  5. Incent -- deploy appropriate systems to measure, reward and reinforce desired behaviors. Do you really want to reduce the time a CSR spends on the phone with a customer if spending more time will result in greater customer satisfaction?

Is your firm taking any steps to enhance employee engagement?

 

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Tags: vision, mission, employee engagement, employee empowerment, corporate culture

Practice "Total Radical Transparency" to Improve Employee Engagement

Posted by Tom Smith on Thu, Oct, 09, 2014 @ 10:10 AM

total radical transparency resized 600

 

 

 

 

 

 

I've had the opportunity to work for, and with, more than 100 different companies over the course of my career.

 

It's very rare to find a company, or management team, that practices "total radical transparency."

 

I've worked for two companies that embraced this philosophy and they were the two places where I felt totally empowered, engaged and made the greatest contributions.

 

In a recent edition of Fast Company, in "The Second You Think You're an Auteur, You're Sunk," film director James Cameron, describes how everyone working on a particular project would sit around a table every morning at precisely 8:15 and air out problems.

 

This is tremendously healthy for any team -- management or employees.

 

It ensures everyone is on the same page and in complete alignment about what's working and what isn't.

 

You bring your problems to the group and solve them as a group. Everyone's invested in the solution.

 

Inability to discuss problems openly and honestly hinders their resolution.

 

Fail to address them and they become even bigger problems as well as a poison to your corporate culture.

 

In one company where I was hired to direct the firm's marketing efforts, I asked the president if I could conduct one-on-one interviews with the management team to ensure everyone was in alignment with regards to the vision, mission, values and strategic positioning of the firm.

 

I was advised this wasn't necessary, since the firm had just completed their strategic planning.

 

It took less than a week to see how misaligned the SBU's, and the employees therein, really were.

 

In a recent consulting engagement, I urged the CEO to take a leadership position in social media since the firm aspired to be a leader in their industry.

 

My recommendation was rebuffed because the CEO was concerned that there were groups out there that would not approve of what the firm was selling.

 

If you're not willing to be open and honest with your employees, your customers and your prospects, you will not be a leader in your industry.

 

The internet rewards those who share information and exposes those that hide it.

 

AGE, arrogance, greed and ego, made companies and individuals a lot of money before the advent of the internet and social media.

 

According to Justice Louis D. Brandeis, "sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants." 

 

Given this, the internet and social media will expose those companies who are not transparent with their employees (Glassdoor), their customers (Amazon, Zappos, Yelp) or their prospects.

 

Are you and your firm committed to total radical transparency?

 

If so, you and your employees will benefit.

 

If not, you might want to take another look at your vision, mission and values.

 

Empower Employees to Get Insights Download the Free e-book "How To Get Insights From Analytics" to Accelerate Sales

 

Tags: alignment, vision, mission, values, employee engagement, total radical transparency

Happy Employees = Happy Customers

Posted by Tom Smith on Mon, Oct, 06, 2014 @ 10:10 AM

Tony Hsieh

Photo Credit: Charles Henry, Flickr – Altered with Quote

Thanks to Jenn Lim, CEO of Delivering Happiness, for the following thoughts.
Happiness continues to be elusive in the workplace as headcounts are kept low and leaders remain focused on driving higher rates of productivity and profits.
Morale is low and employees are clueless about the vision, mission and values of the firm as they get no, or conflicting, information from management.
Studies show that employees who are happy and engaged in their work are more successful and more likely to deliver great customer service.
 
It all starts with the vision, mission and values of your company and ensuring that everyone in the firm is in alignment.
Once you've identified the greater good their everyone is working for, have champions to hold everyone, including the management team, accountable.
While Jack Welch liked to fire the 10 to 20% of underperformers, Zappos has been successful by letting go the 10 to 20% of employees who weren't in alignment with brand values. 
There are clear levers to increase a person's happiness:
  • Sense of progress – “is a person developing in their role or in their life?”
     
  • Sense of control – “is a person making decisions and are those decisions being executed on or at least considered?”
     
  • Connectedness – “the depth and breadth of relationships in your work and life.”
     
  • Having passion and flow – “flow is a psychological term that describes something you are so engaged in that it feels like minutes have gone by but in reality it’s actually been hours. How you create that sense of flow in the workplace is basically when you have the level of challenge meeting your level of skill.” We should think about how we can work together and “group teams of people to have that sense of flow so they really want to be engaged in their work.” 
     
  • Sense of higher purpose and meaning (ultimately the most important element) – “what are you doing that is greater than yourself? What is your personal higher purpose and is that aligned with your company higher purpose?”
Results:
  • Recent studies from the Harvard Business Review and The Economist show that business results of happiness are 10 to 30% increases in profitability and 10 to 20% increase in sales.
  • One top-20 ecommerce company increased monthly sales 39% and reduced monthly absences by 96%.
Is your company ensuring its employees are happy?
Empower Employees to Get Insights Download the Free e-book "How To Get Insights From Analytics" to Accelerate Sales

Tags: customer satisfaction, empower employees, vision, mission, values, employee engagement

Drive Adoption and Engagement with Employee Advocacy

Posted by Tom Smith on Fri, Oct, 03, 2014 @ 10:10 AM

employee advocates

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks to Susan Emerick (@sfemerick), CEO and founder of Brands Rising, Lori Grey (@lsgrey) of Deloitte and Alex Cramer (@cramer1000) of Dynamic Signal for an informative presentation on empowering and engaging employees to help drive customer adoption and engagement.

 

I've written before about how loyal employees = loyal customers.

 

More and more brands are empowering their employees to support the goals of the brand by using content and employee-owned social media expertise and contacts.

 

When you consider the number of social media contacts and followers your brand has versus that of all of your employees, you have a tremendous opportunity to increase the reach of your message by asking your employees to share your messages and information of value with their social networks as well as your customers and prospects.

 

Besides, employees generate more trust than companies:

  • 84% of people trust recommendations from people they know while only 15% trust recommendations from brands (Gartner).

  • 70% of customer brand perception is determined by experiences with people (Market Leader).

  • Leads developed through employee social marketing convert 7X more than other leads (IBM).

  • People like to do business with those they know, like and trust. Employees humanize your brand. 

 

There are several steps to building an employee advocacy program:

  1. Determine the "best fit" candidates.

  2. Provide training, remove doubt.

  3. Personalize. 
     
  4. Reward and recognize.

Determining "best fit" candidates depends on the vision, mission and values of your organization and finding the people who are already in alignment and equipped to share their knowledge and expertise.
Characteristics of "best fit" candidates are:
  1. Already have a strong social media footprint.

  2. Comfortable collaborating online.

  3. Find value in creating and nurturing relationships via social media.

  4. Demonstrate a long-term commitment to sustained engagement.

  5. Open to coaching, guidance and learning from data. 

 

There are several steps you can take to provide training and remove doubt given that people and companies have concerns about employees posting on social media on behalf of the company:

  1. Provide education and training on social media best practices, as well as any restrictions the company may have based on industry requirements.

  2. Have peer mentoring or teammates you can bounce questions off of.

  3. Provide an online source of content that's preapproved -- prewritten, preapproved share text that employees can customize. This ensures consistent messaging and eliminates the need for employees to develop information of value from scratch.

 

Personalize the content you are asking your employees to share:

  1. Employees will be much more comfortable with, and likely to share, content that's relevant to them personally and professionally. They'll also be more comfortable personalizing for the channel or the audience.

  2. Use sign-up forms to create groups to know which topics or industries interest which people.

  3. Use groups to tag and distribute content.  

 

Reward and recognize those employees that are helping spread the company message via social media:

  1. Professional recognition is having contributors recognized by their peers and executive management about what they are doing, as well as their accomplishments.

  2. External recognition is showcasing individuals as industry thought-leaders giving them an opportunity to represent, or speak on behalf of, the company at industry functions. 

 

Do you have an employee advocacy program in place?

 

How are your employees' activities benefitting the company?

 

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Tags: transparency, empower employees, connecting emotionally with customers, customer engagement, employee engagement, loyal employees