In this webinar with Dr. Laura Hamill, Chief Science Officer and Chief People Officer and Lauren Franklin, Sr. Brand Manager, hear how employers are using technology to improve engagement for all by reinforcing a sense of connection and leveraging insights to take meaningful action.
Laura Ok let’s jump right in. Today we’re focusing on employee engagement and the role technology can play in effecting your employee’s engagement.
Lauren We wanted to take some time to share a little about how we’re taking care of our well-being and engagement during this uncertain time. I’ve learned that I’m not used to long stretches of focus time, needed to figure out a new way to work to sustain focus and engagement, started taking more breaks, revamped my office space and made it a dedicated spot, scheduling virtual coffee dates with my closest friends at work
In preparing for this, Laura and I discussed the best approach for today. We asked ourselves do we focus on engagement in the time of COVID? Or do we focus on what we know about engagement so that when we’ve past this, whenever it may be, that we’re helping people lay the foundation for the future? As I’m sure many of you feel, it’s hard to know what the “right” move is during these times. We’ve opted to do a mix for those of you where this is constantly on your mind and thinking: “how can I help my people still stay engaged during this time?!” and for those of you who may be putting a pause on surveys and other big efforts right now until we’re past the thick of it, we hope we can paint a picture of what could be in the future.
With that, it’s always one of my favorite honors to present with my colleague and friend, Dr. Laura Hamill. Laura – I’ll let you take it from here to introduce yourself.
How I’m taking care of my own engagement In some ways, improved—I have a little more time to think, to be creative, to be thoughtful—at same time, I know this also can feel like a very lonely time I miss connecting with them in more informal ways—and now have even more empathy for our employees who are always working at home I’m trying to build in more informal connections than I have had before
We are going to start with a definition of engagement and dig into what it is
Then we are going to talk about engagement from the perspective of employees and how technology can help
Although it has been around for a long time, I continue to be fascinated by the topic of employee engagement So much opportunity for organizations to evolve in this space still
Two big mistakes I still see organizations making:
First: Thinking of engagement as an employee survey I love surveys, a big part of my career has been about surveys But fascinating to me how we have distilled employee engagement into doing an annual or bi-annual survey Overly focused on measurement and not focused enough on action Also not focused enough in seeing how the day-to-day experience is all about engagement (or NOT) These surveys are just too infrequent as well
Second: Thinking of engagement only through the lens of how it helps the business When I ask some HR leaders—how they define or think about engagement they tend to say things like discretionary effort or above and beyond NOT thinking about this from the perspective how what engagement means to an employee Doesn’t feel human, doesn’t feel mutual
Laura Read def: Employee engagement is a deep connection and sense of purpose at work that creates extra energy and commitment. I’m so deeply connected to my work--that I think about it a lot, that I feel an identity with my work, feel responsible, feel inspired That emotional connection leads to me doing better work, to connecting the dots, to coming up with new ideas, to being truly committed to my work and company
This is truly different from job satisfaction—which is just an evaluation of my work components (e.g., I like my benefits, my manager, I have the resources to do my job)—job satisfaction is just a starting point. On top of that, do I get this energy from my work?
Behaviors of engaged and disengaged employees: Engaged behaviors/Disengaged behaviors (SHRM)Optimistic/PessimisticTeam-oriented/Self-centeredGoes above and beyond/High absenteeismSolution-oriented/Negative attitudeSelfless/EgocentricShows a passion for learning/Focuses on monetary worthPasses along credit but accepts blame/Accepts credit but passes along blame
Engagement is also truly different from participation. Sometimes within the benefits function or the communication function we tend to talk about participation as engagement—going through the motions, hitting a link, doing something we are paying you to do—that is not engagement, it’s just participation—this emotional connection cannot be purchased it has to be formed over time.
Do you want to go to work most days? Are you even excited to go to work?
This emotional connection is good for employees and good for employers
These are just samples of how having an engaged workforce leads to better business results
Engaged workforces are related to higher stock price growth, more profitability, more productivity and fewer safety incidents And even when an employee has a safety incident, it costs less when you are employees are engaged Moreover, the average cost of a safety incident for engaged employees was $63, compared with an average of $392 for nonengaged employees (SHRM, 2006, Vance)
Over and over the research shows this Almost any business results your organization might care about—it’s better to have an engaged workforce We accept this now as a truism
So how to you create more engagement? You have to focus on the drivers of engagement—what are the conditions for your employees to be engaged? Research we conducted in the institute These are the constructs that have the strongest statistical relationship with “I feel personally engaged in my work” Does my work have meaning and purpose? Do I feel like I’m growing? Do I enjoy the work itself? Am I making a difference? Am I using my strengths? Am I valued and respected? Do I feel supported? Do I feel connected? Aspects of well-being—manageable stress, how am I using my time at work? Engagement is the engine, well-being is the fuel
What I hope you see here it the mutual commitment—what is the org doing to support me? Is the organization creating the conditions for me to be engaged? And how do I feel about it—not just that I have access or that there are resources. For example, growth—there might be great learning resources, but do I feel like my manager is supporting me and encouraging me to grow? Does the organization have a growth mindset or a fixed mindset? Am I feeling like I am growing in my daily experiences?
Enterprise Rent-A-Car: Shared Commitment (from SHRM) Enterprise Rent-A-Car is besting many competitors in part because of its focus on employee engagement. The local office is the focus of Enterprise Rent-A-Car’s engagement strategy. When someone joins the staff, a company representative and the new employee sign a “commitment success letter” that outlines their pledges and expectations for each other. “So there is a high-level reporting system in place,” McCarty explained, “but the power of engagement is really in the one-on-one connections that folks have with the managers of the local entities. Each branch manager has lots of autonomy, and the one-on-one things they do to keep their employees engaged are less glamorous than some corporate policies—but more real.
So our engagement efforts must focus more on creating these conditions in the the daily work experience
Lauren—let’s dig into some real examples of this
Lauren To better illustrate how these drivers show up for employees in your organization, we want to tell 3 different employee stories.
Lauren Meet Josue. He’s a couple months into his role on the marketing team and is realizing that he’s taking on a lot more responsibility than described during his interview process. He's noticed his weekends are even starting to be consumed by email catch-up or worrying about all the work to do on Monday. His engagement is quickly waning as he finds himself extra tired most days before work even starts. His boss is praising him about the great work he's doing but hasn't even noticed Josue's lack of energy and excitement. Despite only being a couple months in, Josue wonders how long he can keep this up.
Lauren Meet Aparna. Aparna is the receptionist at a remote location of her global company. She keeps the office moving and is respected by many of her colleagues for her organization and attitude. There’s an opportunity to apply for a women’s leadership course offered by the global HR team and she needs supervisor approval to apply. During the conversation with her supervisor, she is pretty clear with Aparna – “I think it’s great you want to apply, but your job is to answer the phones, greet people and keep us all organized and you seem really happy doing that. I don’t see why you need a leadership course for your job. Plus, I need you 100% here.” Aparna goes back to her desk and feels her opinion towards this company shifting.
Lauren Meet Cameron. Cameron is a doctor working the graveyard shift at a university hospital. It’s her first week on the job and she’s feeling at a loss for where she fits in and who to go to for what. Her manager seems so busy and stressed that she’s fearful to reach out to her for questions. Does she even know she’s here? Her peers try to help, but they’ve been at the hospital for so long, they don’t know how to point her in the right direction. Soon, Cameron just fades into the background doubting if she’s in the right place for her.
Now imagine Cameron in today’s environment. We read recently that soon-to-be med school grads are being fast tracked to graduation and now jumping into an emergency situation to support COVID efforts (probably not even their specialist that they’ve been studying for several years). There isn’t time to onboard and orient. It’s straight to helping. What does care look like for Cameron in that environment?
Lauren Now we’re going to talk about how their experience could have been different. As Laura mentioned, engagement is about every day moments and I think sometimes when we’re so focused on how we’re measuring and when we are, we forget what changes the measurement – those small actions. And it’s hard to imagine what those might be when we’re operating at the high-level so we wanted to paint a picture of what those could like when technology plays a role in meeting your employees where they’re at. And how it might be a couple subtle nudges that can shift an experience.
Lauren Recall that Josue was starting to feel burnt out in his role. As Laura mentioned, manageable hours and stress are a key driver of engagement, so if this goes unnoticed, Josue may not last long in his new role. For Josue, he needs support from his manager AND himself to focus on his well-being.
This may look like…
Laura So remember Aparna? She was excited about the opportunity to grow her career, but wasn’t getting any encouragement from her supervisor What if her supervisor had gotten this clear message from her employee—outlining her role in supporting employee growth; that not only that it was okay, but it is very much encouraged Or Aparna was encouraged to talk with her manager and others about the areas of her role that she really liked and she felt were her strengths Or for her to show how her strengths could help the organization even more
One company we work with has created a Talent Marketplace—a way to think about the talent in the organization and how people can get new career and growth opportunities within the company—talk about showing in the daily work that they support employee growth and development. Imagine what a different experience Aparna might have had if she worked there.
Lauren Back to Cameron. For Cameron, she’s needing basic information about how to be an employee at Northwest Medical. Her shift supervisor likely needs to see information that can help her support Cameron, but even if she doesn’t have that time, it’s important Cameron still gets that too. This could look like..
Now think of if Cameron were a physician during this time of extreme needs in our world, support for her needs to be quick and easy to access so she can focus her efforts where it’s needed the most so she can get set up for success in the 5 minutes of spare time she may have in a day. And if Cameron can get this information on her own, it gives her manager space to focus on demonstrating care for Cameron and her colleagues.
Again, it’s not huge massive efforts. It’s the small acts where an employees gets a reminder that their organization cares.
Now, Laura, I’ll pass back to you to wrap us up with takeaways and Q&A.
*Share examples of how to connect with people and transition into care in crisis [potentially new slide with examples] Going for walks Checking in via text Support creating grocery lists Catering lunch for manufacturing workers Remind people of company values and why they’re working
Engagement is a day-to-day experience (not one-time survey!) It matters that people feel engaged (and it’s better for your business!) Technology can help you personalize engagement and the employee experience
We must change the way we think about engagement
We want all employees and all companies to feel the magic and reap the benefits of engagement
At this time we’ll transition into Q&A. As a reminder, you can type out your questions the Questions pane of the control panel. We’ll give you all a few minutes to do just that now.
**Planted Questions Just In Case: How can we get leaders to care about employee engagement if they aren’t already? How is employee engagement related to employee experience? What are some steps for organizations to take to move away from just thinking about engagement as a survey and more a part of the daily employee experience?
LauraThank you for joining us today and if you have any other questions, please contact email@example.com. You will receive a follow-up email at the end of the week with a link to view a recording of all sessions from the Limeade Engage 2020 Webinar Series. Thank you again for joining us and have a great rest of your day!
Lauren – introduce my session
How to Use Technology to Build Connections and Improve Engagement
How to Use
Chief People Officer
Chief Science Officer
• Defining engagement
• Engagement through the lens of the
• The role of technology
To what extent is focusing on employee engagement
part of your job?
1. I am fully focused on engagement
2. Engagement is one of my primary responsibilities
3. Engagement is a small part of my responsibilities
4. Engagement is not currently part of my responsibilities
Employee engagement is a
deep connection and sense of purpose
at work that creates extra energy
Companies with high employee
Companies with higher
Disengaged employees are
higher stock price
growth compared to
that of less engaged
more profitable and
40% more productive2
more likely to have
81Hay Group, 2010; 2 Aon Hewitt, 2009; 3.SHRM,
& Work Hours
Time Spent Wisely Ability to Focus
Meaning & Purpose
Drivers of Employee Engagement
9Limeade Institute, 2016
& Work Identity
& Enjoyable Work
1. Not at all, we don’t focus on employee engagement
2. We focus on employee engagement, but only through measurement using infrequent
surveys (i.e. bi-annual)
3. We focus on employee engagement, but only through measurement using frequent
surveys (i.e. pulses)
4. We focus on employee engagement, through measurement and through daily
How does your organization focus on employee engagement?