Evolve old workplace traditions to engage employees

“Although the workforce has evolved and is now consumed by over 50% of Millennial employees, companies’ recognition practices have remained the same.  Retaining talent and driving results have become two obstacles that employers constantly struggle to overcome.  To boost engagement, drive performance, and get results, employers must move beyond Traditional Years of Service awards and implement a culture of everyday feedback.”

You say goodbye and I say hello: The secret to retaining your workforce

Fact: job dissatisfaction is directly related to life dissatisfaction.  “We”, by Rudy Karsan and Kevin Kruse, observes that employees who are stressed, micromanaged, and disengaged at work suffer negative repercussions in their external relationships, health, and general life happiness.  Not to mention, employees are increasingly being diagnosed with work-induced anxiety and stress disorders.  Employers need to abandon the work-life separation mentality and recognize that work is a part of life.  You can’t retain disengaged employees because people won’t settle for a disengaged life.   Stop saying, “Goodbye”.

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Employee engagement: Just a tweet, like and plus away!

Social media is at the forefront of communication, whether you like it or not.  A 2011 study from Ipsos Reid found that over 17 million people nationwide are regular users of social media.  So, how does this affect your employee engagement strategy?

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Satisfied employees meet the bar; Engaged employees set the bar


We’re working with our managers to get them to recognize their teams more, but management don’t seem to see the value.  They feel like everything is fine as is.  How can I explain to others exactly what the term “engagement” means?

Yours truly,
Miss Engagement

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Top 5 HR trends for 2012

Guest post written by: Sarah White

Each year millions of people set New Year’s resolutions for themselves.  These resolutions are traditionally based on what is valued in someone’s society and community at that time.  For sociologists, they can take a look at economic and social trends to make predictions for expectations that will be most popular each new year.   With high unemployment & debt levels, a renewed appreciation of family & friends and emphasis on health issues in North America, it wasn’t surprising the top resolutions for 2012 are weight loss, getting more sleep, reading more books, making better money decision and journaling “awesome moments in life.”

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Infuse your team with a sense of mission

“Effective management is critical to driving motivation.  Historically, successful management was defined as the ability to obtain compliance from employees.  Today the science of motivation overrules this notion by illustrating a significant gap between compliance and engagement.   The key to successfully building employee engagement is by instilling autonomy in employees.”

Flashy HR Tech is in store for 2012 but will it be useful tech?

Guest post written by: Lance Haun

Those darned kids with their laptops and their iWhatevers and their telephones that play that mean bird game. When will they learn to grow up?

For folks who harken to the day when you had to go to a dedicated computer terminal to get HR information (or, dig through stacks of files and archive boxes), 2012 looks to be another brutal year of technological advancement in the HR software space.

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These are a few of our favorite things

If you talk to any employee, you’ll hear that everyone has a favorite reason for working at Achievers.  We show off our popcorn machine, we  brag about our great people, and we boast about our Top 100 Reasons Why It’s Great To Work at Achievers list (we even made a video about it!).

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Rewarding a cross-generational workforce

Hi A,

How can you target different generations with recognition?  We’re finding in our workplace, with rewards and recognition, that what motivates a baby boomer may not motivate a Gen X’er or Millennial and so forth.  Thoughts?

Ageless Concern

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This just in: Your employee engagement is down

Can’t keep it up?

You’re not alone. Employers worldwide can’t keep it up either. If you’re experiencing snowball effects such as:

  • Increased turnover rates
  • Decreased employee empowerment
  • Unsatisfying performance results
  • Poor team culture

…then it’s time you admit that your employee engagement strategy needs a makeover.


Aon Hewitt recently released their disturbing analysis on employee engagement levels in 2011 in workplaces across the world. They reported shockingly low levels of engagement, levels that have failed to increase since 2008.

 “At the end of the third quarter, Aon Hewitt analyzed its employee engagement database of more than 5,700 employers, representing five million employees worldwide. The findings reveal an engagement level of 56 percent thus far in 2011, which is the same as 2010, but lower than 2009 (60 percent) and 2008 (57 percent). Traditionally, engagement levels between 65 percent and 100 percent represent a high-performing culture; 45 percent to 65 percent indicate the workforce is indifferent to organizational success or failure; and anything lower than 45 percent represents a serious or destructive range.”

Take a moment to reflect on that. And then ask yourself, why? Why are we letting ourselves fall victim to the “what goes up must come down” law of nature?

It couldn’t be spelled out more clearly for employers: employees + engagement = business results. And that’s what makes it difficult to understand why companies have failed to evolve – or even adopt – an engagement solution. There are many possible reasons why this problem has been perpetuated. Here are three major trends in 2011 that I believe to have contributed to disengagement. Last year, employers continued to:

  • Remain uninformed about the significance of employee engagement
  • Stereotype “engagement” as a fluffy and immeasurable topic
  • Be completely preoccupied with social media

It’s 2012 now; if you’re looking for business success this year (and really, who isn’t?), then it’s time to get informed about employee engagement.  It’s been researched, studied and published – HR industry analysts stand behind the performance and engagement equation, with recognition being the best form of driving engagement and motivating your workforce. The reality is that a “thank you” is much more powerful than a bonus, not to mention entirely aligned to business success. Makes you wonder why you’re not recognizing more, doesn’t it?

If you can identify with any of the three trends above that reigned top of mind in 2011, I encourage you to consider these in 2012 to boost your employee engagement scores:

  1. Set realistic goals and be transparent with your teams about expectations
  2. Open the lines of communication and meet regularly with employees to provide feedback and facilitate status reports
  3. Establish a recognition rhythm by following-up and using the power of a “thank you” to reinforce positive results

2012 HR predictions

Guest post written by: China Gorman

I’m not big on predictions.  I’m big on surveying the environment, looking at the data, and then figuring out what needs to be done and doing it.

But it’s that time of year.  Predictions are everywhere.  Want to know what venture capitalists think is looming large in 2012?  Read this.  How about the top 10 issues for small businesses?  Read this.  Or how about 5 big tech predictions for 2012?  Read this.

In the human capital management world, Josh Bersin has given us the best list of predictions for 2012, found here. And there are countless others.  Interesting reading, all.  I especially appreciate Josh’s take on 2012.  It’s based on extensive Bersin & Associates’ research and analysis.

But all of these lists talk about the development of or changes in market or organizational dynamics.  They’re market survey.  They don’t really tell the reader what to do about the developments.  That’s why I don’t like annual predictions.  They always seem very Chicken Littleish to me.

Here’s what’s happening in the HR environment that worries me most for HR professionals:  the increasing number of deals and the increasing flow of investment money into the HCM space.  Well, it’s not the deals and the money that concerns me, it’s who the buyers are and where the money is coming from.

The trend is that large tech players not already in the HCM space are evaluating the talent management trends and seeing the need for solutions that they currently don’t offer.  There’s gold in them there HR hills.  So they make acquisitions to enter the space.   Organizations like SAP and SalesForce have recently done this.  They get both solutions and talent in the deals.  Good for them.

This tells me that everyone – not just HR professionals – is convinced that the people management issues in organizations are only going to get bigger, more concerning, more critical.  That means everyone will be focused on the talent pipeline, on engagement, on performance management, on education, on the looming demographic shifts, etc.  These are all HR issues, right?

But here’s my concern.  SAP and SalesForce – just like Oracle before them – are probably already doing business in your organization.  Now that they have these dynamic HCM solutions, who will they call to get your organization’s business?  You in HR?  Or their established customers in Finance, or IT, or Sales?  Is HR going to get cut out of the decision making process?

Will you wake up one morning and find that your head of sales has added performance management to her SalesForce annual contract and now needs your help in implementation?  Will you get a call from IT after it’s added recruiting, goal setting and learning modules to its SAP contract?  Or will they involve you in the process?

HR leaders and departments already working strategically with their counterparts in other functions to collaboratively provide solutions to the people management issues of the organization have nothing to fear.  But if the continued lament about board room furniture is an accurate measure, many HR professionals may have something to fear.  My concern is that they won’t see this coming – in 2012 or ever.

HR leaders and departments working in silos, pushing programs and solutions out in isolation may just find that they’re increasingly left out of the loop as their HCM solution providers are integrated into large ERP providers.

So here’s my suggestion – not prediction – for HR in 2012:  pay attention to what’s happening with M&A activity in the HCM space.  Know your own vendors – in the HR space as well as the Finance, IT and Sales space.  Understand the impact of who’s investing in whom and who’s buying whom.  And work on your relationships with the head of IT, the head of Finance and the head of Sales.  They’ll be far more involved in HCM solutions procurement processes than ever before.


New year, new you! Personal Top 1s at Achievers

We all know what defines a SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound) goal.  We apply this methodology to business goals, but for some reason when we hear ‘personal goals’, logic goes out the window.  If any of your personal goals or New Year’s Resolutions included…

  • Win the lottery
  • Get married and have two children this year
  • Start a goat farm
  • Have an office of unlimited ice sculptures (one melts, another one in)

…you may need to re-evaluate.

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Get executive buy-in with an appealing argument

Dear A,

We just conducted an engagement survey and our results were more than disappointing.  I know that we need to implement an engagement solution but our C-Suite isn’t buying in to the idea.  What is the easiest way to submit this idea to my executive management team?

Yours truly,

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Is 2012 the Year of the Woman?

Guest post written by: Laurie Ruettimann

Twenty years ago, I graduated from high school. This makes me old enough to remember when 1992 was labeled “the year of the woman” in America. In what seemed like an amazing push for equal rights, there were five female senators in our upper house of Congress.


Unfortunately, there are 100 seats in the Senate.

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People don’t leave companies, they leave managers

Managers are fundamental to strategy, but more significantly, critical to building a team that can execute on company vision.  It is the job of the manager to inspire their teams to flawlessly execute and to be held accountable for the work that is produced under their watch.  Great managers understand that inspiration trumps meddling and maximize their recognition tactics as a means of motivating and driving performance.

Welcome to our blog!

We’re Achievers and we love employee engagement.  Waking up and not wanting to go to work is a thing of the past (talk about SO yesterday)!  We’ve discovered the go-getter secrets to employee engagement and want to share it with everyone to help Change the Way the World Works.

Each day of the week, the blog has a different theme to help you rethink your workplace’s engagement arrangements.  We’ll feature your favorite HR bloggers as well as industry movers-and-shakers to help you keep your engagement strategy fresh.

Wondering what to expect?  Check it out!

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5 New Year’s Resolutions

As we embark on a new year, it poses the perfect opportunity to revaluate our lives, goals and direction – and this extends to the workplace.  This year, when it comes to rewarding your employees and fostering an engaging workforce, consider these New Year’s Resolutions to create a culture of recognition where employees drive results.

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The Tech industry needs to change

Despite the current economy, when it comes to the technology industry, the job market not only has recovered — it’s booming. Now, with the biggest competition for technology companies headquartered in Silicon Valley, employers are finding themselves contending for the industry’s top talent.  Hiring and retaining employees in a competitive market significantly depends on understanding the needs of the Next Generation – Millennials – who now occupy more than the majority of the workforce.

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Remaining competitive by identifying recognition trends

The equation is simple: engaged employees produce greater business results.  But as job happiness rates hit an all-time low, employers and HR professionals are constantly evaluating how to motivate and drive performance among the workforce.  Now, more than ever, Board of Directors and the C-Suite measure engagement scores to determine the health of an organization, with recognition being one of the most significant contributors to a happy and engaged workforce.  Today, it’s not just enough to implement a recognition strategy; companies must stay on top of recognition trends to continue to positively impact the workforce and remain competitive.

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