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Employee Engagement:
Changing the Game
2
Employee Engagement: Changing the Game
Employee Engagement:
Changing the Game
Table of Contents
Employee Engagement vs. Employee Recognition				 3	
	What is an engaged employee?						5
Developing a baseline								5
	Step 1: Measuring engagement levels					6
	Step 2: Employee Engagement survey					7
	Step 3: Develop clear objectives					9
Methods and tactics
	 Programs that may improve Employee Engagement			 9
	Potential tactics								10
Communication strategies							12
Tools and technology								14
	Surveys									14
	Social networking							14
	CRM									15
	Video Tools								15
Challenges and Pitfalls:								15
Conclusion 									18
3
Employee Engagement is the outcome of consistent and effective employee
recognition.
Employee engagement occurs as the end-state of a focused effort.
Employee Engagement: Changing the Game
Employee Engagement vs.
Employee Recognition
Employee engagement, as a concept, is sometimes misinterpreted as employee
recognition, but that is not the case. Both are important and related, however,
Employee Engagement is the outcome of consistent and effective employee
recognition. Employee engagement occurs as the end-game of a focused effort that
includes various tactics and methods—like employee recognition programs, salary and
benefits and other programs.
In this white paper, we will tackle various topics including:
	 Defining employee engagement?
	 The impact of employee engagement/disengagement on the overall 		
	 organization?
	 The importance of improving levels of employee engagement
	 Concepts on how this can be achieved.
The “Employee Engagement” term is used to measure the job satisfaction level of an
individual employee. A simple definition from Kevin Kruse1
, contributor at Forbes.com,
describes “Employee engagement as the emotional commitment the employee has to
the organization and its goals.” While the “Employee Engagement” term is relatively
new, the concept is not.
4
As access to a wide array of global markets continues to increase, the competition
for leading talent around the world is becoming more intense. At the same time,
economic conditions vary greatly across geographies, each with its own set of
challenges. The survey reveals that the top challenge over the next three years for
HR leadership across the globe is talent – finding it, motivating it, and keeping
it. And the challenge was consistently cited by employers in the Americas (24%),
EMEA (28%) and Asia-Pacific (24%). (2)
Employee Engagement: Changing the Game
In fact, when you assess search trends, from 2005 to present, you see that Employee
Engagement (the blue line) has significantly overtaken Employee Recognition (the red
line) as a search term.
Why? The business landscape has changed dramatically over the past 10 years and
competition for talent has significantly increased. According to a recent Deloitte and
CEBS survey2
, the competition for leading talent across the world is becoming more
intense. Companies have come to realize that just recognizing employees will not
necessarily achieve their business goals.
Establishing a protocol around how employees can be more engaged with your
company is a starting point. Employees indicating that they are engaged have a high
level of buy-in to the business objectives, wear the brand and create projects and
programs aligned to these objectives. They want to see success, have a higher level
of participation in meetings and collaborate more. These employees are of a mindset
that goes beyond the standard work day, same project-different day attitude, which a
disengaged employee might present.
5
Employee Engagement: Changing the Game
What is an engaged employee?
So how do you define engaged vs. non-engaged employees? Gallup desc ribes three
distinct employee types3
.
Engaged employees work with passion and feel a profound connection
to their company. They drive innovation and move the organization
forward.
Not-Engaged employees are essentially “checked out.” They are
sleepwalking through their workday. They are putting in time, but not
enough energy or passion into their work.
Actively Disengaged employees aren’t just unhappy at work; they’re
busy acting out their unhappiness. Every day, these workers undermine
what their engaged co-workers accomplish.
Clearly, the desired state is a highly performing company full of Engaged employees.
Unfortunately, the truth is that Gallup has found that 70% of employees are in the
bottom two categories4
.
Counter to the engaged employee, and worse than the not-engaged employee, is the
actively disengaged employee. Through a focused approach, it must be determined
what causes or factors are in the way of getting them engaged at work and what the
course of action is to correct these factors. The long term effects will be disastrous by
leaving them unchecked, so research with these individuals and their leaders will pay
dividends.
Developing a baseline
Companies, that seek to improve the existing satisfaction level of their employees, need
to start with a measureable baseline. Once established, target goals for improving or
maintaining the measurement can be established. Without it, the company is forced
into using anecdotal evidence to gauge engagement levels and guess at determining
if efforts were successful. This method makes it difficult to plan around and identify
effective and ineffective methods of improving the measurement.
6
Employee Engagement: Changing the Game
Step 1: Measuring engagement levels
So, where to begin? How is the task of starting the initial project of measuring current
levels kicked off? First and foremost, executive level stakeholders within the company
need to be identified and established. This is the first of several major milestones that
will be developed and communicated.
The project team, guided by a program leader, leads the team through the milestones
of the program. They are the owner and manager of the program. All efforts, tools,
communication, and tactics have their fingerprints. This role will establish the Employee
Engagement team. The team consists of various individuals that will create and execute
on the program milestones created in alignment with company objectives.
Like other Employee Recognition type programs, these roles should include executive
stakeholders, Human Resources leaders, department leads, business partners, etc.
They will be the champions for the program. It goes without saying, that this team will
need to be among the most highly engaged of the company.
For all companies, especially those who do not have an Employee Engagement
program and think they have a lower level of engagement, a best practice is to select
employees at every level to participate in design and delivery of the program. This will
give them and their peers the comfort that they had a part in guiding the development
and that they can continue to be included in solving the challenges that may arise.
These companies’ employees will see this as a positive response to whatever negatives
they would like to see addressed.
You can find a sample Employee Engagement Project Plan from McLean and Company
at http://hr.mcleanco.com/research/employee-engagement-survey-project-and-
communications-plan.
7
Employee Engagement: Changing the Game
Step 2: Employee Engagement survey
The next step is to determine your company’s existing level of Employee Engagement.
The most common means to accomplish this task is through a survey or a series of
surveys to set a benchmark and gauge levels. A survey allows for a consistent method
of discovery, as long as the questions are positioned objectively.
As you are planning for your survey, keep in mind:
Questions that are broad leave too much open to interpretation.
Narrowly focused questions may cause you to miss key indicators
Examples of survey questions that leave too much for interpretation are:
Are you zealous about the brand?
Do you speak proudly about your company?
Does your job translate company’s results?
These do not provide any kind of measurement beyond just yes or no. Plus, the
responder may easily misunderstand them. Clearly worded questions with the ability to
select from a scale of agreement or disagreement are better suited for the task.
Examples of effective questions and structure are:
I know and support the company
brand.
1 = Strongly Disagree
2 = Disagree
3 = Neither Agree or Disagree
4 = Agree
5 = Strongly Disagree
I can link what my role is to the
company objectives.
1 = Strongly Disagree
2 = Disagree
3 = Neither Agree or Disagree
4 = Agree
5 = Strongly Disagree
8
Employee Engagement: Changing the Game
Some may debate the merits of the actual questions used with some degree of validity.
The real goal is not to get the perfect question, but to develop a baseline for each
employee survey to measure using a scale.
Make your questions specific and objective, so that employees will not be trying to
interpret the meaning of the question. This makes the survey completion easier and
more efficient for both the employee and the person analyzing the results.
If you are going to do this work yourself, you may get some helpful ideas about to
structure your survey from these sites.
http://www.custominsight.com/employee-engagement-survey/sample-survey-items.asp
http://www.surveymonkey.com/mp/employee-engagement-survey/
http://www.surveygizmo.com/survey-blog/employee-satisfaction-surveys-employee-
engagement-surveys/
Experience counts.
Hiring a consultant can get the project moving faster, since they will have tools available
for your situation. Companies that initially choose to take on this challenge without
a consultant may find that 3rd party expertise is needed. The consultant will provide
experience in setting up the programs aimed at Employee Engagement. They have the
program and project experience to pull together the right team, stakeholders, project
resources, and tools to execute a solid strategy for establishing and maintaining an
Employee Engagement. Using an expert, especially one with a good track record of
implementing successful programs, is the most likely path to improving a non-engaged
workforce most effectively.
9
Employee Engagement: Changing the Game
Step 3: Develop clear objectives
Now that you have your data in place, you should start developing objectives that will
focus on increasing areas of employee satisfaction that you uncovered in your survey.
Kevin Kruse, in his Forbes article, “What is Employee Engagement”5
provides a model
to illustrate ROI termed as the “Engagement-Profit Chain.”
Engaged Employees lead to…
Higher service, quality, and productivity, which leads to…
Higher customer satisfaction, which leads to…


Increased sales (repeat business and referrals), which leads to…
Higher levels of profit, which leads to…
Higher shareholder returns (i.e., stock price)
What might some measureable Employee Engagement objectives look like? Here are
some ideas, but keep in mind that your objectives will be specific to your challenges.
Decrease the percentage of employees in the lower two tiers by X percent,
within the first twelve months, as measured by an employee engagement survey.
Improve workforce productivity by X%, as measured by a reduction in both sick
days and retention rates.
Increase creativity at work, as measured by the number of new patents filed.
Methods and tactics
The survey is now complete, areas of opportunity have been identified and objectives
have been established. It’s now time to determine your course of action.
There are various factors that will determine what boundaries and limits will work for
your company. Methods and tactics can be tried and true programs or something new
and creative, what works will vary based upon your corporate DNA and the challenges
you are trying to overcome.
10
Employee Engagement: Changing the Game
Programs that may improve Employee
Engagement
Sales incentive programs can be effective to reinforce corporate or regional
sales behaviors and focus efforts on the same objectives.
Health and wellness programs work well to address issues in a company where
there is a sedentary work force.
Employee recognition programs can address survey input surrounding lack of
effective recognition.
Safety incentives programs help guide improved reporting and recognition
of unsafe behaviors and are very effective in companies with manufacturing
locations.
Education and training programs develop a culture of growth, minimize
complacency and can easily be incorporated as elements in any of the
programs mentioned above.
Potential tactics
Gamification fuels the competitive nature of your workforce and keeps the
person engaged through a series of learning based activities. The end-result of
completing various steps can be social recognition, badges and/or points.
11
Employee Engagement: Changing the Game
Social recognition can be used as standalone tactic. Creating a way to let
employees be recognized, liked, etc. is a powerful tool. Who doesn’t like to see
that the people they work with value them?
Badging programs can be used as “entry” points for points-based incentive
programs.
Debit cards, gift cards, merchandise and travel can be used as stand-alone
incentives (rewarding someone for achieving a goal) or as part of a rewards
catalog that is used in an overall points-based program
Concierge services will bridge the gap of expected versus actual results.
There is nothing better than personal outreach to understand why someone is
not participating and/or to help them register, and fully utilize the program.
Other tactics include items like vacation bonuses, tuition and certification
reimbursement or health club memberships
12
An end-state of Engaged Employees is what is
desired and the lack of feedback from employees
is a sure way to alienate them from reaching that
goal.
Employee Engagement: Changing the Game
Depending on your objectives, the resources available, timeframes, and budgets, some
of these tactics will be more effective than others. However, these methods of working
the planned approach should not be temporary. A fixed, long term approach is critical
to long lasting improvement. The tactics may change, but the programs should remain
as long as possible. What should be changed quickly are tactics that prove to be
ineffective or too taxing on available resources.
Communication strategies
Just as with any program, communication is important to your success. This can
be through an existing communication processes or one created specifically for the
purpose of improving engagement levels. How a company communicates is important,
but secondary, to ensuring clear and regular messaging about the program is taking
place.
Company culture, legal, risk, and other factors will help determine what is
communicated and how. Your survey can help you determine the best communication
vehicles and messages for your participants. Remain objective to the survey and
results. If findings are generally negative, then the communication should center on the
programs and tactics and limit statistical facts from the findings. The company that is
in a crisis mode will need to be careful and have a clear communication plan.
Communications should be two-way, meaning a feedback process should be
implemented that all employees can access. The best suggestions, no matter how
critical, provide additional opportunities to gauge employee engagement. They also
identify areas of opportunity that even the best survey does not uncover.
13
Registered
Targeted Messaging Generic Messaging
You just
earned points.
Now what?
You haven’t
bought anything
in a while.
You haven’t
logged in for a
while.
New promo
and/or promo
close
The value of
promotions by
“tier”and website
Direct mail to
top/bottom XX
participants
Winner
quotes
To others as
feedback
mechanism
Banners
Surveys
Leaderboards
Blogs/Resources
Updates to FB
Updates to Twitter
Pinterest
Etc.
Just a reminder...
FIRST:
Why does participation
make sense?
SECOND:
Do you know what
you are missing?
LAST:
Why aren’t you
participating?
Invited /
Not Registered
QuarterlyCommunications
Employee Engagement: Changing the Game
Typically, there should be communications to two distinct audiences –those who have
registered and those who have not. Here is an example of a communication hierarchy
to people who have registered for a program.
Also develop a communication hierarchy for people who you would like to participate,
but who have not yet registered or logged into your website. Communications to this
group could like something like this:
14
Employee Engagement: Changing the Game
Tools and technology
Throughout the process, there are many tools and technologies that may help you
achieve your goals. Let’s discuss a few of them.
Surveys
With the need to execute on surveys there many resources readily available on the
internet. If your company or consultant does not have a survey engine available, there
are hundreds available making the survey design and delivery process very simple, fast,
and effective. These offer a simple management interface to define the survey control
options, like timeframes, invite survey takers, real-time reporting, and question builds.
The best practice is to use the interface which the client or consultant is most familiar,
to avoid technical concerns that might deter survey takers.
Social networking
In addition to Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, we now have specifically developed
social business tools such as Chatter and Yammer . These tools give employees, within
their company boundaries, an internal means of sharing and collaborating on a myriad
of topics.
15
Employee Engagement: Changing the Game
A site or group can be created on a topic and the users can be encouraged and even
directed to post their thoughts and opinions to questions or discussions. Usage reports
from these tools are a unique way to gauge employee engagement as a complement to
the survey process.
CRM
Common complaints from non-engaged workers are that they are not equipped to
do their jobs effectively. CRM or Customer Relationship Management tools rose in
popularity as a way to manage a customer’s service, perform changes, and manage
various contact activities and history. These tools make it convenient to provide
important information to employees in and outside office boundaries.
Video Tools
Video tools have developed in the office environment to help improve the challenges
for remote workforces. These foster a higher level of collaboration with peers and
customers when effectively implemented. Skype and Google Hangouts are two
examples of generally available tools that can be used by all size organizations. Larger
groups may employ a full featured or high quality solution depending on their business
focus or other factors.
Hardware providers like Cisco and Polycom can provide a slick, high-end solution for
connecting multiple offices. Microsoft’s Lync service may be a good choice for those
same organizations, if their video needs are internal to the company. With options for
instant messaging and tying into the Microsoft Office suite, users can find a higher level
of job satisfaction with their ability to be more productive.
Challenges and Pitfalls
To maintain success, the Employee Engagement team must manage through the
challenges that will result from initial discovery and ongoing programs. Common
challenges to success are issues such as:
16
Employee Engagement: Changing the Game
Non-engaged employees’ apathy towards the efforts of the program.
Change-resistant management not endorsing the activities of the team.
Budget-minded financial groups with dubious assumptions on the potential ROI
of the program.
The project team should be prepared to address the issues shown above and
continually champion the merits of improved Employee Engagement scores. This is
done by providing defensible facts on:
Expected outcomes
Realistic improvement projections
Potential outcomes of the current path
Another challenge is not maintaining a program, once it has already begun. To be
successful, continual care and feeding is required. Communication of the program,
its tactics, performance improvements, ongoing survey activities, and executive
stakeholder support are all needed to keep the program on the minds of all employees.
The non-engaged employees and disengaged employees don’t need an excuse
to continue with their apathy and unhappiness. Remember, they are the company
representatives and could be your best marketing tool.
17
Employee Engagement: Changing the Game
How a company shows success will appear in many ways. Feedback is the most
obvious and simple. There are many other ways that may be directly and indirectly
influenced by the programs.
Employee engagement survey benchmark increases
Individual and company performance and productivity increases
Attendance and absenteeism improvements
Fewer HR incidents
Employee retention improvement
Employee initiated programs and projects from feedback
Company logo appearing on employee shirts, mugs, etc.
Improvements in customer service
Profitable results of projects, products, sales
Increases in customer spend
Increases in customer lines of business
Customer referrals
This list is just meant to provide you a few examples of how a focus on Employee
Engagement can improve your business. The list should build over time and employees
should be encouraged to add to the list. Another way they can get involved in the
process to improve their engagement level.
18
Employee Engagement: Changing the Game
Conclusion:
Lost revenue to the U.S. Economy as a result of losses attributed to disengaged
workers was estimated at $450 to $550 billion6
. Gallup concluded that dissatisfied
workers cause greater absenteeism, loss, and lower productivity.
To change behaviors, executive endorsement is critical. The executives will need
to clearly communicate how the actions being taken link to the business objectives
and what types of activities—such as the surveys—are being taken to correct current
conditions.
We all know that employees are most engaged when they are provided clear objectives,
a healthy environment to be productive, a platform to express their ideas and opinions,
quality tools, resources to be effective, and recognition for their efforts. Nothing tells
more about the state of a company like a positive statement from a brand-wearing
employee outside of their office. Gaining a reputation for being a great place to work is
a noble and profitable objective of any successful organization.
Assess available tools and technologies. Do not make the mistake of thinking that
introducing Gamification to your company will correct your business challenges.
Remember, these tools can be very effective to drive results in a target area, but are just
that—tools. A comprehensive program will make use of multiple tools and methods and
can include tactics within the program like gamification and social recognition which
support of their program objectives. Basing the program on one method alone may not
provide the long-term results needed to support your program ROI.
A company that wants to foster real change in their environment should seriously and
carefully consider the Employee Engagement program by dedicating resources to that
effort. The ROI of the program will be proven in many facets when the programs are
applied correctly. Applied in pieces or incorrectly may prove to be temporary and are
not advised, as they may end up being too costly. It is best to commit more resources
to a comprehensive plan than piecing a solution together.
Employee Engagement is not a game. It demands a consistent, thoughtful, and
employee-focused approach with clearly communicated, executive endorsement at
every step. An Employee Engagement program is a critical and fundamental piece of all
leading companies.
19
Employee Engagement: Changing the Game
About Perks
Perks.com offers global rewards, recognition and retention programs for some of the
most influential companies in the world. With a listing on the Salesforce AppExchange
and a global user base of over 3.5 million people, Perks takes the guesswork out of
figuring out what drives employee behavior. Rewards and Incentives all backed and
supported by years of expertise and our “Science of Motivation” platform.
For more information visit us at www.perks.com or contact us at 866.4.Perks.1 or at
info@perks.com.
20
1
2
3
4
5
6
Employee Engagement: Changing the Game
Footnotes:
Kevin Kruse. “What is Employee Engagement?” Forbes. 2012. 22 June 2012.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/kevinkruse/2012/06/22/employee-engagement-
what-and-why.
2013 Top Five Global Employer Rewards Priorities Survey http://www.iscebs.
org/Resources/Surveys/Documents/Top5RewardsSurvey2013_030813.pdf
Gallup. “http://businessjournal.gallup.com/content/24880/gallup-study-
engaged-employees-inspire-company.aspx
Gallup. “State of the American Workplace.” p12. 2013. http://www.gallup.com/
file/strategicconsulting/163007/2013%20State%20of%20the%20American%20
Workplace%20Report.pdf.
Kevin Kruse. “What is Employee Engagement?” Forbes. 2012. 22 June 2012.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/kevinkruse/2012/06/22/employee-engagement-
what-and-why.
Gallup. “State of the American Workplace.” p12. 2013. http://www.gallup.com/
file/strategicconsulting/163007/2013%20State%20of%20the%20American%20
Workplace%20Report.pdf.

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Employee Engagement by PERKS

  • 2. 2 Employee Engagement: Changing the Game Employee Engagement: Changing the Game Table of Contents Employee Engagement vs. Employee Recognition 3 What is an engaged employee? 5 Developing a baseline 5 Step 1: Measuring engagement levels 6 Step 2: Employee Engagement survey 7 Step 3: Develop clear objectives 9 Methods and tactics Programs that may improve Employee Engagement 9 Potential tactics 10 Communication strategies 12 Tools and technology 14 Surveys 14 Social networking 14 CRM 15 Video Tools 15 Challenges and Pitfalls: 15 Conclusion 18
  • 3. 3 Employee Engagement is the outcome of consistent and effective employee recognition. Employee engagement occurs as the end-state of a focused effort. Employee Engagement: Changing the Game Employee Engagement vs. Employee Recognition Employee engagement, as a concept, is sometimes misinterpreted as employee recognition, but that is not the case. Both are important and related, however, Employee Engagement is the outcome of consistent and effective employee recognition. Employee engagement occurs as the end-game of a focused effort that includes various tactics and methods—like employee recognition programs, salary and benefits and other programs. In this white paper, we will tackle various topics including: Defining employee engagement? The impact of employee engagement/disengagement on the overall organization? The importance of improving levels of employee engagement Concepts on how this can be achieved. The “Employee Engagement” term is used to measure the job satisfaction level of an individual employee. A simple definition from Kevin Kruse1 , contributor at Forbes.com, describes “Employee engagement as the emotional commitment the employee has to the organization and its goals.” While the “Employee Engagement” term is relatively new, the concept is not.
  • 4. 4 As access to a wide array of global markets continues to increase, the competition for leading talent around the world is becoming more intense. At the same time, economic conditions vary greatly across geographies, each with its own set of challenges. The survey reveals that the top challenge over the next three years for HR leadership across the globe is talent – finding it, motivating it, and keeping it. And the challenge was consistently cited by employers in the Americas (24%), EMEA (28%) and Asia-Pacific (24%). (2) Employee Engagement: Changing the Game In fact, when you assess search trends, from 2005 to present, you see that Employee Engagement (the blue line) has significantly overtaken Employee Recognition (the red line) as a search term. Why? The business landscape has changed dramatically over the past 10 years and competition for talent has significantly increased. According to a recent Deloitte and CEBS survey2 , the competition for leading talent across the world is becoming more intense. Companies have come to realize that just recognizing employees will not necessarily achieve their business goals. Establishing a protocol around how employees can be more engaged with your company is a starting point. Employees indicating that they are engaged have a high level of buy-in to the business objectives, wear the brand and create projects and programs aligned to these objectives. They want to see success, have a higher level of participation in meetings and collaborate more. These employees are of a mindset that goes beyond the standard work day, same project-different day attitude, which a disengaged employee might present.
  • 5. 5 Employee Engagement: Changing the Game What is an engaged employee? So how do you define engaged vs. non-engaged employees? Gallup desc ribes three distinct employee types3 . Engaged employees work with passion and feel a profound connection to their company. They drive innovation and move the organization forward. Not-Engaged employees are essentially “checked out.” They are sleepwalking through their workday. They are putting in time, but not enough energy or passion into their work. Actively Disengaged employees aren’t just unhappy at work; they’re busy acting out their unhappiness. Every day, these workers undermine what their engaged co-workers accomplish. Clearly, the desired state is a highly performing company full of Engaged employees. Unfortunately, the truth is that Gallup has found that 70% of employees are in the bottom two categories4 . Counter to the engaged employee, and worse than the not-engaged employee, is the actively disengaged employee. Through a focused approach, it must be determined what causes or factors are in the way of getting them engaged at work and what the course of action is to correct these factors. The long term effects will be disastrous by leaving them unchecked, so research with these individuals and their leaders will pay dividends. Developing a baseline Companies, that seek to improve the existing satisfaction level of their employees, need to start with a measureable baseline. Once established, target goals for improving or maintaining the measurement can be established. Without it, the company is forced into using anecdotal evidence to gauge engagement levels and guess at determining if efforts were successful. This method makes it difficult to plan around and identify effective and ineffective methods of improving the measurement.
  • 6. 6 Employee Engagement: Changing the Game Step 1: Measuring engagement levels So, where to begin? How is the task of starting the initial project of measuring current levels kicked off? First and foremost, executive level stakeholders within the company need to be identified and established. This is the first of several major milestones that will be developed and communicated. The project team, guided by a program leader, leads the team through the milestones of the program. They are the owner and manager of the program. All efforts, tools, communication, and tactics have their fingerprints. This role will establish the Employee Engagement team. The team consists of various individuals that will create and execute on the program milestones created in alignment with company objectives. Like other Employee Recognition type programs, these roles should include executive stakeholders, Human Resources leaders, department leads, business partners, etc. They will be the champions for the program. It goes without saying, that this team will need to be among the most highly engaged of the company. For all companies, especially those who do not have an Employee Engagement program and think they have a lower level of engagement, a best practice is to select employees at every level to participate in design and delivery of the program. This will give them and their peers the comfort that they had a part in guiding the development and that they can continue to be included in solving the challenges that may arise. These companies’ employees will see this as a positive response to whatever negatives they would like to see addressed. You can find a sample Employee Engagement Project Plan from McLean and Company at http://hr.mcleanco.com/research/employee-engagement-survey-project-and- communications-plan.
  • 7. 7 Employee Engagement: Changing the Game Step 2: Employee Engagement survey The next step is to determine your company’s existing level of Employee Engagement. The most common means to accomplish this task is through a survey or a series of surveys to set a benchmark and gauge levels. A survey allows for a consistent method of discovery, as long as the questions are positioned objectively. As you are planning for your survey, keep in mind: Questions that are broad leave too much open to interpretation. Narrowly focused questions may cause you to miss key indicators Examples of survey questions that leave too much for interpretation are: Are you zealous about the brand? Do you speak proudly about your company? Does your job translate company’s results? These do not provide any kind of measurement beyond just yes or no. Plus, the responder may easily misunderstand them. Clearly worded questions with the ability to select from a scale of agreement or disagreement are better suited for the task. Examples of effective questions and structure are: I know and support the company brand. 1 = Strongly Disagree 2 = Disagree 3 = Neither Agree or Disagree 4 = Agree 5 = Strongly Disagree I can link what my role is to the company objectives. 1 = Strongly Disagree 2 = Disagree 3 = Neither Agree or Disagree 4 = Agree 5 = Strongly Disagree
  • 8. 8 Employee Engagement: Changing the Game Some may debate the merits of the actual questions used with some degree of validity. The real goal is not to get the perfect question, but to develop a baseline for each employee survey to measure using a scale. Make your questions specific and objective, so that employees will not be trying to interpret the meaning of the question. This makes the survey completion easier and more efficient for both the employee and the person analyzing the results. If you are going to do this work yourself, you may get some helpful ideas about to structure your survey from these sites. http://www.custominsight.com/employee-engagement-survey/sample-survey-items.asp http://www.surveymonkey.com/mp/employee-engagement-survey/ http://www.surveygizmo.com/survey-blog/employee-satisfaction-surveys-employee- engagement-surveys/ Experience counts. Hiring a consultant can get the project moving faster, since they will have tools available for your situation. Companies that initially choose to take on this challenge without a consultant may find that 3rd party expertise is needed. The consultant will provide experience in setting up the programs aimed at Employee Engagement. They have the program and project experience to pull together the right team, stakeholders, project resources, and tools to execute a solid strategy for establishing and maintaining an Employee Engagement. Using an expert, especially one with a good track record of implementing successful programs, is the most likely path to improving a non-engaged workforce most effectively.
  • 9. 9 Employee Engagement: Changing the Game Step 3: Develop clear objectives Now that you have your data in place, you should start developing objectives that will focus on increasing areas of employee satisfaction that you uncovered in your survey. Kevin Kruse, in his Forbes article, “What is Employee Engagement”5 provides a model to illustrate ROI termed as the “Engagement-Profit Chain.” Engaged Employees lead to… Higher service, quality, and productivity, which leads to… Higher customer satisfaction, which leads to…

 Increased sales (repeat business and referrals), which leads to… Higher levels of profit, which leads to… Higher shareholder returns (i.e., stock price) What might some measureable Employee Engagement objectives look like? Here are some ideas, but keep in mind that your objectives will be specific to your challenges. Decrease the percentage of employees in the lower two tiers by X percent, within the first twelve months, as measured by an employee engagement survey. Improve workforce productivity by X%, as measured by a reduction in both sick days and retention rates. Increase creativity at work, as measured by the number of new patents filed. Methods and tactics The survey is now complete, areas of opportunity have been identified and objectives have been established. It’s now time to determine your course of action. There are various factors that will determine what boundaries and limits will work for your company. Methods and tactics can be tried and true programs or something new and creative, what works will vary based upon your corporate DNA and the challenges you are trying to overcome.
  • 10. 10 Employee Engagement: Changing the Game Programs that may improve Employee Engagement Sales incentive programs can be effective to reinforce corporate or regional sales behaviors and focus efforts on the same objectives. Health and wellness programs work well to address issues in a company where there is a sedentary work force. Employee recognition programs can address survey input surrounding lack of effective recognition. Safety incentives programs help guide improved reporting and recognition of unsafe behaviors and are very effective in companies with manufacturing locations. Education and training programs develop a culture of growth, minimize complacency and can easily be incorporated as elements in any of the programs mentioned above. Potential tactics Gamification fuels the competitive nature of your workforce and keeps the person engaged through a series of learning based activities. The end-result of completing various steps can be social recognition, badges and/or points.
  • 11. 11 Employee Engagement: Changing the Game Social recognition can be used as standalone tactic. Creating a way to let employees be recognized, liked, etc. is a powerful tool. Who doesn’t like to see that the people they work with value them? Badging programs can be used as “entry” points for points-based incentive programs. Debit cards, gift cards, merchandise and travel can be used as stand-alone incentives (rewarding someone for achieving a goal) or as part of a rewards catalog that is used in an overall points-based program Concierge services will bridge the gap of expected versus actual results. There is nothing better than personal outreach to understand why someone is not participating and/or to help them register, and fully utilize the program. Other tactics include items like vacation bonuses, tuition and certification reimbursement or health club memberships
  • 12. 12 An end-state of Engaged Employees is what is desired and the lack of feedback from employees is a sure way to alienate them from reaching that goal. Employee Engagement: Changing the Game Depending on your objectives, the resources available, timeframes, and budgets, some of these tactics will be more effective than others. However, these methods of working the planned approach should not be temporary. A fixed, long term approach is critical to long lasting improvement. The tactics may change, but the programs should remain as long as possible. What should be changed quickly are tactics that prove to be ineffective or too taxing on available resources. Communication strategies Just as with any program, communication is important to your success. This can be through an existing communication processes or one created specifically for the purpose of improving engagement levels. How a company communicates is important, but secondary, to ensuring clear and regular messaging about the program is taking place. Company culture, legal, risk, and other factors will help determine what is communicated and how. Your survey can help you determine the best communication vehicles and messages for your participants. Remain objective to the survey and results. If findings are generally negative, then the communication should center on the programs and tactics and limit statistical facts from the findings. The company that is in a crisis mode will need to be careful and have a clear communication plan. Communications should be two-way, meaning a feedback process should be implemented that all employees can access. The best suggestions, no matter how critical, provide additional opportunities to gauge employee engagement. They also identify areas of opportunity that even the best survey does not uncover.
  • 13. 13 Registered Targeted Messaging Generic Messaging You just earned points. Now what? You haven’t bought anything in a while. You haven’t logged in for a while. New promo and/or promo close The value of promotions by “tier”and website Direct mail to top/bottom XX participants Winner quotes To others as feedback mechanism Banners Surveys Leaderboards Blogs/Resources Updates to FB Updates to Twitter Pinterest Etc. Just a reminder... FIRST: Why does participation make sense? SECOND: Do you know what you are missing? LAST: Why aren’t you participating? Invited / Not Registered QuarterlyCommunications Employee Engagement: Changing the Game Typically, there should be communications to two distinct audiences –those who have registered and those who have not. Here is an example of a communication hierarchy to people who have registered for a program. Also develop a communication hierarchy for people who you would like to participate, but who have not yet registered or logged into your website. Communications to this group could like something like this:
  • 14. 14 Employee Engagement: Changing the Game Tools and technology Throughout the process, there are many tools and technologies that may help you achieve your goals. Let’s discuss a few of them. Surveys With the need to execute on surveys there many resources readily available on the internet. If your company or consultant does not have a survey engine available, there are hundreds available making the survey design and delivery process very simple, fast, and effective. These offer a simple management interface to define the survey control options, like timeframes, invite survey takers, real-time reporting, and question builds. The best practice is to use the interface which the client or consultant is most familiar, to avoid technical concerns that might deter survey takers. Social networking In addition to Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, we now have specifically developed social business tools such as Chatter and Yammer . These tools give employees, within their company boundaries, an internal means of sharing and collaborating on a myriad of topics.
  • 15. 15 Employee Engagement: Changing the Game A site or group can be created on a topic and the users can be encouraged and even directed to post their thoughts and opinions to questions or discussions. Usage reports from these tools are a unique way to gauge employee engagement as a complement to the survey process. CRM Common complaints from non-engaged workers are that they are not equipped to do their jobs effectively. CRM or Customer Relationship Management tools rose in popularity as a way to manage a customer’s service, perform changes, and manage various contact activities and history. These tools make it convenient to provide important information to employees in and outside office boundaries. Video Tools Video tools have developed in the office environment to help improve the challenges for remote workforces. These foster a higher level of collaboration with peers and customers when effectively implemented. Skype and Google Hangouts are two examples of generally available tools that can be used by all size organizations. Larger groups may employ a full featured or high quality solution depending on their business focus or other factors. Hardware providers like Cisco and Polycom can provide a slick, high-end solution for connecting multiple offices. Microsoft’s Lync service may be a good choice for those same organizations, if their video needs are internal to the company. With options for instant messaging and tying into the Microsoft Office suite, users can find a higher level of job satisfaction with their ability to be more productive. Challenges and Pitfalls To maintain success, the Employee Engagement team must manage through the challenges that will result from initial discovery and ongoing programs. Common challenges to success are issues such as:
  • 16. 16 Employee Engagement: Changing the Game Non-engaged employees’ apathy towards the efforts of the program. Change-resistant management not endorsing the activities of the team. Budget-minded financial groups with dubious assumptions on the potential ROI of the program. The project team should be prepared to address the issues shown above and continually champion the merits of improved Employee Engagement scores. This is done by providing defensible facts on: Expected outcomes Realistic improvement projections Potential outcomes of the current path Another challenge is not maintaining a program, once it has already begun. To be successful, continual care and feeding is required. Communication of the program, its tactics, performance improvements, ongoing survey activities, and executive stakeholder support are all needed to keep the program on the minds of all employees. The non-engaged employees and disengaged employees don’t need an excuse to continue with their apathy and unhappiness. Remember, they are the company representatives and could be your best marketing tool.
  • 17. 17 Employee Engagement: Changing the Game How a company shows success will appear in many ways. Feedback is the most obvious and simple. There are many other ways that may be directly and indirectly influenced by the programs. Employee engagement survey benchmark increases Individual and company performance and productivity increases Attendance and absenteeism improvements Fewer HR incidents Employee retention improvement Employee initiated programs and projects from feedback Company logo appearing on employee shirts, mugs, etc. Improvements in customer service Profitable results of projects, products, sales Increases in customer spend Increases in customer lines of business Customer referrals This list is just meant to provide you a few examples of how a focus on Employee Engagement can improve your business. The list should build over time and employees should be encouraged to add to the list. Another way they can get involved in the process to improve their engagement level.
  • 18. 18 Employee Engagement: Changing the Game Conclusion: Lost revenue to the U.S. Economy as a result of losses attributed to disengaged workers was estimated at $450 to $550 billion6 . Gallup concluded that dissatisfied workers cause greater absenteeism, loss, and lower productivity. To change behaviors, executive endorsement is critical. The executives will need to clearly communicate how the actions being taken link to the business objectives and what types of activities—such as the surveys—are being taken to correct current conditions. We all know that employees are most engaged when they are provided clear objectives, a healthy environment to be productive, a platform to express their ideas and opinions, quality tools, resources to be effective, and recognition for their efforts. Nothing tells more about the state of a company like a positive statement from a brand-wearing employee outside of their office. Gaining a reputation for being a great place to work is a noble and profitable objective of any successful organization. Assess available tools and technologies. Do not make the mistake of thinking that introducing Gamification to your company will correct your business challenges. Remember, these tools can be very effective to drive results in a target area, but are just that—tools. A comprehensive program will make use of multiple tools and methods and can include tactics within the program like gamification and social recognition which support of their program objectives. Basing the program on one method alone may not provide the long-term results needed to support your program ROI. A company that wants to foster real change in their environment should seriously and carefully consider the Employee Engagement program by dedicating resources to that effort. The ROI of the program will be proven in many facets when the programs are applied correctly. Applied in pieces or incorrectly may prove to be temporary and are not advised, as they may end up being too costly. It is best to commit more resources to a comprehensive plan than piecing a solution together. Employee Engagement is not a game. It demands a consistent, thoughtful, and employee-focused approach with clearly communicated, executive endorsement at every step. An Employee Engagement program is a critical and fundamental piece of all leading companies.
  • 19. 19 Employee Engagement: Changing the Game About Perks Perks.com offers global rewards, recognition and retention programs for some of the most influential companies in the world. With a listing on the Salesforce AppExchange and a global user base of over 3.5 million people, Perks takes the guesswork out of figuring out what drives employee behavior. Rewards and Incentives all backed and supported by years of expertise and our “Science of Motivation” platform. For more information visit us at www.perks.com or contact us at 866.4.Perks.1 or at info@perks.com.
  • 20. 20 1 2 3 4 5 6 Employee Engagement: Changing the Game Footnotes: Kevin Kruse. “What is Employee Engagement?” Forbes. 2012. 22 June 2012. http://www.forbes.com/sites/kevinkruse/2012/06/22/employee-engagement- what-and-why. 2013 Top Five Global Employer Rewards Priorities Survey http://www.iscebs. org/Resources/Surveys/Documents/Top5RewardsSurvey2013_030813.pdf Gallup. “http://businessjournal.gallup.com/content/24880/gallup-study- engaged-employees-inspire-company.aspx Gallup. “State of the American Workplace.” p12. 2013. http://www.gallup.com/ file/strategicconsulting/163007/2013%20State%20of%20the%20American%20 Workplace%20Report.pdf. Kevin Kruse. “What is Employee Engagement?” Forbes. 2012. 22 June 2012. http://www.forbes.com/sites/kevinkruse/2012/06/22/employee-engagement- what-and-why. Gallup. “State of the American Workplace.” p12. 2013. http://www.gallup.com/ file/strategicconsulting/163007/2013%20State%20of%20the%20American%20 Workplace%20Report.pdf.