Archive for the ‘Employee Incentives & Engagement’ Category

Creating a Sense of Employee Purpose

Friday, January 30th, 2015

Company CultureAt a large company like PwC it is a constant struggle to establish employee purpose. Employees don’t want to feel like a cog in the wheel on the road to nowhere. They want to see their impact and want to have purpose in their job, whether they are in an executive management meeting or filing papers in the mailroom.

So how do employers work to establish purpose at work?

Here are a few ideas that came from PwC’s recent summit on social purpose that could have a positive impact on an organization, large or small.

  1. Let your employees be your guide: This is an area where millenials have changed the game a bit. They want to have input in their employers strategy and they want to be acknowledged and cared about. Ask employees what would give them purpose and what would motivate them.
  2. Bring in a variety of opinions: Bring in experts across a variety of fields. Don’t think that input just from your organization or your industry is going to be helpful. Bring in opinions on motivation and purpose from all over the place. If you throw enough spaghetti at the wall, you’ll find what sticks for your specific situation. It might be something you didn’t expect.
  3. Create a Statement of Purpose: Almost like a decree or words to live by. Once you have outside input and input from your staff, create a document describing how purpose should fit into everyone’s daily tasks.

For more information on PwC’s summit check out Fast Company. There are great ideas to fit organizations of every size.

Aligning Employee Goals with Organizational Targets

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

Employee motivation can mean a lot of different things and come in a lot of different forms. It means your employees are excited to come to work every day and do their best to make the organization as successful as possible. Employee motivation can also get so granular that at the most basic level employee goals are in line with organization targets. I’m not talking about employee 6 month goals that go on review forms, I mean that their long term goals match the long term targets of their organization.

Here are two unique ways to align employee goals with organizational targets to improve the overall harmony of employees’ work life balance and workplace motivation.

  • Discover personal goals alongside professional goals: Employee goals can extend outside the realm of you employees professional lives. One employee may have a goal to run a 5k this year, while another may want to learn how to knit, and yet another may want to read a book a month all year. Providing employees outlets to accomplish their personal goals in the context of their work environment is a great way to motivate them to focus on their work during their working hours. Helping achieve employee goals by arranging a training group, a lunchtime knitting group, or a book club allows employees to have stress relief built into their day. This not only makes employees feel appreciated, but makes them more focused and motivated during the hours at their desks and in meetings.
  • Connect individual employee goals to the big picture: Employees want to see the impact their work has on the organization at large. So show them the big picture. Even if it’s the most junior level employee doing tasks like data entry or data cleansing, show them the impact their work is having on the organization and how it is helping the company reach its goals. For employees who consistently make an exceptional impact small rewards like gift cards or a lunch with the CEO or other executive management can be a great way to say thank you and continue the cycle of motivation.

There are a number of ways to connect employee goals and organization goals and targets. Find what works for your company and your staff. Once you establish the basic infrastructure, the cycle of motivation will practically run itself.

Your Employee’s Wish List

Monday, January 26th, 2015

Have you ever wondered what your employees would change about their workplace? In mid-December, Tinyhr released a survey of more than 1,000 employees and found their top-five wishes for their workplace. The employee’s wish list shows they are looking for…

  1. Managers who communicated more effectively
  2. Better team leaders
  3. Supervisors with empathy skills
  4. The retirement of their current boss
  5. Higher wages

Here are some suggestions on how to implement these wishes at your workplace in order to increase employee happiness.

  • Communication – Communication topped the list as the #1 thing employees would ask for from their managers.  When employees can communicate openly in the workplace it creates trust and dissipates unnecessary tension.  Be open about company culture, work, interview experiences, performance, and employment packages.
  • Empathy – Aim to help employees feel that they are not alone in their work challenges.  When an employee makes a mistake, help them feel better by sharing a story about the last time an error was made and how it was resolved.
  • Recognition – Ignoring employee’s work has almost the same effect on their motivation as shredding it before their eyes.  Employees want their efforts acknowledged.  It doesn’t take much effort to acknowledge your employees in way that increases motivation.  Work on small, more frequent acknowledgements to keep employees motivated.  Something as simple as a thank-you note or a mention in a company meeting is just enough to make an employee feel good and encourage more great work.
  • Improved Perks – Employees want benefits such as unexpected treats or rewards such as snacks, lunches, dinners, and even thank-you notes.  Ask employees for input as to what rewards they would like to see at your company.

Read two more workplace suggestions from Entrepreneur here!

What do you wish for in your workplace this year? 

Reduce Employee Turnover to Provide Revenue Stability

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

No company can completely eliminate employee turnover, but at a time of year where employees could be looking for something new, it’s important for HR departments and management teams to focus on minimizing employee turnover. Turnover has direct and indirect costs associated. Research from the Center for American Progress discovered that it costs employers about one fifth of an employee’s salary to replace them. This includes time spent training and getting a new employee up to speed. Indirect costs can be felt in other areas, and often by other team members as new employees get ramped up to full productivity. Here are three ways to minimize employee turnover and maximize productivity and your bottom line.

  1. Let staffers know they matter: Show employees you care about the investment they make in their work. They give a lot of themselves and it is important to recognize their hard work. Small rewards, like a Friday afternoon off or a small denomination gift card to a restaurant like Boston Market, The Cheesecake Factory or Papa John’s are great, low cost ways to show employees that they are the most important part of your organization.
  2. Fight burnout: Don’t let your employees get burned out. It seems basic, but so often employers don’t stop to take the pulse of their staff. The risk of employee turnover is highest when employees are feeling mentally exhausted and frustrated at work. So try providing breaks from the office grind, like a team lunch or flexible work hours to help combat burn out.
  3. Give back: Corporations are citizens of their community too. Corporate community service is a great way to both prove to employees that the organization cares about their community and gives back to it, and it provides a fantastic team building opportunity for colleagues to serve their community together.

These ideas are just a start. For more ways to combat employee turnover, head over to

Fantasy Football Increases Employee Engagement

Monday, January 19th, 2015

Football Close Up on FieldAccording to a recent study from Quantum Workplace’s Best Places to Work research panel, employee engagement is higher among those employees who participate in Fantasy Football with their coworkers.  With the Super Bowl coming up, it’s not too late to use this as an employee engagement opportunity!

The analysis of the study revealed that employees participating in a fantasy football league with their coworkers had higher survey scores when it came to measuring teamwork and trust with their coworkers.  Workplaces that encourage employees playing and socializing together had higher results in overall workplace teamwork and considered their workplace a great work environment.  Employees at these ‘best places to work’ often feel a sense of “family” in the workplace.

Some key highlights from the study include:

Of NFL fans surveyed, 75.3% were highly engaged employees compared to 63.8% of non-NFL fans.

  • NFL fans have a more positive view of their leadership and their commitment to creating a great workplace.
  • Employees who predicted a Super Bowl winner were 3.45% more engaged than those who did not.
  • Panthers, Ravens, and Cowboys fans were the most engaged at work.

Companies should identify and foster opportunities such as these to bring employees together and bring a fun element into the workplace.  Something as simple as an office sports league is a great way to bring together coworkers and build engagement.  With NCAA March Madness just two months away perhaps an office bracket would be a fun way to get your employees engaged!

For more stats read the Quantum Workplace article here!

Company Culture Leads to Employee Empowerment

Friday, January 16th, 2015

Company CultureThe most effective employees are those that feel empowered to do their job and learn and grow into the best contributor they can, not those that feel caught up in a hierarchy or a corporate system. Although employee engagement and employee empowerment are important in creating a successful workforce, according to a recent article, emphasizing these two key components can actually be counter intuitive. Here are a few tips to creating employee empowerment and engagement without emphasizing it.

  • Live Out Organizational Beliefs: Your organizational decision making patterns and how you shape your company is your company culture. Don’t spend time trying to artificially create company culture. If you make decisions to the best of your ability and knowledge, the culture of employee empowerment and employee engagement will follow.
  • Company Culture Breeds Employee Engagement and Empowerment: Semco increased their revenue by two and a half times and attributes the dramatic growth to an empowered and engaged workforce. Neither empowerment or engagement are emphasized. There is no engagement program, no employee rewards. Just a great company culture that rewards hard work and results. The company culture crafts the desired employee behavior, and vice versa.

Company culture and employee empowerment and engagement are inextricably linked. Don’t push one and you’ll create both. For more information head over to

Embracing Employee Imperfection

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

Nobody's perfect, that's why pencils have erasers.Our society, and our work standards, strive toward perfection. We sometimes feel we must be perfect, the perfect boss, the perfect employee, the perfect parent, etc. We may even think that making no mistakes is the best possible scenario and that a squeaky clean record at work, and in life, is what it’s all about.

Well let’s think about challenging that notion. According to Kate Hamill of the Freelancer’s Union, weaknesses and mistakes can actually bring out some of our other strengths and can help harvest self-reflection that makes us, our staff, our managers and our organizations more successful.

Your weaknesses are inextricably tied up in your strengths. Every cause has an effect and every action a reaction. If you invert your weaknesses, you will uncover your strengths. This is where employee imperfection is key. There is no way to invert perfection, nothing to learn from it. Employees can’t grow from perfect, and frankly perfection is boring. There’s no evolution or growth that comes from perfection and stagnation can be unfulfilling.

When employee imperfection is embraced, it can lead to self-compassion. Employees who learn to give themselves a break, instead of getting frustrated, give themselves a chance to improve upon their discovered weaknesses and get a lot farther in their careers. Self-teaching and independent growth are valuable skills that breed great team members and hard workers.

Weaknesses don’t have to be negative, but rather should be looked at as the ultimate opportunity, not to achieve employee perfection, for employee growth potential.

Starting 2015 with Employee Motivation

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

ilovemyjobAs we embark on 2015 and our workforce has shaken off the holiday rust it’s important to think about how to maintain a culture of motivation not just through the cold winter months but throughout the year. Here are a few ways to keep employee motivation, productivity and job satisfaction at the top of your company’s priority list all year long.

  • Encourage Ownership: Giving employees autonomy and freedom allows them to grow into their roles and feel real ownership and accountability for their position. It motivates employees to work harder and keeps employee goals in mind. Keep their eyes on the prize and the work and satisfaction will accomplish itself.
  • Define Culture: If your employees are not only working for their clients, but for the “good of the company” too, it is important to define what that “good” is. Having a defined culture with guidelines and expectations keeps management and the workforce on the same page. This way everyone’s expectations can be met and even exceeded.
  • Create a Successful Atmosphere: Remember when your mom told you to dress for success? Well the same should go for your office. Creating an atmosphere where employees can succeed is critical. This can mean something different for each organizations with depending on the culture. For some, it may be creating flexible workspace, for others, collaborative space and/or quiet individual space. Whatever success looks like for your organization, make sure your office space reflects that.

For more information on establishing and maintaining employee motivation throughout the year, head over to Forbes.

Inspire Teamwork & Engagement With These Video Clips

Thursday, January 8th, 2015


Kid President's 20 Things We Should Say More Often

Kid President’s 20 Things We Should Say More Often

Inspire Teamwork With Words Of Affirmation

Words of affirmation can be the most genuine incentive in the workplace. Play this short video clip in your next staff meeting or send it to a few coworkers.

In this video: Kid President highlights 20 things we should say more often. Some examples: “please,” “thank you,” “you can do it,” “I have barbeque sauce on my shirt too,” “my team is sometimes not the best team,” and “life is tough, but so are you.”



Pay It Forward Workplace Inspiration - Gift Card Partners

Are you ready to do the world a favor?

Pay It Forward In The Workplace 

A single genuine deed can infest your team with positivity. This clip will spark serious contemplation and desire to ‘pay it forward’ amongst your colleagues. It will open up thoughts like: What does my team expect from one another? What can I do for my company that is not something they can do by themselves? How can I pay it forward to my coworkers? or How can they pay it forward to one another?

To get started: Here is advice from Trevor McKinney played by Haley Joel Osment “Its hard, you can’t plan it. You have to watch people more – to sort of keep an eye on them – to protect them. They don’t always know what they need.”



Yeild Enormous Victory in the Workplace - Gift Card Partners

Remember the Titans – Inspiration

Harness Anger and Frustration to Yield Enormous Victory

Sometimes employee incentives come in a raw form. This clip from the movie Remember the Titans will slap you with a reminder to redirect negative energy when your team is down. It will motivate you to remind your coworkers of their power and show them that uncompromised dedication and can yield enormous victory.

In the beginning of this clip, Coach Herman Boone played by Denzel Washington compares his team to a 2 year old child when they ‘throw a fit’ on the field. “[Work] is about controlling that anger,” he says, “harnessing that aggression into a team effort – to achieve perfection. When you put that uniform on…you better come to work”



Teamwork Solves Tough Challenges - Gift Card Partners

Minions Change Light Bulb – Dispicable Me

Teamwork Solves Tough Challenges

These adorable little minions will add a bit of sunshine and happiness to your day. This short clip will remind everyone at your company that teamwork is COOL – and anyone who thinks otherwise (or makes fun) will be made a fool and turned into a big shiny light bulb. That’s some serious incentive right there; no one in his or her right mind would enjoy being put on display as a big shiny light bulb, right?

Employee Engagement Ideas to Implement Now

Monday, January 5th, 2015

Do you need employee engagement ideas to start the New Year off right? 

Is your current employee engagement strategy working, or could it use a little tweaking?

Low employee engagement is not just a U.S. problem. According to Gallup’s 2014 study, only 13 % of employees worldwide are engaged at work. While the U.S. does have the highest employee engagement rating, the numbers are still troubling when looking at those who are disengaged. At the regional level, Northern America (the U.S. and Canada), has an employee engagement level of 29% but 54% of employees are considered Not Engaged, and 18% considered Actively Disengaged. Higher employee engagement increases productivity, reduces absenteeism and can decrease health care costs.  According to a 2013 report released by Gallup on the state of the American workplace, businesses are losing $450-$550 billion annually due to active disengagement.  Implementing some or all of the employee engagement ideas can help increase profits for your organization, all while having a happy, engaged workforce.

Here are a few employee engagement ideas:

  1. Encourage Employees to Speak Up!  -  Keeping an “open-door” policy is essential.  When people don’t feel as if they can speak up, they could be holding back valuable ideas and solutions that can help your organization grow.  When you have an open, safe space for employees to speak up, it’s more likely that your employees will bring great ideas to the table.
  2. Help Employees Get to Know Each Other Better – The bigger a company gets, the more of a chance there will be a disconnect and employees will go through their days without knowing their coworkers.  It’s important for employees to get to know each other in order to build camaraderie and have a better, and more comfortable, work environment.  A great way to create this kind of work atmosphere is by playing office games, or plan a happy hour at the end of the workweek (which is also a good way for employees to unwind in general).  Always allow the staff to interact both inside and outside of work in a worry-free and non-judgmental way.
  3. Be a Mentor – As a manager you can improve employee engagement by being a mentor for employees facing issues.  Offer your help even if it means you have to drop what you are doing for a while.  Helping someone that is struggling with his or her job or personally can go a long way.
  4. Reward Employees for a Job Well Done -  Pay close attention to the progress your employees are making; let them know why you are choosing to reward them.  But don’t reward any and all employees for no reason as this can actually hurt employee performance and they will grow to just expect rewards.
  5. Collaborate and Work Together – Collaboration can help improve ideas, cut down on time wasted and can improve employee engagement.  There are different types of social business software on the market that employees can work off of – this can be used as a tool for employees to branch out and work closely with their colleagues.

Click here for 44 more great employee engagement ideas from Axero Solutions!