Archive for the ‘Employee Incentives & Engagement’ Category

Get Social with Employee Engagement

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Social media has become and integral part of all of our lives, whether we like it or not. Using social media to engage employees can be a great tool, it’s become a staple for many Americans in their day to day routine and requires voluntary participation by definition. Here are four great ways to use social media to stimulate employee engagement, no matter your organizations size.

  1. Solicit Feedback: Use social tools to solicit feedback from your employees. It doesn’t have to be public or identifiable to any one employee. Sending out an anonymous survey where employees can track the results in real time can make them feel like their voice is being heard and gives you the chance to see where the majority public opinion lies.
  2. Respect Privacy: Not all employees are social, or will want to use social outlets for certain topics. For employees who aren’t comfortable using these channels, make sure you provide private outlets to engage in a way that works for them. No two employees will engage exactly the same way, listen to your people and give them what they want.
  3. Score Yourself: Set goals for employee engagement, and adjust your program as you go. If it falls flat in the first iteration, follow up with engaged employees offline and find out what’s going on. An employee engagement program can’t be successful without the employees’ buy in. Be flexible, make adjustments and optimize.
  4. Reward Participation: When employees engage in the program you’ve outlined, reward them! If one employee sees another get a gift card to a popular retailer like AutoZone, Crutchfield or CVS/pharmacy, it’s safe to assume the desired behavior will be repeated.

For more information on how to make your employee engagement program social, check out Incentive Magazine’s guide.

Improving Employee Engagement with Technology

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

A company’s most valuable asset is their top performing employees. Employee engagement and keeping those employees happy are the easiest way to retain those top performers. Most companies focus on finding and hiring the best talent, but the goal shouldn’t stop there.  Employee engagement, keeping employees motivated and invested in the company culture, and the strategy behind it all is equally important.  Management must do more than just the “given” benefits, such as compensations, vacation, and paid lunches.

Here are five tips for using technology to help boost employee engagement:

1. Changing the status quo – Using social style employee engagement software, as opposed to just using annual employee surveys, can offer real-time performance reviews, and provide faster company analytics and employee recognition, creating a more engaging environment.

2. Motivate with instant feedback – Reviewing annually is not often enough to maintain employee engagement. Using a platform that can collect employee input and provide instant feedback can suggest improvements directly to management and quickly improve employee engagement.

3. Encourage peer recognition – Encourage an environment where employees are free to recognize other employees. Recognition platforms can allow employees to track their own achievements while also being able to recognize their coworkers. Employees can thank each other publicly for going the extra mile. Management can also easily identify the top performers and further recognize and incent those employees.

4. Provide tangible rewards – In addition to recognizing, supplementing this approach with creative and meaningful rewards can add even more value. Rewards, such as e-gift cards, which can provide instant gratification, reinforces employer appreciation and can increase employee engagement.

5. Think big picture – With a cohesive culture and values, a company can present a clear, consistent message to their employees. Employee goals can be aligned with business priorities. Employee recognition platforms also provide a means for management to define their company culture and how the company is performing in relation to their objectives.

Both long and short term maintenance of employee engagement is one of the biggest challenges facing management today. It’s imperative to create an environment in which employees feel motivated and invested.  Employee engagement software can provide the means to achieve these goals and create a positive work environment.  Read more here from Razor Suleman founder of Achievers.

Adding gift cards to your employee engagement platform is easy. Click here to learn more about the brands GiftCard Partners offers!

Employee Recognition= Lower Salaries: Part 1

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

thank youAccording to recent studies in the U.K., employees would rather be recognized for their professional accomplishments and have a solid benefits package then get paid a higher wage. Is it possible that our neighbors across the pond are on to something we can apply here?

We can all agree that it feels great to get recognized by your boss for a job well done, almost more than getting that paycheck we all expect twice a month, however, could it be true that we might all pass up a raise for some good old fashion employee recognition.

These numbers seem to indicate that if Americans are anything like Brits, we would:

  •  71% of employees would sacrifice a higher salary for a solid benefits package and employee recognition component.
  • 68% of respondents indicated they would be more loyal to their employers if they were thanked regularly.
  • Likewise, 34% indicated they would be highly unlikely to leave a position if employee recognition were practiced regularly.

The One4All study highlights the universal importance of showing regular employee recognition. The incentive of positive reinforcement drives employee productivity, motivation and loyalty to an organization. Without it retention rates fall, employees are unhappy and employers have a harder time managing teams. Employee recognition should be part of any HR strategic plan.

The Business of Gamification

Friday, July 18th, 2014

Gamification is a booming business, and it helps businesses boom. It has become a great tool for giving simple rewards, like getting a free game for hitting a high score, to an industry that does everything from track your workouts and push you harder, to serve you special offers for becoming the “mayor” of your favorite coffee shop. Gamification helps drive business forward, and for employers it helps drive employees to the next level. The infographic below from Click Software, notes that by next year 40% of the top 1,000 companies by market share will be using gamification as their primary lever to make operational changes.

Gartner notes that 70% of companies that try to make large scale operational changes fail due to lack of adoption within the organization. Gamification combats this issue by working within your organization to motivate employees towards organizational goals and values. Rewarding employees for reaching certain goals and milestones builds camaraderie, relationships and drives a unified organization towards company goals.


Best Practices to Boost Employee Engagement

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

When it comes to employee engagement the best companies strive to not only lead but also inspire their employees. They create a vision for their company that allows them to grow by valuing their employees and giving them a voice within the company.

Here are some best practices that company leaders can use to help engage their employees:

  1. Help people get into the correct role – you want your employees to be in a role that fits their interests and strengths, while still providing the right amount of challenge. If you aren’t able to put them into a role that is a good fit, adjust responsibilities or have them work on projects that fit well with their skill set.
  2. Emphasize the positives – Individuals in the workplace are typically healthier with positive emotions over negative ones. Leaders can boost positive emotions by recognizing employee strengths and providing affirmation that they are doing their job properly. This leads us right into the third point.
  3. Provide constructive feedback in a positive way – Always communicate constructive feedback in a private way. Be respectful when speaking to your employee in both tone and volume. Begin with positive topics you like about the employee’s work before constructively criticizing other aspects.
  4. Provide autonomy in execution – Monitor employee progress and let your employees know that you are always available to help when needed. Enforce guidelines over strict rules and controls.
  5. Hold in-person meetings/check-ins – Staying in touch is important for good employee relationships. The best way is meeting in person, preferably on a weekly basis. If you cannot meet in person, continue using weekly check-ins via phone calls, emails, even text messages if it helps to keep you connected. Employees should always feel that you are on their team and available to help them, should they need it.

These are just a few of the many best practices companies can use to help boost employee engagement.  Read more about these best practices here!

The ROI of Employee Retention

Friday, July 11th, 2014

Employee retention is a hot topic in a job market where there’s no such thing as a “company man” anymore, and changing positions every 2 years has become the norm. For employers, employee retention should be a top priority for any HR staff because frankly, new employees are expensive. Between onboarding, training, manager’s time lost, break in team rhythm and potential costs of signing bonuses, relocation or travel and new employee socialization taking on new employees are expensive. Check out the infographic below for a full breakdown of why making employee retention a priority can help keep your organization in the black for the back half of the year.

Employee rewards programs can often fall victim to budget cuts, or not get approved at all due to lack of executive buy-in. However, make smaller investments in employee rewards like gift cards or extra time off can actually provide ROI, not only in the saved cost of employee retention but also in increased productivity and further employee motivation across your entire workforce. Positioning employee rewards programs as promoting employee retention, and even the “lesser of two evils” can help any executive see the benefits of employee retention vs. employee onboarding.

Can Employee Engagement Breed Leadership?

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

A new study released by Performance Improvement Council suggests that implementing an employee engagement program can breed a culture of leadership within your organization. The premise of the study implies that engaged employees are more motivated to advance their careers within that organization and thus step up to challenges and additional workload. 72% of survey respondents cited the combination of strong results and strong social skills as keys to being a great leader. Engaged employees are driven to results, and thus make better, more cooperative team members.

Employee engagement programs need to work for your employees if they are going to have an impact on the level of leadership within your organization. They need to be focused on results, and just as important, the rewards given when those results are reached. Using flexible rewards, like gift cards to popular retailers like Whole Foods Market, Reebok and The Cheesecake Factory allow employers a fixed cost, while allowing a potentially diverse workforce the flexibility to choose a reward they will use and that will have a lasting impact.

So why not cash? Avoiding cash rewards is key because cash can roll into bill payments, pocket change and lose the trophy value that will have an enduring effect on employee engagement. Gifts that last, and stand on their own will affect employee engagement and pave the way for a culture of leadership to form at your organization.

Employee Recognition Myths: Busted!

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

Employee recognition is a tricky business. Employees all have personal recognition needs. Some are extroverted and appreciate public recognition, some are introverted and would be mortified to be recognized in front of peers. Some are instantly loyal and motivated to the organizational goals, others take longer to build loyalty to the organization. Some employees like gamification, and enjoy the playful nature of that type of recognition, while others don’t enjoy the distraction. In the following infographic you will find 5 myths of employee recognition that can apply to all employees. Make sure your employee recognition program is what your employees need to stay motivated and at the peak of productivity.

Infographic: 5 myths of employee recognition

Employee Engagement Strategies

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

Employee engagement has been defined as “the willingness and ability for employees to go the extra mile”, but what about those employees who aren’t willing to complete the first mile, never mind the extra mile? Improving on employee engagement can attract employees and maintain motivated employees.

Many of the techniques in employee motivation have stood the test of time. What’s old again becomes new again and the importance of each theory can evolve with the times. The major techniques include:

Security: Professional security as well as financial has become so important in recent years due to business conditions and the economy. 50% of employees say they would want to stay with their current employer until they retire.

Trust: Employees believing in the capabilities of leadership and their organization as a whole, trust can make employees feel safer, and employees are more likely to share organizational ideas and concepts.

Relationships: Good working relationships with both manager and coworkers. A sense of community/family is vital in the work place, and often a manager/employee relationship is the lowest priority. This is problematic as a manager/employee relations is one of the biggest reason an employee decides to leave a company.

Stress: While some stress can increase productivity, daily stress can cause concerns for the future (which overlaps with security)

Career Advancement: Opportunities to use skills and abilities often edges out job security for employees and can be the number one factor in having an engaged employee.

Each one of these engagement techniques are highly inter-connected and can be overwhelming for employers. Keeping engagement simple is the best approach. Address areas of concern and make engagement a constant topic during leadership meetings. Also be sure to get feedback from the employees you are trying to engage as well.

The 2013 Gallup State of the Global Workplace study indicated that only 13% of employees were completely engaged, yet companies with engaged employees see 240% improvement in business results!  Download the 2013 Gallup report here!

Employee Engagement Leads to Customer Satisfaction

Friday, June 27th, 2014

A new study recently released by the Aberdeen Group suggests that employee engagement and ensuring the satisfaction of your customer service representatives could significantly boost your end customers satisfaction with brand interactions. Consider this: when a customer is calling your customer service line, they are unhappy with aspect of your product or service. If that unhappiness is met with disgruntled employees who are unwilling to go above and beyond to rectify whatever the problem may be, their impression of your brand only deteriorates further.

The study shows that among employee engagement “leader” organizations 75% are using eLearning tools to train their employees and gauge employee satisfaction while only 44% of “follower” organizations are following suit. Using these types of tools that easily integrate into your employees’ systems helps employees voice their opinions and allows employers to make adjustments to ensure the critical employees who have end-consumer interactions remain engaged and satisfied at work.

Employee engagement can take a number of forms outside of a survey. Attendance management is a way to boost employee engagement, especially for those employees who are working more and taking less vacation time. Offering incentives like professional development opportunities or small rewards like small denomination gift cards to CVS/Pharmacy, Boston Market or 1-800-Flowers is another great way to reward employees for participating in employee engagement efforts.

For more information on how to use employee engagement to ensure your consumers’ satisfaction check out this article from Incentive Magazine.