The Gift That Keeps On Giving: Keeping Employees Engaged Over the Holidays—And After

By Cheryl Kerrigan, VP Employee Success, Achievers

Keeping employee morale and productivity up during the holiday season isn’t easy. Between Thanksgiving and the New Year employees are pulled in many directions, excited—and distracted—with the festivities at work and at home. The key to keeping employees focused, and to continue driving momentum during the last few months of the year is with culture. Managers can engage their teams and keep them productive—and happy—with a few thoughtful steps:

 

1.     Align your team

Do your employees know your company’s mission? More importantly, do you know your company’s mission? If your employee base is aligned to your organization’s mission and business objectives, they’re more likely to stay motivated throughout this busy time of year. When you involve your employees in setting benchmarks for achievable goals, especially as the year winds down, you’ll find they continue delivering the caliber of performance you appreciate the rest of the year. Over communicate individual roles and responsibilities to keep your team aligned, focused, and motivated to succeed.

2.     Celebrate success, every day

Embrace the opportunity to celebrate and thank your employees at work, every day. Employees value immediate feedback so make it a daily habit to recognize your employees for a job well done and you’ll begin to see great behaviors repeated. According to Gallup, 80 percent of employees say that recognition is a strong motivator for their work performance, and 70 percent said they would work harder with continuous recognition. There’s really no reason to put it off. Recognition is a great way to motivate your employees to continue driving results through the excitement of the holiday season, and long after.

3.     Empower employees to work from anywhere

If work-life balance is important to your company culture (it should be), then the holidays are a great time to prove it. Start by defining goals and making sure employees are clear on your organization’s direction. Next, empower them to work remotely or provide more flexibility with hours, so employees can accommodate for family travel and schedules. Show your employees you trust that they’ll get the job done. They‘ll appreciate the flexibility of completing tasks on their own timeline. Come January, you’ll see a refreshed and re-energized team back in the office, ready to tackle new challenges.

 

cheryl-kerrigan
Cheryl is Vice President, Employee Success at Achievers where she is responsible for overall people strategy, which focuses on attracting, retaining, and inspiring top talent. Cheryl brings more than 15 years experience in Human Resources; prior to Achievers, she held an HR Leader position at Eloqua. While at Eloqua, she was responsible for building out the HR function and strategy and attracting and developing the talent to grow the business from 10 million to over 100 million in revenue. Cheryl earned her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Guelph and a post graduate certificate in Human Resource Management from Seneca College.

 

 

 

 

Image courtesy of (christmasstockimages.com) / CC BY 3.0

Engage Reader Survey

[engage] 2014 Reader Survey

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Employee Engagement in the Healthcare Industry

Healthcare Professionals: Get a Pulse on Your Employee Engagement Levels

While patient care has always been a top priority for healthcare leaders, now more than ever, the experience provided by practitioners is just as important as the treatment patients receive. Recent studies show a direct correlation between highly engaged employees and genuine care towards patients. On the contrary, disengaged staff lead to poor patient experiences, higher turnover, and decreased productivity. Get a pulse on your employee engagement levels by understanding how these statistics and trends may be affecting your team.

The healthcare landscape has changed. With technology providing quick access to information and social reviews influencing public opinion (think “Rate My Doctor” sites or even Yelp.com), patient experience is equally as important as patient treatment – now more than ever. For healthcare leaders, this begs the question: how do you create an outstanding patient experience?

The reality is that there is a direct correlation between employee engagement levels and wonderful patient experiences. When staff are engaged with your business, aligned to the corporate mission and objectives, and recognized for their work, the mass majority offer genuine and compassionate patient care. And that’s not all: these employees tend to be more productive, more motivated, and contribute to impressive bottom line results.

Unfortunately, too many healthcare businesses have fallen victim to antiquated employee engagement strategies and have extremely disengaged employees on their teams. Look at these trends and reflect on your business operation and strategies. Are your healthcare professionals engaged?

Seventy-seven percent of healthcare professionals do not feel valued for the contribution they make and the work they do.
Being undervalued is at the heart of disengagement, and disengaged employees take away from business results and patient experiences. Try administering an employee engagement survey to see how your workplace fares. This will give you insight into what’s working and what isn’t. From there, determine where your employee engagement levels stand today, and create reasonable timelines and benchmarks.

Seventy-two percent do not feel their organizational culture encourages them to contribute to changes that affect their team/department/service.
To ensure that top talent live up to their potential and that their performance meets your expectations, recognize employees for living your core values to create a culture of alignment and reinforces the right behaviors for your company. Make sure employees understand what behaviors are measured and why. If you reinforce desired behaviors with positive feedback, they will be repeated.

Eighty percent of healthcare employees do not feel that communication between senior management and staff is effective.
Communication is critical in the modern workplace. For management to care, they need to be made accountable. If retention, engagement, and alignment are priorities for your organization (and they should be, given their profound impact on bottom line results), use these as metrics and reward managers for meeting targets. Coach your managers on how to be effective leaders and encourage them to give positive and constructive feedback to their team members in a timely manner.

It is not unusual to have staff absence levels of 10-15% and even numbers as high as 22% non-availability over the past few years.
Total costs related to absenteeism amount to $84 billion annually. It’s not easy to tackle absenteeism, but you can create a culture where employees want to come to work because they are highly engaged with the organization. Empower your employees to be successful by including them in the front-end of planning and align them with your organization’s objectives. This will give your employees a greater perspective of corporate goals and inspire a purpose-driven workplace.

Learn more about the cost of disengagement on the healthcare industry. Download our whitepaper.

*All statistics provided by HealthcareSource Blog.

 

 

How not to engage your employees

How Not to Engage Your Employees

This week, Canadian ad agency, Union Advertising, shows us how they reward their employees for their hard work. While obviously a spoof, the hint of truth to the ad will strike a nerve with most of us, and is a great example of how not to treat your employees.

Are there really employers like this out there? I hope not.

Instead, we’d love to hear what your organization does that actually puts a smile on your face and makes you feel recognized and rewarded.

Share your experience in the comments!

 

Employee Engagement in the Retail Industry

3 Ways Disengaged Employees Impact the Retail Industry

When it comes to driving repeat purchases in retail, customer experience is just as important as price, if not more so. With your employees at the forefront, bringing positive or not-so-positive experiences to your customers, it’s important for retail leaders to work with a highly engaged team. Get the fast facts and learn how disengaged employees affect consumers and what you can do to improve engagement levels.

FACT 1: Disengaged employees fire customers.
The retail industry saw 28% of global consumers switch due to poor customer service in 2013, compared to 22% in 2012.

Ouch! As if the economy and changing consumer tastes weren’t enough, retailers and brands are now losing loyal customers due to poor service. And that’s not all. Of all industries, retail has had the highest percentage of consumers who switch due to poor customer experiences. How can you engage your employees and empower them to deliver exceptional service?

  1. Be transparent: Help employees understand how consumer interactions affect the bottom line.
  2. Timely recognition: Give your employees kudos on-the-spot when they provide excellent service.
  3. Utilize feedback: Allow your customers to give feedback and share it with your employees.

FACT 2: Disengaged employees call in “sick.”

A decrease of only 10% in employee absence could produce a 1-2% savings in payroll costs.

Absenteeism isn’t just a nightmare for logistical reasons, it’s also a symptom of unengaged employees. Employees who aren’t motivated to come to work are probably not delivering exceptional service when they’re in attendance. Here are several ways to beat absenteeism:

  1. Improve the culture: Create a positive environment where employees feel excited to come to work.
  2. Create alignment: Get employees in sync with the organization’s objectives so they understand how they contribute to the business.
  3. Use peer-to-peer recognition: It’s great to get feedback from the top down, but peer to peer recognition is a powerful tool as well.

FACT 3: Disengaged employees will leave your company.  

More than 50% of disengaged retail employees are planning to switch jobs in the next year, versus 10% of engaged employees.

High retention rates are indicative of engaged employees. Engaged employees are putting your customers first and ultimately driving the bottom line. Consider practices that your business could adopt to help boost retention rates and keep business booming.

  1. Engage employees: Practice recognition when employees meet a business objective.
  2. Develop a recognition rhythm: Get all of your employees in the habit of recognizing each other on a regular basis.
  3. Evolve your engagement strategy: Ditch antiquated ways of rewarding employees and use positive and timely feedback.

Learn more about how your business can improve the customer experience by engaging employees. Download our whitepaper, The Cost of Disengagement for the Retail Industry.

 

Ryan LLC and Achievers

Partners in Employee Success: Ryan LLC + Achievers

Ryan LLC drives total client satisfaction by aligning its global employees with the Achievers Employee Success Platform™. Watch the video and see how Ryan LLC creates a culture of recognition to drive success.

HR Tech Europe

Lessons Learned At HR Tech Europe—When I Wasn’t There

Don’t get me wrong; I learned a lot from HR Tech Europe in Amsterdam, and thoroughly enjoyed my experience. The sessions were great. Connecting with several analysts and the media was enlightening. The people I met in the Spire bar as we passed around red drink tickets and stories were plenty and inspiring. But, the biggest takeaway from my first HR Tech Europe experience didn’t happen at the show; it happened at an old Heineken Brewery.

heinekenWith two fellow Achievers (as you can see by my pictures below with amazing colleagues Loren and Katie; we had a great time), we took part in the Heineken Experience. On Saturday afternoon after HR Tech, we spent three hours learning about the quality of Heineken beer and had a few (ok, a lot of) samples. But what stood out most for me wasn’t the product, or the brilliant Heineken marketing, or the fun experience and copious amounts of silly pictures—it was that Heineken’s unwavering focus on their people continues to make this company great.

Throughout the experience, it was obvious that Heineken creates a culture where their people, and in turn their company, can thrive. It starts with a dedicated room that shows a video from their Executive Director of their Board, Charlene Lucille de Carvalho-Heineken, describing the values of Respect, Quality and Enjoyment. She comments on how every decision the company makes flourishes from these values, creating an aligned purpose.

There’s a wall of stories describing how the leadership was insanely focused on putting their people first. In one story from 1923, Heineken became one of the first Dutch companies to establish a non-contributory pension fund for its employees. In 1929, a decade after an economic crisis, Heineken refused to fire or lay off employees, and instead provided early retirement options at age 58. In 1937, they developed The Heineken Foundation for Personnel to provide extra support for employees in need. Decades later, Heineken continues to focus on innovating great culture fit, earning them awards around the world for their focus on employees. Seriously, this company is amazing—just check out their latest hiring campaign.

The people I met embody everything we all want in our employees. They’re focused, energized, passionate, and engaged. Listening to—and watching—them speak about the product was inspiring, and more akin to a parent talking about their newborn child. The woman providing us our first sample didn’t call it “yellow beer,” she called it “liquid gold.” And all did it with a passion and confidence that they belonged to the Heineken family. You’d never guess they’d been doing the same thing, hour after hour, over and over, to more than 600,000 visitors so far in 2014.

Every interaction, from the gentleman selling us our tickets, to the lovely woman accepting them, to the person that checked out all the things I couldn’t resist from the gift shop, and everyone in between, showed that the employees not only lived and believed in the brand, they’re actively a part of the Heineken journey.

And I’m not just talking about people. Heineken’s horses are behind the brew, too.

Heineken2Yup! That’s not a typo. Even the horses are recognized as part of the family with an entire section dedicated to the role horses have played in Heineken’s growth for over 150 years. Horses were the prime method of distribution for the tasty-suds, from the streets of Amsterdam and beyond, up until the 1960’s. They highlighted their importance and displayed their continued purpose. They displayed how they are part of the family. They even have a vacation day each year when all the horses are taken on a field trip to run free in the pastures. They even take care of them after they retire for the remainder of their lives. The horses are as part of the culture as their people.

Heineken3Throughout our tour there were many passionate references to the ‘secret-sauce’ in their beer—affectionately named the ‘A-Yeast’—that keeps Heineken’s taste consistent, in 180 countries worldwide. It reminded me of the importance of alignment, and why company culture is the secret sauce your competition can’t duplicate. There are 20,000 beer brands worldwide that can make a beer with a similar look, feel, taste, and smell as Heineken.

And, so it happened that my biggest ‘ah-ha’ from HR Tech Europe came off-site of the event in an old brewery. I urge you as business and HR leaders to consider this: Anyone can build your product and compete in your market. Give a smart kid some money and a laptop and they can probably build a product better than yours—I saw more superior products in the Disrupt HR section of HR Tech than what’s currently out in the market. That means what sets you apart isn’t just in what you build, but who builds it, and why. One of my primary goals as a manager and a leader in two fast-growth companies has been simply this; don’t let a single employee be a passenger. Hire to your company values and culture, and ensure that they have the chance to belong to something they can feel passionate about and engaged with. This includes being transparent, allowing employees to have a voice, having a purpose, mission and values that are clear and lived by senior management (and not just a page on your website), and recognizing and aligning employees with that vision.

Isn’t this what HR Tech is all about? All the fancy tools and technologies are great, but so often they aren’t people centric. Technology, tools, platforms—whatever you want to call them—are enablers. They need to enable people to align to the behaviors and values you want every employee to embody, and empower them to do their jobs more effectively and passionately.

Heineken4I learned a lot at the Heineken Experience but one other thing was new and cool to me. I was unaware that the three letter e’s in the Heineken logo were turned slightly to make it look like they were smiling. A nice touch for their brand and culture. With the whole experience that day, my fellow Achievers and I had three faces smiling back.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RobRob Catalano is a Vice-President at Achievers focusing on the company’s global expansion. Marketer by trade, but focused on HR by passion – Rob has spent a decade growing Achievers in multiple roles focused on helping companies engage, align and recognize their employees to drive company purpose, values and phenomenal business performance. Follow him at @RobCatalano

 

Employee Vacation Time

Out of Office—4 Reasons Why It’s Time for a Break

The end of the year is just around the corner. In a little over two months, you’ll have goals to meet, budgets to decide, holidays to plan for, and let’s not forget the start of the flu season. In other words, you probably aren’t thinking much about taking time off—but you should.

Americans are neglecting their vacation benefits, taking fewer days off in 2013 than at any time in the past 40 years. And, if you believe the studies about sitting for more than six hours per day, things aren’t looking good for those of us tied to our desks, 40-60 hours per week.

 

Still not convinced it’s time for a break? Here are four of our favorite links this week to help you get out of the office for some much needed R&R:

  1. Shorter, Better, Faster, Stronger—The Easiest Way to Get More Done? Work Less – Slate
  2. Workaholics who skip vacation are forfeiting $52.4 billion annually – Fortune
  3. This Agency Is Giving $1,500 to Each Employee to Go on an Exotic Vacation – AdWeek
  4. Could Unlimited Vacation Time Work for Your Company? – The Muse

 

Photo Credit: Fifth World Art via Compfight cc

HR Tech Tank Toronto

Insights from #HRTechTank Toronto

This week, the most promising HR Tech companies in Canada shared their innovations and insights with investors, early adopters, and industry thought leaders. Here’s what they said:

Humanizing HR Technology

Guest post by Jeff Waldman, Founder & Social HR Strategist of Stratify and SocialHRCamp

We’ve seen an unprecedented explosion in SaaS-based HR technology in the past 5+ years. Solutions that potentially solve virtually every conceivable problem within the broad spectrum of Human Resources—recruitment, on-boarding, performance management, employee engagement, recognition, talent management—the list goes on. The possibilities are infinite as to how successful these emerging technologies are at driving business value for organizations across the globe.

Yet, with all of this technology goodness comes a basic observation, or challenge, that may impact the ability of organizations to maximize value; people. None of this great technology will do us much good if we’re not ensuring employees remain at the forefront of the business.

What exactly does this mean?

Think about it for a second. Technology has streamlined business processes, opened up the floodgates to data accessibility, instantly connected people regardless of geography, and promoted user experience personalization—we’re connected anytime, anywhere, and using our devices of choice, from smartphones and tablets, to laptops, and even wearable devices.

The business case has been clearly made, and it’s an attractive one. The effects of these advancements are hugely positive, and advantageous to driving business value and outcomes. On the other hand, we’re also seeing a trend where technology adoption has somewhat replaced the face-to-face human interaction. Instead of walking over to a colleagues desk, we send an email. Don’t want to talk on the phone? Send a text. The impact? A de-humanization of the workplace—an over-reliance and dependence on technology to facilitate people interactions.

Technology can still be our friend

I’m not saying using technology isn’t a good thing, but I am saying that over-dependence at the expense of face-to-face contact could have significant negative repercussions. Nothing will ever replace the influence, impact, and strength of face-to-face interactions, and this is critically important to think about and consider within the realm of Human Resources and the workplace.

Without a doubt, technology is, and will continue to be at the center of the workplace and human resources strategy, driving business value, but it’s crucial that we don’t do so at the expense of our human connections. Organizations are made up of people who require an emotional connection to each other, the workplace, and the brand. As HR practitioners we need to be cognizant of this cause and effect relationship, and support our organizations to maximize their investments in technology, people and the workplace.

 

 

 

Jeff Headshot SHRMJeff Waldman, Founder & Social HR Strategist of Stratify and SocialHRCamp is leading the way in a growing niche that brings together HR, employer branding, social media, marketing and business. With a diverse career since 2000, spanning all facets of HR Jeff founded SocialHRCamp in 2012; a growing global interactive learning platform that helps the HR Community adopt social media and emerging HR technology in the workplace. Jeff consults and advises HR and Recruitment software companies on content market strategy, business development and product development, and with corporate HR teams across multiple industries to strategically integrate social media and emerging HR technology into HR and Employer Branding strategy.

Jeff is an avid speaker, blogger and volunteer with diverse organizations such as the SHRM Annual Conference & Exposition, HR Technology Conference, HR Metrics Conference Canada, Illinois State SHRM Conference, Louisiana State SHRM Conference and many other events in Canada and the U.S.. Recently named one of the Top 100 Most Social Human Resources Experts on Twitter by the Huffington Post he also served as a judge for the 2013 Achievers Top 50 Most Engaged Workplaces Awards.

You can find Jeff on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google Plus.

Talent Community

What’s a Talent Community?

Guest post by Jeff Waldman, Founder & Social HR Strategist of Stratify and SocialHRCamp

Talent pool, talent network or talent community—semantics shemantics. We in the HR industry appear to be having some difficulties wrapping our heads around all of this. For starters, we can’t seem to agree on the definitions for each of these terms, let alone understand what the core purposes of each are. The so-called ‘industry influencers’ are struggling with this as well. If the thought-leaders and influencers are struggling, how can the industry at large have a clear understanding?

Part of the problem with understanding talent communities, lies in our attempts to define it. While we could sit around and debate the meaning of specific words, concepts and ideas, a simple definition just doesn’t capture the essence of what a talent community really is at its core.

Instead, what if we equate the core purpose of a talent community to the practice of relationship building? Take a marketer for example. Why are successful marketers successful? Is it because they create more appealing advertisements? Is it because they have a way with words? Or is it because they are the loudest on social networks? No, not really, and probably not.

A marketer’s success hinges on their ability to build strong relationships based on value, respect, credibility, honesty, and reciprocity. They have the ability to effectively tap into the emotional core of their target audience. They’re engaging and conversational, always discovering and sharing, and asking questions. Their success is directly correlated to their engagement with their audience.

This is exactly what a talent community is all about. The final desired outcome is a rich community of top talent that loves and promotes the brand.

Yet, to date, the approach that the majority of the HR industry has taken is what I call an “old school sales” approach. The industry has this notion that employers hold all the power, and that simply offering an open position is all the effort needed to attract top talent. With this approach, dialogue between a prospect and the organization is limited and one-sided, not to mention inconsistent. Oh, and it’s terribly boring—for everyone involved. How in the world can this practice differentiate you from your competitors, promote brand awareness, and ultimately build strong relationships? Tactics like these only seek to define a position, not create a community.

Appropriately, the answer here isn’t easy. Simply stating the desired qualities of your ideal employees won’t magically draw them to you. Instead, seek out the best talent you know, and ask them how they build relationships with their target audiences. Then begin to cultivate the type of community that attracts the caliber of colleague you’re looking for.

Like any good community, your talent community is only as good as its members. Dedicate the time and effort to understand yours, and you’ll find your success far surpasses a simple definition.

 

 

Jeff Headshot SHRMJeff Waldman, Founder & Social HR Strategist of Stratify and SocialHRCamp is leading the way in a growing niche that brings together HR, employer branding, social media, marketing and business. With a diverse career since 2000, spanning all facets of HR Jeff founded SocialHRCamp in 2012; a growing global interactive learning platform that helps the HR Community adopt social media and emerging HR technology in the workplace. Jeff consults and advises HR and Recruitment software companies on content market strategy, business development and product development, and with corporate HR teams across multiple industries to strategically integrate social media and emerging HR technology into HR and Employer Branding strategy.

Jeff is an avid speaker, blogger and volunteer with diverse organizations such as the SHRM Annual Conference & Exposition, HR Technology Conference, HR Metrics Conference Canada, Illinois State SHRM Conference, Louisiana State SHRM Conference and many other events in Canada and the U.S.. Recently named one of the Top 100 Most Social Human Resources Experts on Twitter by the Huffington Post he also served as a judge for the 2013 Achievers Top 50 Most Engaged Workplaces Awards.

You can find Jeff on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google Plus.

HR Technology

3 Keys To Making Great HR Tech

Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 4.23.09 AMThis week, HR professionals from around the world are gathering in Las Vegas, but it’s not to roll the dice. It’s to talk about technology—HR technology. While this may not seem as sexy as Sinatra or the roulette tables, how we use technology in the workplace today, and in the future, is on everyone’s minds, and probably in our pockets, too.

But great HR technology isn’t as simple as creating a snazzy app or adding a few bells and whistles to old systems and services. HR Technology not only has to attract the attention of a wide audience—from interns to CEOs—but it has to keep them coming back to it, day after day.

So, what’s the magic ingredient? We know technology can enable us to access incredible insights into our workforces, and improve engagement and alignment, but none of that matters if we can’t get anyone to use the system.

Recently, Steven Parker spoke about this very topic on his webinar, Disrupting HR Technology, and laid out three key factors to creating HR Technology that will be worth your time—and investment.

1. It’s easy to use

How much time does it take you to decide if you’re going to use new technology? Gone are the days of reading a complicated user manual to set the clock on your VCR (remember those?). Smart design with the user in mind means technology has to be intuitive and and easy to use, and HR Tech is no exception.

2. It provides unique value to the user

At any given time, most of us probably have a least five different programs running on our computers, all of them necessary to get the job done. Adding another layer to an already crowded desktop won’t go over well with your employees, unless that new layer is making their life easier.

3. It makes the invisible, visible

With all great technology, comes data. Lots of it. That data becomes invaluable when it uncovers trends and information about your workforce you couldn’t access through traditional means. Employees and managers alike, should have insights into performance, as individuals and as a team.

There will surely be some great innovations showcased at #HRTechConf, and who knows, maybe HR technology will be giving Sinatra a run for his money. After all, nothing is sexier than success.

 

 

 

Happy at Work

Get Happy—5 Links to Help Keep Everyone Smiling at Work

Imagine it’s a Monday morning and you’ve just arrived to the office. How’s your mood? Are you excited to be at work? Does the prospect of a new week get you excited? Are you smiling?

Happiness in the workplace may sound like a pie-in-the-sky concept, but the good news is, it’s not. Although happiness has often been attributed to an individual, there are things managers and companies can do to help foster a happy office environment. Here are five of our favorite links from around the web to help get your office smiling.

 

1. Why Happiness at Work Matters – (Inc.)

2. Make Fun a Workplace Priority for Happier Staff and Clients – (Lifehacker)

3. The Benefits of Bringing More Play into Your Work – (tinybuddha)

4. 5 Simple Office Policies That Make Danish Workers Way More Happy Than Americans – (FastCo.Exist)

5. Reframing Your Way to Happiness – (Forbes)

Maintaining a happy and fulfilling home life is a goal most of us have. So, with most of our waking lives spent at work, striving for the same at work makes perfect sense. Keep these tips and insights in mind as you and your company works to keep your employees happy and engaged.

 

Photo courtesy of: adt610 via Compfight cc

Company Culture

Company Culture: What’s The Big Hype?

You’ve heard it before: In today’s War for Talent, highly skilled job seekers have a plethora of workplace choices, meaning organizations must differentiate themselves to attract and retain great people.

So how do they do it? One way is having a noteworthy company culture. Company culture is a trending HR topic and, according to Harvard Business blogger Michael Mankin, it is “the glue that binds an organization together and the hardest thing for competitors to copy.”

But to find out just how important a company’s culture is to recruiting and retaining top talent, I decided to go straight to the source: The queen of culture herself, Achievers’ Culture Manager, Kristal Thorne. My goal was to figure out what it takes to cultivate a unique company culture, and how organizations can foster that culture to boost engagement across the board.

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In your opinion, why is company culture so important to having an engaged workplace?

In a roundabout way, I think it’s important because, when you have a great company culture, your employees tend to be happier and more engaged. It all sounds pretty straightforward, but there’s research backing the idea that a fun and unique company culture keeps employees happy and on board. Happy people work harder to drive business results which then results in more growth.

So as culture manager, how do you bring more culture to the workplace to drive that reaction?

I think the easiest way is to allow others to bring culture in. I like to think of myself as a “Culture Enabler” more than anything else. A great company culture encompasses everyone’s input – you start by hiring great people, and from there, you encourage and allow them to bring in their own ideas and passions.

For example, one Achiever wanted to close out the summer in a big way, by taking First Round Friday (Achievers’ style happy hour) off-site, opting for a Beach Party instead. She approached me with the idea, more so I think to figure out if it was ok. My answer: YES! If you’re interested in it, likely there are others. My goal: to help make the event a success by providing behind-the-scenes marketing and logistics advice.

So when somebody comes to you with an idea like that, how do you gauge whether it’ll be a good fit for the entire company? In other words, how do you stay current on the Achievers culture?

In terms of “staying up on the Achievers culture” I’d say I spend a LOT of time socializing with different groups. Some days that may mean I get up and walk around the office to chat with different people from different teams; sometimes it may mean getting caught up in a conversation with an Achiever I rarely talk to for 40 minutes in the kitchen; sometimes it means sitting at a lunch table, or sitting at a different desk in an area of the office I don’t often spend time in. Mostly I just try to do what I can to make myself approachable – say hi to every person I pass, attempt to crack a joke, give a hug or a high-five for no reason… it’s about having a pulse on the organization, and the only way that happens is by hanging out with its greatest assets – its people.

That doesn’t sound like too terrible of a job… but aside from the social perks, are there any challenges you face as culture manager?

Sure there are! I would say a big one is adapting to the constant changes our company has faced over the years – and the cultural changes that go along with them. In the nearly 5 years I’ve been here, we’ve gone from 35 people in one office in Toronto to nearly 250 across North America and into Europe. We have a significant portion of our workforce working remotely or in the field. Our average employee age has increased by 5 years. So, as you might imagine, the culture here has changed quite a bit. As culture manager, it’s imperative that I stay on my game and make sure I’m aware of those changes so that the way we define our culture stays true – not just to the old employees, but to our new-hires as well.

You raised an important point—organizations are always changing. How do you manage cultural change in the organization?

Culture is a living, breathing thing. It’s bound to shift slightly here and there, and that’s part of what makes it awesome! No one person is responsible for a company’s culture – every employee is a part of it, new and old. As the face of Achievers has changed, its culture has adjusted slightly to be more encompassing and inclusive. With that being said, one thing has remained consistent: its importance to our employees.

Do you have any advice for companies just getting started developing their company culture?

For leaders, lead by example. Company culture is an organic thing, but if leaders don’t buy into it or act in ways that don’t match company values, the culture will be muddled. It won’t make sense. Leaders need to be the first ones to actively participate in and embrace the culture, whether that means living and breathing company values, planning and attending events, or encouraging others to embrace the culture too.

As for everyone in the company, care, share and be fair, as we like to say here at Achievers. Listen to other people’s ideas and contribute your own. Each individual should be given the opportunity to lead, the opportunity to listen, and the opportunity to participate in the culture.

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While planning beach parties and taking extended coffee breaks sounds like fun, it’s clear that managing company culture in a growing and changing workforce isn’t easy. Take it from Kristal; the extra investment to keep your employees happy, and the culture rich, is well worth the time and effort. After all, your employees are your company’s best assets.

Do you have a brag-worthy company culture that keeps your people excited about work?

Apply now to be one of the Achievers 50 Most Engaged Workplaces™

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Open Door Policy: 4 Links to Help Embrace Transparency at Work

The “open door” policy is ubiquitous in the business world, but following through on that practice can be a challenge. Many of us set out with the best intentions, but when we’re at the point of crossing the proverbial threshold, we chicken out.

Sound familiar? Don’t worry; you’re in good company. This week we’re sharing some of our favorite insights on infusing transparency, and creating a culture of constructive, consistent feedback in the office.

Whether your door is physical or virtual, creating a feedback-friendly environment doesn’t have to be scary. Keep these links handy for the next time you’re feeling squeamish about testing out that open door policy, and you’ll find transparency in the office opens the door to a collaborative, successful, workplace environment.

Achievers ACE 2014

Out with a Bang: ACE 2014 Roundup

Last week, HR professionals from all over the world gathered together for a delightful combination of insightful speakers, product releases, social networking, and of course, awesome Achievers swag.

ACE 2014 was certainly a conference to remember. For those of you who weren’t able to attend, here are some tidbits to sum up the Achievers Customer Experience:

Day 1:

The ACE Experience – Live HR Blog via Bonni Titgemeyer

Achievers Launches New SoftwareThe HR Gazette

The New Face of HR – Employee Success Blog via Jennifer Winter

Day 2:

LIVE from ACE! HR Happy Hour Blog Talk Radio’s HR Happy Hour via Steve Boese and Trish McFarlane

3 Insights on Communication For The Modern Workplace – Employee Success Blog via Jennifer Winter

Strategic Partnerships and Collaboration – Live HR Blog via Bonni Titgemeyer

Post ACE:

Three Things I Learned at #AACE14 – Live HR Blog via Geoff Web

Update on SuccessFactors, Achievers, And Glassdoor – Bersin by Deloitte via Josh Bersin

Achievers Customer Experience Event a Big SuccessThe HR Gazette

Want to be a part of the action at next year’s conference? Mark your calendars – ACE 2015 will be taking place on November 2nd and 3rd in San Francisco! Look out for more information coming your way soon.

ACE pins

Get social! Keep the #AACE14 conversation going.

Communication in the Workplace

What Do You Stand For? 3 Insights On Communication For The Modern Workplace

imageIt’s not easy getting a room full of over 400 people to jump to their feet, but that’s exactly what happened this year at the Achievers Customer Experience – #AACE14. Between standing up to stretch, popping up to shake hands with a new friend, and giving a few standing ovations, we found ourselves enthusiastically standing around—or, more appropriately, standing up.

One recurring theme from day two that got people up and out of their seats was communication. Here are three great insights that resonated with the crowd, and got everyone on their feet and engaged in the conversation.

Look Each Other In The Eye

With all the amazing new technology we have, it’s easy to forget the importance of a human connection in the workplace. Although many of us sit within an arm’s length of each other, how often do we stand up and look one another in the eye?

Chris Boyce, CEO of Virgin Pulse had us do just that. Before discussing the importance of workplace wellness, Chris reminded us of the importance of connecting with one another—and how easily it could be done. We all stood up, found someone we hadn’t met yet, made eye contact, and introduced ourselves.

What was amazing was that this little exercise should have only taken moments, yet it lingered on until someone had to remind us we were there for a presentation. Chris made his point. With just one simple gesture—making eye contact—we can meaningfully connect with our fellow colleagues, every single day.

Communication Is More Than Just An Email

As the day progressed, we were treated to a special airing of HR Happy Hour, a live weekly radio show, hosted by Steve Boese, Co-Chair of the HR Technology Conference, and Trish McFarlane, an HR executive, writer, and speaker.

This energetic session kicked off with cocktails in hand and a challenge on the table: How to reskill your team for the modern workplace—a challenge everyone in the room could appreciate.

There were lots of great ideas passed around, but what really struck me, is what one of the audience members, a manager of employee experience, said about communication: “A lot of times, communication means an email…but it’s so much more than that.”

How many times have you sent an email when simply walking across the office, or making a quick phone call, would have worked just as well? Technology is a fantastic tool; as long as we’re using it to enhance our daily communications with one another—not replace them.

Reach People Where They Are

Nearly every speaker and attendee I met at ACE recognized that if they were going to be successful at boosting employee engagement, they had to find the best ways to connect with their greatest assets—their employees.

Trish McFarlane said it best during HR Happy Hour; “It’s about reaching people where they are—not where you are.”

HR professionals and executives need to understand where their employees are, and not just geographically. Understanding how employees communicate and operate in their personal lives makes enhancing their work lives much easier. Whether that means implementing wellness programs, encouraging days off for volunteering, or highlighting social recognition within the organization, connecting with employees in a way they’re already comfortable with will help transform average companies into great places to work.

 

It’s not easy to change the way the world works, but after two full days of inspiration, innovation, and collaboration, there’s no doubt that HR professionals at #AACE14 are standing up to the challenge.

HR Achievers AACE

The New Face of HR

product spotlightThe HR space is in the midst of a dramatic upgrade, and this year’s #AACE14 conference proves there’s a new face to human resources.

As a newcomer to the space—I joined Achievers in San Francisco last week—I have to admit, I had a few preconceived ideas about what an HR conference would look like.

Yet, when I hit the conference floor this morning, I felt like I was walking in on the latest, Silicon Valley darling’s newest product launch. Even at 7 AM, the mood was electric, and excited attendees chatted over coffee while exchanging social media handles. It was all very sexy.

Not exactly the stuffy, rigid, image of HR professionals I was used to. But, after spending the day with this group, I’m happy to say my perception of HR is forever changed. Gone is the notion of a matronly HR administrator, cloistered in an office far away from the team, buried behind a towering pile of personnel forms and employee handbooks.

After just one day with the esteemed group attending #AACE14, it’s clear there’s a new face of Human Resources. Here’s what they look like:

Innovators

Not one single person here today is satisfied with the status quo. Like any other disruptive technology or movement, innovation is at the heart of everyone involved, and the result is impressive. From exciting product innovations, to groundbreaking corporate initiatives making employee recognition a priority, the event was bursting with ideas and enthusiasm.

In the past, HR was plagued with the reputation of being an inflexible, necessary evil. After what I’ve seen today, that reputation no longer applies, and innovation is the new normal for HR.

 

Risk Takers

Using the word “risk” in same sentence as “human resources” might sound, well, risky, but it’s not. After listening to a handful of companies share their stories about implementing employee engagement platforms, one thing was clear; this wasn’t an easy sell. While just about everyone on the planet acknowledges being recognized for a job well done is welcome feedback, not everyone understands how that’s done—or is willing to take on the challenge of figuring it out. None of those people where in attendance today. Fortunately, today’s HR professionals are fiercely dedicated to their craft—not to mention fearless. Not only do they have to convince a tough crowd of executives that employee recognition is a worthwhile investment, they also have to convince armies of employees. Change can be a challenge, but the dedicated professionals here today, are taking it head on, and we’ll all be thanking them for it, soon.

 

Humans

Yes, human. A resounding battle cry throughout the day, was that we need to put the “human” in human resources. Whether it was highlighting the need for focus on developing relationships, to understanding the value of social recognition, everyone here today agreed—we’re all humans. Every piece of technology, every campaign, every initiative, had one thing in common; we all need the human touch. As our founder, Razor Suleman, said in his keynote this morning, “This is about the conversation, not compliance.”

 

The power and energy at this conference is infectious. I spent over 15 years of my career, seeing my colleagues in HR one way, and after just one day at #AACE14, I’ll never see HR the same again.

 

Best Companies in the World

Learn from the Best: The Most Amazing Companies in the World

Are you ready to feel inspired and motivated by some of the top companies worldwide?

With new businesses popping up everywhere, “fun and hip” companies are pretty widespread. Businesses claim bragging rights based on all sorts of measures, like great benefits, cool products, flexible work hours, and free lunches. So how can we differentiate these surface-level trendy workplaces from truly amazing companies?

One way is to ask the company’s building blocks – its employees. Unfortunately, based on measures of employee engagement, amazing workplaces are not quite as widespread as they appear. According to Gallup, only 13% of employees worldwide are engaged (17% in the UK, 29% in North America and 14% & 11% in Western Europe and Central & Eastern Europe respectively). The workforce is rapidly changing, and organizations need to find ways to recruit, retain and inspire top talent that go beyond a slightly above average 401K plan.

The Achievers Webinar Series is pleased to invite you to an exciting [webinar] that will share with you best practices based on two years of extensive research into a few of the world’s most Amazing companies. These are companies that break through traditional business models to inspire and engage their employees – every day.

REGISTER TODAY to learn what great companies are doing to help engage their employees and drive tremendous business results across the globe.

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MGM Resorts International and Achievers

MGM Resorts: 2 Takeaways from a Game-Winning People Strategy

What does it take to implement a remarkable employee engagement strategy?

Last week, Achievers had the pleasure of hosting Christopher Henry, VP of Talent and Organizational Development for MGM Resorts International, on the webinar titled, How to Put Employees First to Win Customers. Chris shared with us how MGM’s investment in the development of their people and culture is largely responsible for the brand’s amazing turnaround.

This isn’t the first time we’ve been exposed to MGM’s awesome People Strategy; MGM submitted a stellar application that won them a spot in the Achievers 50 Most Engaged Workplaces™ Awards in 2013. Since last year, MGM has continued to shape and improve its employee engagement plan to adapt to a growing company and workforce.

Christopher highlights four of the Eight Elements of Employee Engagement™ responsible for the biggest improvements in employee performance and happiness at MGM. Under each dimension, he provides an impressive list of initiatives. Here are three of my favorites:

–          Unified Vision, Mission, and Core Values

  • MGM makes sure all employees are united under a common mission and educated on what MGM stands for. When employees are working towards a common goal, communication and teamwork improve.

–          Effective Communication and 2-Way Feedback

  • All employees have the opportunity to give and receive both real-time and milestone feedback. Managers are then held accountable for proposed changes by the “YOU SAID IT, WE DID IT” initiative.

–          Corporate Mentoring Program

  • Managers and directors are assigned coaches two levels up from them (i.e. Managers paired with VPs) to solidify the mentee’s development of MGM’s seven core leadership competencies.

Selecting just three highlights was difficult – MGM’s People Strategy is pretty high-level. In fact, for an outside company trying to come up with or revamp an employee engagement strategy, MGM’s approach might be a little intimidating. Thus, I think it’s important to consider the following two points:

1.       There really isn’t a “one size fits all” employee engagement strategy.

Every business is different, every company culture is different, and most importantly, the workforce is constantly evolving. MGM’s approach of focusing in on individual elements of employee engagement works very well for them – but a more holistic approach might work better for a smaller business. A great employee engagement strategy is unique to that company and adapts to corporate changes and the always-evolving workforce.

2.      A superior employee engagement strategy takes time – and effort!

Implementing a new people strategy isn’t easy; it tends to be a lengthy process with many steps – researching and evaluating employee satisfaction, analyzing data, devising a strategy, implementing that strategy, evaluating its effectiveness, and making changes as needed.

It’s important to remember that big shifts in engagement rarely happen overnight. But take it from MGM – that extra investment in time and effort WILL be worth it.

Hear it for yourself! Tune in as Chris shares all the specifics on MGM’s game-winning People Strategy on “How to Put Employees First to Win Customers.”

Watch On-Demand

Chris Henry

MGM LOGO R

 

Baby Boomers and Millennials

Boomers’ Love/Loathe Relationship with Millennials and How to Overcome the Generational Divide

You’ve heard the stereotypes about Millennials: lacking attention span, overdependent on technology, self-centered, ignorant of older generations, entitled – and so on.

Not only are these statements inaccurate, but these myths also stem from the difference between how Millennials work versus how Boomers work. In a recent Forbes article, Boomers’ Love/Loathe Relationship With Millennials, Eisenberg interviews Stiller Rikleen, executive-in-residence at the Boston College Center For Work & Family and president of the Rikleen Institute for Strategic Leadership, about the recent survey she conducted among 1000 Millennials.

Rikleen’s findings were consistent with the outcome of the Class of 2014 survey that ConnectEDU and Achievers partnered on to understand exactly what the next generation of top talent is looking for from their future organizations. The verdict is that many of the stigmas that Boomers associate with Millennials are actually not negative; they are simply representative of an evolving workplace.

Here are a few (seemingly) negative stigmas about Millennials that Stiller Rikleen addresses in her interview, along with tactical takeaways for HR professionals and employers to apply in the workplace to bridge the style gap between Boomers and Millennials:

Millennials demand constant feedback.
Are Millennials looking for more frequent feedback? Absolutely. Is this a bad thing? Absolutely not. While older generations have perceived this need for constant feedback to only be self-fulfilling for Millennials, constant feedback also drives business results. Yes, Millennials are eager to use frequent feedback to get ahead, but recognizing Millennials for great performance and making recommendations for improvement also keeps them engaged and the business booming.

Boomers are resistant to give feedback.
In the historical workplace, the only appropriate and designated time to give feedback was in an annual performance review. Saying that Boomers are resistant to give feedback doesn’t describe the full picture. In fact, Boomers come from a work generation where structured feedback was the only type of feedback that was delivered to their teams. With Millennials now in the workplace reporting to Boomers, Boomers should be conscious to share timely feedback with their team members. This can occur in one-on-one meeting, by embracing a “coachable moment,” or even during a quick coffee break in the kitchen. Feedback drives better results for employees, managers, and the company overall.

There is a disconnect between what Millennials value and what Boomers think they value.
In the traditional workplace, it was common for employees to stay with companies for their entire careers and get recognized and rewarded for their length of tenure. But in the modern workplace, new employees will work with many different companies and want to be recognized and rewarded for their contributions, regardless of how long they’ve been there. Instead of recognizing Millennials with the predetermined rewards Boomers have been accustomed to, give Millennials the freedom to set goals and choose their own rewards for big achievements. Then, use day-to-day recognitions for the wins in between.

Learn more about what the Class of 2014 wants from their future employers and how your business can bridge the gap between Boomers and Millennials.

Download our Class of 2014 whitepaper.

Class of 2014: Your Next Generation of Top Talent

 

Blog post originally written by Stephanie White, edited and published by Julia Bersin.

The Engaged Workplace

The Engaged Workplace: More than Free Lunch

“How do I keep my top employees happy and excited to come to work?”

Whether you’re a high level manager, an HR professional or a small business owner, chances are you’ve asked yourself this question at least once. Happy employees are something companies strive for. After all, they’re the ones that stick around, right? And from a business perspective, happy employees deliver results. 

But in today’s millennial-laden workforce, where bean bag chairs, cocktail hours, and free lunches are almost a given, it takes a bit more to keep your top talent chipper.

sandwich platter

One thing we do know: employee satisfaction is about more than just a fully-stocked fridge. Employees crave a stimulating environment that keeps them engaged – one that cultivates teamwork, innovation, and real-time feedback.

Take MGM Resorts International for example: just five short years ago, MGM was on the verge of bankruptcy. Today, MGM is an industry leader in hospitality and entertainment. What changed?

“I am most proud of our people philosophy,” says Michelle DiTondo, SVP of HR at MGM. “We built all of our strategies, competencies, and culture initiatives around engaging and inspiring (our employees).”

At Achievers, we believe in recognizing companies who go beyond catered Indian food to cultivate an environment of employee engagement. That’s why we named MGM Resorts one of the Achievers 50 Most Engaged Workplaces™ in both 2013 and 2014.

The Achievers 50 Most Engaged Workplaces™ Awards recognizes top employers that display leadership and innovation in engaging their employees.

How do you keep your employees inspired to come to work every day? Share how your company’s employee engagement strategy has changed your workplace for the better – and inspire other companies to follow suit.

Apply Today to be one of the Achievers 50 Most Engaged Workplaces™, and earn recognition as a top employer in the modern workplace. We’d love to hear your story, even if it includes a free meal here and there.

*Applications open to companies of 1000 or more employees in North America

Millennials in the Workforce

Adapting to the Changing Workforce: The Facts you Need about Each Generation

Each generation has unique needs and aspirations in their careers based on their experience growing up and the current events that shaped their lives. Which groups are most loyal to their employers? How do employees from different generations wish to communicate? What are the forces that motivate them? Learn more about what defines these generations and how employers can exercise modern techniques to engage these different employees
Read more →

Millennials and Baby Boomers in the Workplace

3 Ways to Better Manage Boomers and Millennials and Ensure Mentoring

As more and more Millennials graduate and enter the workforce – while Boomers begin to retire – HR professionals and employers seek to understand how to effectively manage both generations while ensuring a smooth knowledge transition. But with generational stereotypes, a modern workplace and a potential skills gap, effective management and mentorship can be a challenge.

Craig Malloy, Cofounder and CEO of Lifesize Communications, recently guest wrote for Forbes and discussed the challenges and opportunities that come with managing Millennials and Boomers in the workplace. Three stand-out pieces of advice closely relate to Millennial findings that ConnectEDU and Achievers found in their recent study, Class of 2014. Learn how these three pieces of advice that Malloy recommends for better management and mentorship in the place can be applied. Read more →

Performance Review

3 Ways to Make a Performance Review More Meaningful for the Modern Workforce

It seems as though the same negative terms are frequently used to describe Millennials: dependent, self-centered, unfocused. This perspective is not only detrimental to businesses whose workforces will soon be occupied by more than 50% of these future leaders, but it’s also untrue. Millennials are eager, driven and inspired to achieve goals – provided that their workplaces are motivating them with a fresh engagement strategy.

Millennials want to make a difference in their organizations, but they need to have access to the knowledge and tools to do so. In the modern workforce, the traditional annual review isn’t enough for Millennials – they want frequent feedback and recognition that will allow them to grow and succeed in their roles. Here are three reasons why replacing performance reviews with an engagement strategy will help your organization equip its future leaders to succeed. Read more →

Workplace Trendsetter

[SlideShare] Are You a Workplace Trendsetter?

An engaged, aligned, and recognized workforce separates you from the pack. Get inspired. Be a trendsetter.

Employee Recognition

Square Peg, Round Hole: 7 Recognition Tactics that are Moot in the Modern Workforce

The modern workforce is eager to engage with your company, drive immediate results and advance their careers. But it can be difficult for today’s employees to stay motivated when they’re paired with businesses that practice dated and ineffective engagement and recognition strategies.

When it comes to putting a square peg in a round hole, we’ve highlighted the top seven obsolete recognition tactics that are still commonly practiced by many businesses. Ditch these pitfalls and refresh your engagement techniques to expertly engage, align and recognize the modern workforce. Read more →

Workplace Transparency

[Webinar] The Future of Workplace Transparency

The Future of Workplace Transparency When it comes to transparency in the workplace, a lot has changed. Ten years ago, you could find more information about the latest iPod online than you could about your own workplace. Today, social media sites like Glassdoor are helping people find jobs and companies they love through peer reviews and ratings, which makes HR professionals have to think more like marketers when it comes to recruiting and retention. Read more →

Future of Organization

Are You Willfully Ignoring the Future of Your Organization?

Are You Willfully Ignoring the Future of Your Organization? Guest blog post by Rebecca Rodskog, a workforce crusader and the Founder of FutureLeaderNow, LLC

“If you are deliberately trying to create a future that feels safe, you will willfully ignore the future that is likely.”

― Seth Godin, Linchpin:  Are You Indispensable?

One of my mentors, Seth Godin, who I was fortunate enough to work with through his FeMBA program in 2010, speaks a lot about organizations’ (and individuals’) propensity to do what’s “safe,” or at least perceived safe, to avoid risk and potential failure. The problem with this approach is if you spend so much of your time trying to do what will surely not fail, you’ll never create anything innovative, and most likely, your organization will slowly be replaced by others who are willing to Poke the Box and create something unique. Read more →

Employee Engagement Program

Get Executive Support for your Engagement Program in Three Easy Steps

Have you ever tried putting together a piece of IKEA furniture without the instructions? It’s a nightmare. Sure it’s doable, but it’s also complicated, frustrating and leaves you with a lot of anxiety any time a guest takes a seat in that chair. (Not to mention all of the “just-in-case” Allen Keys you have to keep on hand.)

Same goes for an engagement strategy without senior leadership buy-in. While it’s possible, empowering and motivating your workforce is a lot more difficult without support from your leadership. Senior leaders can help a recognition program boost your financial gains and in fact, when senior leaders are actively involved in an employee recognition program, companies are nine times more likely to have strong business results. Get executive support for your engagement program by following these three easy steps. Read more →

Achievers ACE 2014

Don’t have ACE FOMO (Fear of Missing Out!) 5 Reasons to Attend

Registration is now open for the 5th Achievers Customer Experience (ACE) taking place this September 9-10th in Toronto. Here are five reasons why you do not want to miss the employee success event of the year–and how to avoid ACE FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)!

Read more →

Millennials in the Workplace

Navigating the Workplace Wonderland: Three Ways to Leverage Millennials’ Drive to Succeed

The graduating Class of 2014 is entering the workforce this spring, and, as a group, they are extremely motivated and excited. They want to learn. They want to move up quickly. They want to achieve things and show results. Read more →

Employee Engagement Analytics

21 Reasons Analytics Should Shape Your Engagement Strategy

The only thing tougher than being a leader is being a middle manager: they receive fewer resources, yet manage more people. Cue: analytics. Do managers really need analytics? Well, for HR professionals who want to breed a strategic, tactical and operational management team, then analytics are essential. Analytics provide managers with insights that allow them to take proactive actions to align the workforce, boost engagement levels and drive the bottom line.

Still unsure of the value of analytics? Here are twenty-one reasons why analytics should shape your engagement strategy. Read more →

Hiring Millennials

[SlideShare] Tomorrow’s Leaders Just Graduated: Five Reasons Why You’ll Hire Them

Motivated and driven, 60 percent of young graduates will apply directly to the company when searching for jobs. You’re not just going to hire them. You’re going to fight for them in a war for talent.

Check out the following SlideShare presentation to get an edge on the impending war for talent and learn quick tips you can implement today to engage your current workforce, while simultaneously creating an appealing culture for the Class of 2014.

Here are the top five reasons why you’ll hire the Class of 2014:

 

Motivate Millennials

Are you ready for the Class of 2014? 5 Strategies to Motivate the Incoming Workforce

Baby Boomers have acquired a wealth of knowledge over their years in the workforce, and, as they retire, they will take that intelligence with them. Moreover, the days of having an unlimited supply of talent are diminishing. As the economy recovers and the unemployment rate continues to decline, organizations need to adjust their recruiting strategies to recruit, retain, and ensure the next generation of top talent thrives at their company. How should you motivate the incoming workforce to succeed? Here are five strategies your HR department should reexamine today. Read more →

Recruit and Retain Class of 2014

Four Secrets to Recruiting and Retaining the Class of 2014

Millennials are driven, motivated, and more educated than any other group in history – and this year’s graduating class marks a critical time for employers. Businesses have the power to engage smart and energized people and help them cultivate their skills to become the company’s greatest asset.

What can employers do to ensure that the bright and energized class of 2014 will want to work for them? Here are four secrets revealed. Read more →

Millennial Talent

[Webinar] Class of 2014: Your Next Generation of Top Talent

Class of 2014: Your Next Generation of Top TalentThey’re optimistic, they’re driven and they’re making communication a priority. For the fifth consecutive year, ConnectEDU and Achievers have partnered to understand exactly what the next generation of top talent is looking for from their future organization. Read more →

Eli Lilly and Achievers

Eli Lilly’s Specialized Approach to Employee Engagement

Eli Lilly's Specialized Approach to Employee EngagementHow do organizations create an atmosphere where people feel engaged and motivated? Ask anyone and they’ll tell you that there are many factors involved in creating an engaged workforce, but it usually requires a strategy that outlines specific targets and processes around company goals and objectives, career planning, employee feedback, and recognition.   Read more →

Employee Disengagement is Contagious

Disengagement is Contagious; Here’s Your Prescription

Are your managers experiencing low engagement levels?

Has it been a while since management has recognized their teams?
Is your manager’s team completely unaware of the corporate objectives?

When your workforce is exhibiting low engagement levels, HR professionals must look to managers. Because managers oversee teams of your employees, their attitudes tend to have a ripple effect on the organization. That means that if your managers are unhappy, pessimistic, unengaged or simply not well-trained, disengagement will prevail. This is troublesome because disengagement is contagious; but with this prescription – taken daily – things will be better in no time. Read more →

Save Mart Achievers

[Customer Video] How Save Mart Successfuly Aligns 18,000 Employees

Save Mart Supermarkets boasts a culture that is people first because it believes people are the key to success. Learn how Save Mart implemented the Achievers Employee Success Platform™ to better align its 18,000 employees with the company’s initiatives, objectives, and vision.

HR Best Practices

Four Daily Practices for HR Professionals

As an HR professional, you can have an incredible impact on the engagement and motivational levels of your leadership. Here are four daily practices that you can channel, guaranteed to help your managers succeed. Read more →

Great Managers

Great Managers are your Secret Weapon

You wouldn’t call someone handy if they only knew how to fix one thing. When you hire a handyman, you expect the service provider to be able to fix the loose railing and the leaky kitchen tap, replace the light fixture, and maybe also give you some advice on how to make your computer run faster.

Middle managers are like the handyman; they need to be able to do it all. They tend to take on the role of the “jack-of-all-trades” because they are required to exhibit great leadership qualities, understand their team dynamic, motivate their team, make strategic decisions, and develop talent. What’s perhaps more remarkable is that managers balance all of these skills with fewer resources and more people than most senior leaders. So how does a manager accomplish this successfully? By being simultaneously strategic, tactical, and operational. Read more →

Manager Problems

Four Manager Problems that Aren’t Their Fault and How to Solve Them

Managers are often blamed for things that aren’t their fault. In fact, over 50 percent of middle managers are perceived as not being able to drive business success by their superiors. But, when we take a closer look, it’s obvious that many of the managers’ shortcomings aren’t their fault and can be improved with better resources and training. Read more →

Aspire 2014

Aspire 2014: The Future of the Workplace

AspireES14The future of the workplace is based on facts:

The modern workforce is fundamentally different and the shifts we’re all witnessing are seismic. Employees expect more out of their workplaces. Customers expect far more out of your employees. Companies today need to ensure they are positioned to thrive in the face of these changes which, most of all, means leveraging the modern workforce to win.

On April 3rd, 2014, over 200 executives met at the inaugural Aspire HR Executive Summit presented by Achievers at the Fairmont San Francisco to discuss the changing landscape of HR and the trends that are driving it. Read more →

Ultimate Manager Checklist

The Ultimate Check-List: 8 Manager Essentials

Your employees are your biggest and most important asset. When you think about where you’re investing efforts to keep employees engaged, aligned and recognized, what comes to mind?

Cash bonuses?
Celebrating their tenure?
Perhaps it’s a fruitcake on their birthday.

Well, what if we told you that the secret weapon to driving employee success was your managers? More often than not, employees don’t leave companies – they leave bad managers. That’s why it’s up to you to equip your managers with the tools they need to engage and motivate your workforce to drive results.

Wondering where to start? Look no further! This ultimate checklist of manager essentials will help you understand what tools and strategies your managers are looking for to engage your workforce and, spoiler alert, it’s not a fruitcake.

1. Give them visibility into employee engagement.

Managers Check-list

Your managers need real-time insight into their team’s engagement levels. Look for a tool that measures engagement frequently and share those results with managers so that they can mitigate the risk of low engagement or get excited by their highly motivated team. Read more →

Align Employees

Aligning Your Workforce: One, Two, Three Strikes – You’re Out

Picture this: it’s the bottom of the ninth and bases are loaded. Two outs and you’re down by three. Batter up! That’s you. The worst thing you can do right now is strike out.

You look up at your coach for your play, but … wait, your coach isn’t there.
You glance out the field and realize that your team has no idea what to do next.

Okay. You think. Now what? Read more →

Develop Modern Manager

Five Strategies to Develop the Modern Manager

The Secret Weapon to Driving Employee Success: Your ManagersBad managers are the number one reason employees quit, but good managers have the power to drive results. Performance is 35 percent higher when teams are led by strong management; moreover, engaged employees are also much more likely to stay with the organization, reducing turnover costs.

With these kinds of results on the line, who wouldn’t want to give their managers the tools they need to become great at their jobs?

There are many things organizations can do to help managers do their jobs well. Here are five strategies you can start using today to develop your managers. Read more →

MGM Resorts International and Achievers

How “One Culture” Made MGM Resorts International a Billion-Dollar Brand

Achievers 50 Most Engaged WorkplacesWhat would you change about your company if you knew you’d be bankrupt tomorrow?

Over the last 30 years, MGM Resorts International has become the billion-dollar brand we know today through mergers and acquisitions. It’s the second largest gaming company in the world by revenue and employs 62,000 employees at its resorts around the globe. Read more →

AutoTrader and Achievers

Three Reasons to Look Up to Autotrader as a Top Employer

Achievers 50 Most Engaged WorkplacesIt’s difficult for large, global companies to inspire employees and keep them engaged. More often than not, geographically dispersed employees feel disconnected from their employers, further driving them down the path to disengagement. But some companies have figured it out and lead the charge in maintaining highly engaged workplaces that recognize employees’ accomplishments and align their performance to business success. Autotrader is one of those companies. Read more →

3M and Achievers

[Customer video] How 3M made recognition easy

3M, a brand known for innovation, does not under estimate the power of culture. Learn how 3M created a culture of recognition, making it easy for all ranges of functions, from sales to marketing to manufacturing. As a result, recognition became part of everyday culture and positively impacted engagement. Read more →