Improve Employee Engagement with Employee Generated Content (EGC)


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How do you keep employees in the loop when the home office is in Kansas, but a huge segment of the team is in Bangalore? Corporate video has been used to connect employees, clients and stakeholders, for some time, but to employ a 20th-century format, in which static content is generated and produced at the executive level, would be to miss out on the enormous benefits and potential for higher engagement to be found in Employee Generated Content or EGC.

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Improve Employee Engagement with Employee Generated Content (EGC)

  1. 1. Improving Employee Engagement with EGC0WhitepaperImproving Employee Engagement withEmployee Generated ContentMediaPlatform, Inc.8383 Wilshire BoulevardSuite 750Beverly Hills, CA 90211(310)
  2. 2. Improving Employee Engagement with EGC1Using Employee Generated Content to Boost EngagementThe relationship between employee engagement and productivity is correlational and causal (aswe’ll discuss in subsequent sections), but the bridge between the two can be difficult totraverse, complicated by reorganizations, multi-sourced teams, and time-zone differences. Howdo you keep employees in the loop when the home office is in Kansas, but a huge segment ofthe team is in Bangalore? Corporate video has been used to connect employees, clients andstakeholders, for some time, but to employ a 20th-century format, in which static content is generatedand produced at the executive level, would be tomiss out on the enormous benefits and potential forhigher engagement to be found in EmployeeGenerated Content or EGC.What is EGC?Employee Generated Content (EGC) refers to contentproduced by a company’s employees for strictlyinternal purposes, which is usually accessed througha company’s intranet. EGC is created, edited andpublished directly by the employees themselves, andusually requires adherence to established submissionprotocols or may be pre-screened by communicationsstaff. Typically EGC is not intended to beauthoritative, but rather an expression of personalthoughts and opinions within a professional context.EGC can take the form of video content, newsletters,presentations or blogs.Why Employee Engagement MattersIn organizational development circles, the playbookfor increasing a company’s strength andcompetitiveness invariably includes a chapter on thedynamic between an engaged workforce and greaterefficiency and profitability. 62% of organizationssurveyed in the “State of HR survey 2013: recoveryin sight?” , which polled more than 300 HRprofessionals across 13 industry sectors, sayemployee engagement is their top HR priority in2013i, according to research by law firm SpeechlyBircham and King’s College London.Benefits of EGCWhen video EGC is created anddistributed in real-time, town hallmeetings and other events, becomevehicles for knowledge sharing,expertise building, and areeffectively transformed into animmersive virtual culture whichbuilds teams across borders.Insiders continuously report thatemployees are more engagedthrough peer and manager EGCthan executive produced content1.The intangible benefits of videoEGC include a deeper considerationof the nature and value of theindividual employee’s work, anincreased sense of the value oftheir work, and a clearerunderstanding of how their workcan benefit others and enable themto be more productive, effective,and derive more satisfaction fromtheir work, thereby creating a senseof shared community and commongoals across divisions, branches,and teams. The result is a moreengaged corps of employees.
  3. 3. Improving Employee Engagement with EGC2Engageonomics: The Engaged Employee vs. the Non-EngagedEmployeeEmployee engagement is “a measurable degree of an employee’s positive or negative emotionalattachment to their job, colleagues and organization that profoundly influences their willingnessto learn and perform at work.”iiEngaged employees are distinguished by an enhanced concernfor the future of the company, principally demonstrated by theemployee’s willingness to expend discretionary effort.iiiTheycharacteristically have a strong emotional attachment to thecompany that employs them, which translates into tangiblepositive business outcomes, such as higher retention rates,productivity and reduced absenteeism. Engagement can bebroken down into four categories: Emotional Attachment,Involvement, Commitment, and Productivity.Emotional Attachment88% of highly engaged employees believe they can “positively impact the quality of theirorganization’s products”, versus 38% of disengagedemployees. 68% of highly engaged employees believethey can “positively impact costs in their job or unit”versus 19% of the disengaged. And there is ampleempirical data to support a correlation between anemployee’s belief about their ability to positively contributeto a company and their subsequent performance.InvolvementIn a 2000 study of 15 steel mills, 17 apparel manufacturers, and 10 electronic instrument andimaging equipment producers, researchers found that plants utilizing high-involvement practicesshowed superior performance and inspired greater trust, organizational commitment andintrinsic enjoyment of the work. In a 2005 study of sales teams, “low-engagement” teamsproduced a difference in “performance-related costs of low- versus high-engagement teamstotaling $2,104,823.3.”ivDuring two studies of employees in the life insurance industry (3,570 employees in 49organizations and 4,828 employees in 92 organizations), researchers found that whenemployees felt they had the power to make decisions, sufficient knowledge and information to
  4. 4. Improving Employee Engagement with EGC3work effectively, and rewards for high performance, high-involvement management practiceswere positively associated with employee morale, employee retention, and firm financialperformance.vCommitmentEmployees with the highest level of commitment perform 20% better and are 87% less likely toleave the organization.viAt the beverage company Molson Coors, engagedemployees were five times less likely than non-engagedemployees to have a safety incident and seven timesless likely to have a lost-time safety incident. The netcost for safety incidents was $63 for an engagedemployee versus $392 for a non-engaged employee.Strengthened employee engagement at Molson Coorsresulted in a savings of $1,721,760 in safety costs in2002. And in two studies (2000 and 2002), The globalconsulting firm Watson Wyatt Worldwide found that high-commitment organizations (ones withloyal and dedicated employees) out-performed those with low commitment by 47% and by200%, respectively. viiProductivityIn addition to the studies cited in the previoussection, in the management consulting firm HayGroup’s study of professional service firms, theyfound that offices with engaged employees were upto 43% more productive.Creating Buzz: GeneratingEngagementIn real terms, employee engagement corresponds tohigher retention, improved customer service,individual performance, unit productivity, andenterprise-level financial performance, as these casestudies amply demonstrate, yet currently only 31%of employees are actively engaged in their jobs,according to Blessing White’s Employee EngagementReport (2011)viii. To create engagement meanscreating situations in which employees choose towork in the best interests of the company, because“How To” VideosIn a recent survey of 240 managersand executives across a variety ofindustries conducted by a streamingmedia group, it was found thatwhile most EGC were created byexecutives, the most attention-grabbing were those produced byfront-line employees. Of thoseemployees surveyed, 73% believe itincreased their productivity, whichis not surprising given that themajority of the videos were “HowTo” videos created by theircolleagues to share theirknowledge, expertise and insights.
  5. 5. Improving Employee Engagement with EGC4of an innate desire to do so. And there are specific drivers that can enable a company toencourage those conditions:• Effective internal employee communications• Clarity of job expectations• Regular feedback and dialogue with superiors• Quality of working relationships with peers, superiors, and subordinates• Perception of the ethos and values of the organization• Perception of job importance• Career advancement/improvement opportunitiesEach of the outlined drivers can be built into a company’s culture in extremely cost-effectiveways, the most exciting being that of employee generated content (EGC).Engaging the MassesThe modern workforce is a scattered one, with more employees than ever working in the fieldor teleworking both domestically and internationallyix. Numbers for those who telework varyfrom 4 million to 44.4 million, depending on the definition, which itself variesx. But for that Xmillion that work some or all of their work weekremotely, the traditional approach to ensuringemployee engagement and productivity – proximityand oversight – is non-applicable.As noted earlier, one of the principal drivers of anengaged workforce is effective internalcommunications. Effective internal communicationsare most keenly lacking in global organizations wherethe home office is in one country and a majorcontingent of its annexed workforce is in anotherxi.For this segment of the workforce, a more innovativeprocess is required, one that enables remoteemployees to connect with corporate goals andinspires them to do their best, without the use offace-to-face strong-arming. Video EGC is providingthis crucial link for the perpetually out-of-the-officeworker, by allowing them to connect with their peersonline and through mobile applications, wherever they are.Capitalizing on the emergence of a hyper-mobilized workforce (1.2 billion workers worldwidenow carry mobile devicesxii), MediaPlatform has become the first online video platform to enablevideo upload from mobile devices (specifically iPhones®, iPads® and Android phones),fostering greater employee engagement, connectivity and collaboration.Benefits of Video EGCVideo EGC can attach workers tocompany policies, best practices,ideals and strategic developmentsin a meaningful way, whichultimately helps companies get themost from remote employees. Infact, remote employees, who haveno other way to have a grouphuddle with their team, may be thestrongest advocates for andbeneficiaries of video EGC.
  6. 6. Improving Employee Engagement with EGC5Given that in 2012, 33% of business intelligence functionality was accessed by smartphonesand tabletsxiii, the mobile video solution MediaPlatform offers has substantial benefits for near-sourced staff as well.Creating and Sustaining Engagement in a Time of Transition:Pfizer’s EGC Story70 percent of business transformation efforts fail due to lack of engagementxiv. Perhaps it wasfor this reason that when Pfizer, the world’s largest pharmaceutical company (59 billion inrevenuesxvand over 91,000 employeesxvi) began to develop a strategy for building andsustaining employee engagement through its 2006 – 2007 global transformation, it looked forsomething outside of the traditional corporate messaging platforms. The reorganization wouldbe pretty dramatic, involving a radical overhaul of the business, reorganization of the structure(staff reductions of roughly 20%), and a host of new responsibilities, especially for the field-based workforce (which meant 70% of the staff). The changes would bring into question everyaspect of a worker’s daily life: Who would they be reporting to? What were their newresponsibilities? How would they manage those responsibilities? Lesser conditions would inspiredread and, consequently, a drop in engagement with far-reaching ripple effects. Pfizer waslooking at the real possibility of widespread panic.To engage staff organically, a solution as drastically different from Old World corporatedirectives as the organization hoped to emerge from the transition, was sought. The goal ofthe reorganization was to become leaner and more competitive, of course, but it was also tospur a metamorphosis in culture, shedding its highly conservative and “risk averse” nature, andbecoming a “communication culture” that was open and dynamic. “In the lead up, by necessity,you have lots of top-down, legal-based communication,” explains Nigel Edwards, Pfizer’s UKInternal Communication Manager. “When that goes on for a period of time, it does color whatpeople are feeling about the organization.” To minimize employee distrust and disengagementthe medium had to be the same as the message in tone and character, or fall prey to appearingdisingenuous.Edwards’ team selected 10 employees (from all levels of the organization), armed them withcameras and tripods and empowered them to create EGC in the form of video diaries of theirexperience with the transformation – a sort of Pfizer “Real World”. The diarists were given thefreedom to be brutally honest: “Every time you go to an internal meeting or have aconversation or see a change – something that makes you think about how you do your job,how you fit in and what this transformation will mean to you - just go in front of the camcorderand say what it felt like and what you learned.” The EGC diaries were distributed in stagesthroughout the crucial three-month gap between the announcement of the change and theconference in which staff could share feedback on it.The results were “extraordinary”, according to Edwards. The frankness and relatable of seeingpeople “who look like” them, doing their jobs, and encountering similar challenges, often
  7. 7. Improving Employee Engagement with EGC6recorded at the employees’ homes (with cats and children in the background), created a waveof good feeling. Pulse surveys tracked an upswing on the critical terms of study, fieldemployees reported: knowing how the new organization worked, feeling engaged in it, andfeeling confident about the future – all harbingers of a more engaged workforce. The mostcrucial positive outcome was that employing EGC had enabled Pfizer to build and sustain trustthrough the change process, which is often the hardest hit and the hardest to reestablish aftera restructuring.i