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002 Engagement Strategy


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002 Engagement Strategy

  1. 1. Where we have come from, where we are going and how we are going to get there. Employee Engagement StrategyCustomer Experience is a fundamental part of our business strategy as we continue togrow as a company. We must differentiate and distance ourselves from our competitors by building and delivering the best customer experience in our industry. This we will do together as we stage the “Love Hertz” Show. Our Team has been created to build a new customer experience; an experience that is difficult for our competitors to copy, an experience that is a differentiator —our customers choose Hertz because of how it feels to do business with us – “the experience”. Competitive customer experience comes from implementing innovative ways of serving our customers and by doing the basics better than our competitors. Influences on the customer experience are broad and deep-rooted, so we need to become experts at the fundamentals of our business. The different findings presented by the various Customer Experience studies that Hertz commissioned - London Business School, McKinley and JD Powers- all reveal a common theme - that world class customer experiences are successfully designed and managed ‘as theatres’,- across every touch-point, with employees as actors and the customer as the audience.
  2. 2. Employee engagement can be thought of as the commitment to something or someone in theorganization that leads to enhanced effort levels and intention to stay with the organization.  This commitment may be directed towards both the organization and toward ones day-to-day job, team, and manager.  Employee commitment can be rational or emotional - both are important - but emotional commitment is four times more powerful than rational commitment in terms of boosting employees effort levels.  Most employees, roughly 76%, are neither engaged nor disengaged with their employer - they are "up for grabs", waiting for their employer to actively capture their commitment.  Research in differences in engagement levels across companies suggests that the approach used by a company to drive employee engagement can significantly impact commitment levels.  Employees will reward with greater effort a clear understanding of the connection between their job and the companys strategy and progress - boosting this understanding represents the most effective means of driving engagement.This is the mission of the Mobilization, Communication and Learning role in the Customer Experience Program. Running the business as a theatre:  The Customer Experience Program will use the concept of running a business as a theatre to specifically lay out a vision of its strategy and direction that is clearly understood by employees as well as being linked to their day-to-day lives.
  3. 3.  This is important, not because I feel that it is, but more so because numerous researches indicate that employees cite this as the most important driver of their commitment and engagement to a company.  The Customer Experience Team has a significant opportunity to work with senior management and line mangers to make this company strategy "real" for employees.  Employees also reward companies that "live" their values (they also punish those they deem insincere!).  Our role as the CX Team is to work with line managers and Human Resources to drive and sustain the behavioral change that supports alignment between our corporate values and the notion of running the business as a theatre.  The role of the first CX Communication that we will discuss in our call on Monday is to establish a framework and the role definitions that are required in order to furnish a positive emotional connection to the daily activities of our CX Teams.  Engaged employees are inspired to go above and beyond the call of duty to help meet business goals. Employee engagement framework: Employee engagement is commitment to job, team, manager, and organization, which drives effort levels and intent to stay and thus ultimately impacts performance and retention.Hearts and minds  In order to actively manage the commitment of our employees we must understand how employee commitment manifests itself.  Rational commitment forms when employees believe they will personally benefit - financially, developmentally, or professionally - from their teams, managers, or organizations.
  4. 4.  More importantly, emotional commitment forms when employees believe in, value, or enjoy their day-to-day work, teams, managers, or organizations. In other words, rational commitment is of the mind, while emotional commitment is of the heart......hence our Customer Experience «Love Hertz" logo. In terms of the mission engaged by the CX Team, emotional commitment will have far more impact on driving discretionary effort than does rational commitment. The objective of our internal CX communication is to drive emotional commitment and to inflect discretionary effort. Emotional commitment can be summarized as the extent to which employees derive pride, enjoyment, inspiration, or meaning from their organization and discretionary effort can be described as an employees willingness to expend effort beyond work expectations and to look for ways to perform the job more effectively.
  5. 5.  A recent study by the Corporate Leadership Council (UK) who surveyed more than o 50,000 employees from 59 organizations, o 27 countries and 10 industries,  Indicates that companies with above-average levels of employee commitment are nearly twice as likely to out perform their industry average revenue growth as are their peers with below-average levels of employee commitment.  The business case for boosting employee engagement rests primarily on the relationship between engagement, discretionary effort, and performance and between engagement and retention.  It is said that employees exhibiting the highest levels of commitment provide as much as 57% more discretionary effort than do employees with the lowest commitment levels.Hearts over minds  While rational incentives may create compelling reasons for employees to remain within an organization and meet basic performance requirements, it is the employees who derive pride, inspiration, and enjoyment from their job and organization who put forth the highest levels of discretionary effort.  Communication has little ability to inflect rational commitment but significant ability to do so for emotional commitment.  I foresee that the Mobilization, Communication and Learning role has a real opportunity to drive corporate performance by boosting the emotional engagement of Hertz employees, particularly to the company and their jobs.  The theatre message and terminology are essential ingredients to the success of this objective.  One of the single most important aspects of a company’s culture is its ability to communicate.  Organizations in which relevant information flows freely between peers and between managers and their teams enjoy significantly higher effort levels than organizations where information is siloed, delayed by bureaucracy, or communicated only reactively.  Put more simply, when employees are aware of organizational activities and management decisions that affect their jobs, they commit more readily and try harder.
  6. 6. Tell us why  Understanding how to do ones job, believing in the importance of it, and understanding how to complete ones work are more critical in driving effort than any other day-to-day work factors, including safety, resources, job quality and job fit.  Rebuilding our customer experience using a familiar concept such as the theatre, as well as the language and lingo that accompanies it, provides a line of sight that will allow us to effectively promote and channel employee effort toward driving business success.  Specifically emphasizing the connection between work and organizational strategy (the theatre concept), as well as the importance of a "role" in promoting organizational success, ensures that employees feel that their work is truly of value to the organization and, therefore to their peers and managers, which leads to greater levels of emotional commitment.  Not only is it important for employees to clearly understand the connection between their day- to-day work and the company, it is important to understand this connection from day one of an employees work experience.  It is here that the work in progress by the Talent Management COE in terms of employee on- boarding programs must be aligned to this objective.  The most important activities during the on boarding process are describing to new hires how and why their jobs are important as well as tying their roles to Hertz’s organizational vision and strategy led by the Customer Experience Team.  Unfortunately, despite the criticality of giving new hires greater transparency into the importance of their specific "roles" on the organizations "stage", on boarding programs often fail to extend beyond the standard focus of providing employees with proper resources and explaining performance objectives.  The CX communication strategy will fill this hole by ensuring that new hires leave the on boarding process with a clear picture of the connection between their jobs and Hertz’s direction and success.A rare skill  One way that the CX communication strategy will assist managers in developing an organizational competence in communications will be materialized by making managers at all levels more comfortable (and ultimately more effective) in getting key messages out in their own words rather than relying on talking points and "scripting".  A benchmark in this area is Continental Airlines whose approach in doing so - developing leader storytellers - is instructive, in that it develops a rare skill set.  Engaging employees emotionally through stories was one of the talents of Continentals CEO, Gordon Bethune whose objective was to engage employees in order to restore the airline to profitability after eight consecutive years of losses.
  7. 7.  Over the years Mr. Bethune led Continental to improved performance, and his colleagues attributed this to his ability to engage employees emotionally through stories.  Wanting to extend the power of storytelling beyond the CEO in order to develop the communication skills of its executives, Continental codified the underlying skills and developed a story telling class.The resulting 4 hour class effectively accomplishes two important goals:  By starting the sessions with discussion by the companys CEO or President (who use stories themselves), the course helps overcome any skepticism by participants about the importance or effectiveness of storytelling as a management tool.
  8. 8.  By breaking down the skill set of story telling into simple steps, then building on each step across the session, the course helped engender nimbleness in the use of storytelling among participants without overwhelming them. Participants began to develop storytelling skills by preparing an anecdote of their own for delivery. They identified an event from their own experiences, constructed a story around it, and auditioned the story content based on an understanding of audience motivations, priorities and touch points and then did so based on the different objectives the story might accomplish. The idea behind taking the theatre concept further for the CX Teams is to establish a story line upon which we can build other stories that will assist in the transformation of our culture. It should be noted that companies such as Disney, who effectively use the theatre concept, also develop story telling as an integral part of their culture. This permits employees to view their everyday roles from an angle where they play the role of an actor in a show on a stage and not a person behind a counter serving often aggressive and discourteous people. The theatre approach sets the scene for the customer before he makes contact with the employee who as an actor on stage, plays out his role; that of satisfying the customer whatever the situation.