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Untangling Employee Engagement 032811
Untangling Employee Engagement 032811
Untangling Employee Engagement 032811
Untangling Employee Engagement 032811
Untangling Employee Engagement 032811
Untangling Employee Engagement 032811
Untangling Employee Engagement 032811
Untangling Employee Engagement 032811
Untangling Employee Engagement 032811
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Untangling Employee Engagement 032811

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  • 1. Untangling EmployEE EngagEmEnt:mEasUring and improving organizational CUltUrE patty saari vice president, Client services, Business loyalty Carlson marketing september 2009
  • 2. From thE maChinE agE to thE pEoplE agEDuring the Industrial Age, we looked no further than the back room of our business to determine and manage the value of our customer offering. When we opened that door, we would see gleaming machinery. As raw material went in one end and widgets came out the other, we could measure volume, efficiency, productivity and much more.But in today’s service-, knowledge-, digital-economy, the machine mind-set no longer works. Instead of depending on metal and parts, we now look to the hearts and minds of our employees as the means for ongoing success. And increasingly this requires a focus on intangibles such as our mission and vision, the quality of relationships and the culture of our organization.A resource for assessing and managing a company’s culture is available through the Carlson Marketing Positive Engagement Model. This model is a framework encompassing the six critical facets essential for building authentic employee-to-organization bonds: Achievement, Mastery, Connection, Well-Being, Appreciation and Innovation. The Carlson Marketing Positive Engagement Model is based on research emerging from the new social sciences on positive psychology and positive change. These disciplines are uncovering insight related to the growth of individuals and organizations through strengths, rather than problems and gaps. In addition, this body of work recognizes that positive emotions are an underused resource to organizations interested in developing their capacity in areas such as creativity, courage and compassionate customer service.Positive Engagement is also a precursor to developing strong relationships, both inside and outside an organization. Employees who feel a positive emotional connection to their work are more likely to make discretionary decisions and actions that benefit the organization as a whole. Many other benefits also emerge. For example, in groundbreaking research, Barbara Fredrickson, a psychology professor at the University of North Carolina, determined that “positive emotions transform individuals into more resilient, socially integrated, and capable versions of themselves.” Clearly this becomes a solid foundation for creating a healthy, thriving organization that performs at its best every day.2 © Carlson Marketing 2011
  • 3. INNOVATION ACHIEVEMENT Creativity Courage Open-Mindedness Self-Leadership Teamwork Persistence APPRECIATION MASTERY Enthusiasm POSITIVE Capability Optimism Gratitude ENGAGEMENT Wisdom Curiosity CONNECTION WELL-BEING Belonging Optimum Health Social Intelligence Work-Life Balance Pride Compassion Figure 1. Carlson Marketing Positive Engagement ModelThe six frames of the Carlson Marketing Positive Engagement Model are:achievement … Courage often is overlooked in business, yet it provides the needed push for taking risks and experimenting with new ideas and opportunities. mastery … In a rapidly changing environment, employee skill building and personal development ensure that the business can grow and change over time. Deep expertise also contributes to Innovation and propels the organization into positive cycles of change. Well-Being … This serves as a foundation for superior performance. Well-Being represents optimum health and work-life balance. If the goal is to build a thriving workplace, it stands to reason that feeling fit physically and mentally will set the stage.Connection … Relationships are the thread that links employees to each other as well as to the business. Healthy internal relationships also contribute to healthy customer relationships. appreciation … Enthusiasm and optimism bring energy to a business, and expressions of appreciation reinforce the unique value each person offers. It’s also about experiencing gratitude, which nurtures a strong service orientation.innovation … Creativity is required to solve today’s problems and to build a vision for the future. It also fosters openness and diversity.3 © Carlson Marketing 2011
  • 4. a mEans to mEasUrE CUltUrEand Bottom-linE impaCtPutting this model into practice, Carlson Marketing has developed an assessment tool called the Echo Survey. It allows any organization to measure the level of Positive Engagement of its employees. Through it, a business can quickly identify key areas for improvement against which clear actions may be taken to improve Positive Engagement.The assessment tool also allows organizations to track engagement and progress toward goals over time. A business’s culture can be difficult to understand and manage, yet it’s vitally important to the health of the organization. That’s because a healthy, well-functioning culture contributes to productivity and retention, and in turn, profitability. It therefore pays – literally – to build engagement.How does the Echo Survey work? It is based on Carlson Marketing’s research that uncovered the flow of experiences which, step-by-step, progress from the individual employee on to profitability. There are two elements that are key to this flow: Positive Engagement and Relationship Strength.Essentially, Positive Engagement lays the groundwork for the employee experience. It creates a healthy, vital environment which encourages everyone to be at their best, every day. As individuals become increasingly engaged, they in turn build strong relationships with leadership, their colleagues and customers. And finally, as relationships deepen, employees become more productive, stay with an organization longer, and in turn contribute to higher profitability. Organization Relationship Organization INNOVATION ACHIEVEMENT Creativity Courage Open-Mindedness Self-Leadership Teamwork PersistenceAPPRECIATION Enthusiasm POSITIVE MASTERY Capability Desired ENGAGEMENT Business Optimism Wisdom Gratitude Curiosity Outcomes CONNECTION WELL-BEING Belonging Optimum Health Social Intelligence Work-Life Balance Pride Compassion4 © Carlson Marketing 2011
  • 5. The Echo Survey measures the six elements of Positive Engagement, but also includes a second dimension that examines “Relationship Strength” (using a proprietary Carlson Marketing tool, RSx®). Employee (and customer) relationships are central to business success, yet can be difficult to understand and quantify. However, the relationship code was cracked when research at the University of Alabama revealed that healthy relationships have three key qualities: Trust, Commitment and Alignment. This insight became the basis for developing RSx, Carlson Marketing’s Relationship Strength Index, which makes the elusiveness of relationships something we can tangibly measure. It is through this combination of Positive Engagement and Relationship Strength that we can develop a cultural picture of any organization, and with this information we can take actions which lead to business success and profitability. Therefore building engagement is not just a “nice to have” in your business, it is a contributor to economic health over the long run.5 © Carlson Marketing 2011
  • 6. thE ECho sUrvEy in aCtionCarlson Marketing recently completed a project in which the Echo Survey was used to pinpoint opportunities for change, and in turn build engagement. Highlights of this project follow. A team of approximately 250 people in a large service organization were interested in making business improvements. They believed there was untapped potential and ways to more deeply connect the employees to the business, yet were unsure how to proceed. The first step was a meeting with the leadership team to gain a broader understanding of the business and to get their thoughts on the untapped potential. From there, the Echo Survey was deployed to gather insight from the entire team and not just leadership. Feedback from the survey, as well as through supplemental interviews, showed there were several areas of interest. The team wanted to focus on Mastery and Innovation, because there was a hunger for learning as well as an interest in making ongoing improvements in the business. In addition, the survey revealed they were quite strong in Appreciation and Connection, which could clearly be seen in how well they interacted and in their high level of collaboration in meeting client needs. A typical next step might be to form a leadership subcommittee to identify solutions and actions. However, everyone believed that higher engagement would emerge if the entire department participated in planning business changes. In addition, the project team was interested in taking advantage of the positive relationships across the group and leveraging their ability to work together to solve problems. So, as a result, an invitation was sent to everyone, inviting them to participate in a series of brainstorming and planning meetings, which were referred to as Jam Sessions. The Jam Sessions took place over six weeks, allowing teams to work these sessions into their daily business. During these sessions, the large group was broken into sub-teams of six people, who shared ideas about how their organization might look if Mastery and Innovation were more critically woven into the business. At this stage, emphasis was placed on imagining their world functioning at its best, regardless of the practicality of their dreams. Creativity and energy ran high as the small groups explored various “fantasies” of success. 6 © Carlson Marketing 2011
  • 7. After six of these sessions took place, the output was organized into a comprehensive perspective, and one final half-day meeting was held to select a few projects which would allow them to realize their collective vision. Over 40 people participated in this final discussion, and after three hours of planning and debate, seven new initiatives were identified. The leadership team immediately reviewed these recommendations and gave green lights to all of them. They also volunteered as leadership champions for each one. Finally, all 40 people assigned themselves to one of the seven projects and selected their respective team leaders. Additional team members were recruited and projects were under way that afternoon. Over the course of six months, all seven initiatives were implemented. Among the projects were the following initiatives: EngagEmEnt inCEntivEs Through the discussions it was noted there were many Mastery opportunities to learn and grow, but they weren’t consistently taken advantage of by the team members. To promote and facilitate participation in a variety of formal and informal learning activities, the team assembled a lengthy list of opportunities. They then used their budget to create a pool of rewards – gift cards, logo merchandise and small gifts such as electronics – and used these to run an incentive program. As employees completed an activity from the list, their name was included in a monthly drawing. This program was very well-received and many people enjoyed the chance not just to learn, but to receive a small reward for their effort. dEpartmEnt shoWCasEs Another idea was called Department Showcases. The organization was of such a size that not everyone understood what each individual team was responsible for in producing the daily business. To educate fellow team members, seven departments conducted “open houses” to talk with colleagues about their roles, processes and outputs involving both Connection and Mastery in action! Each team used posters to illustrate their work, and many made it festive through decorations and small gifts. Over 74 percent of the employees attended these sessions, and the project team received excellent feedback on their overall value.7 © Carlson Marketing 2011
  • 8. JoB shadoWing Finally, the Showcases set the stage for putting some job shadowing into place. While the Showcase gave a high-level overview, the job shadowing allowed for a more personal, one- on-one exchange. The job shadowing was designed as a short-term experience, in which individuals were matched to partners based on interest. The experiences averaged 1 to 2 hours, and 72 people asked to participate. Again, feedback was so enthusiastic that the group plans to make this an ongoing offer. Over the course of these experiences, the Echo Survey was used to gather a monthly sample of employees during the six-month implementation period. As the first Jam Sessions were getting under way, the overall survey was tracking at a 4.39 on a 7-point scale. Six months later, the team showed an increase of .66 to a score of 5.05. Just as powerful, the leadership team was excited to see the genuine interest and energy that went into each project, all of which took place without diminishing customer service or other business demands. And in a business climate in which bad news is raining on everyone on a regular basis, it was exciting to see the enthusiasm as well as the results.plEasE notE:Carlson Marketing Worldwide will act to protect the privacy of all respondents participating in any research we conduct. While the Client might own the data, Carlson Marketing will not provide the Client with any information that could uniquely identify any individual participant. The exception to this would be that all parties have agreed upon sharing respondent identifying information up front and this has been clearly communicated to all respondents participating in the research.8 © Carlson Marketing 2011
  • 9. patty saariviCE prEsidEnt, CliEnt sErviCEsBUsinEss loyaltyPatty Saari leads the sales and delivery aspects of engagement programs focused on rewards and recognition. Her expertise stems from her years building Carlson Marketing’s market-leading prepaid card portfolio and has expanded to include the broader rewards and recognition market. She is a primary thought leader and strategist regarding the application and delivery of rewards in the employee, channel and consumer space.Since Patty’s start with Carlson Marketing in 1997, she has built an extensive list of client experience that includes leading companies in the automotive, pharmaceutical, telecommunications and financial services industries. She is a valued industry resource as a frequent speaker and contributor to trade publications including Incentive, Paybefore and Salesand Marketing Strategies & News.Prior to this role, Patty led the Prepaid Card Services division with responsibility for all facets of business development, product development, program implementation and portfolio maintenance and compliance. She also was a leader in Carlson Marketing’s strategic alliance team and began her Carlson career as a founding member of the award-winning Incentive Debit Card Division.She is a 2007 graduate of the Carlson School of Management Executive Leadership Program. Patty received her Bachelor of Arts degree in business management from the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, Minnesota.For morE inFormation, ContaCt:patty saariVice President, Client Services Business Loyalty1405 Xenium Lane Minneapolis, MN 55441Phone: 763.445.3122 pesaari@carlsonmarketing.com9 © Carlson Marketing 2011

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