employee recognition

How to Integrate Recognition Into Your Everyday Work Life

What are you doing to integrate recognition into your everyday work life? According to a 2018 report by Achievers and Aptitude Research Partners, companies identified recognition as having the greatest impact on employee engagement. This isn’t surprising considering 60% of companies plan to increase their investment in social recognition technology this year. With social recognition comes positive business results:

  • 4X more likely to improve stock prices
  • 2X more likely to improve NPS scores
  • 2X more likely to improve individual performances

Recognition should not be limited to a one-time occurrence. To maximize its impact, recognition needs to be frequent and shown on a daily basis. If you already made an investment in an employee recognition program or are planning to, let’s make sure your initiative gets the light of day. It’s important to make sure employees are frequently recognized and rewarded in the workplace. Below are top tips on how to integrate recognition into your everyday work life.

Take Advantage of Integrations

We recognize not all employees are able to be on your recognition platform 24/7. This is where integrations come into play. Through an Open API, it is now easy and seamless for employees to send and receive recognitions in the everyday flow of work. You now have the ability to integrate recognition into your company’s everyday platforms, whether it’s an intranet portal, instant messaging tool or learning management system. Don’t limit where employees can participate in recognition activities – look beyond just one platform and integrate recognition throughout multiple employee touchpoints.

Deliver a Fun User Experience

No one wants a boring user experience. Make sure your recognition platform has an engaging and easy-to-use interface. Daily active usage of any program depends on the quality of the user experience. Have fun with your recognition platform and see what is possible. Consider branding your recognition program to reflect your company’s style and design. Make sure your employees have options to play with – whether it’s monetary or social recognition, peer-to-peer or manager-to-employee recognition, or one-click recognitions. Let employees easily tie recognitions to company values. By incorporating values to recognition activities, you’re instilling your company’s mission and values on a regular basis.

Provide Unbeatable Rewards

Recognition is one thing, but what about the rewards that can come with it? Let recognition extend beyond the workplace and into your employees’ lives outside of the office with unbeatable rewards. Provide monetary recognition so that employees can accrue points, which they can later redeem for rewards. Offer an extensive rewards catalog that gets employees excited. Let employees pick the rewards that mean the most to them. So the next time your employees are looking at their new reward, such as an Apple TV, they will think about the constant recognition they received to redeem it. With the right rewards, employees will be motivated to recognize more often.

Brainstorm Campaign Ideas

Don’t wait for employees to come to your employee recognition platform, go to them! Push out fun campaigns throughout the year that will make employees want to get involved. Major companies, such as Scotiabank and Cox Automotive, are already executing successful campaigns for their recognition program. Scotiabank executed its “Pay It Forwardcampaign, which resulted in 86% activation globally, while Cox Automotive had its “Spark Week” celebration, which resulted in 25,522 “Thank You” recognition cards being sent across the platform. Don’t know when you should kick off your first or next campaign? Consider Employee Appreciation Week (EAW). EAW is the perfect opportunity to execute a creative campaign surrounding your employee recognition program and boost activity. Find inspiration from a list of Achievers clients who celebrated awesomeness during EAW.

So what are you waiting for? Start integrating recognition into your everyday work life. In a Gallup survey, two-thirds of employees stated they didn’t receive any recognition for their work over the last seven days. Let’s break the pattern and make recognition a frequent, everyday event in the workplace.

If you’re ready to increase recognition, download Achievers e-book covering three ways to make recognition and everyday event.

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Do you have any thoughts on this article? Share your comments below.

About the Author
Kellie WongKellie Wong is a Content Marketing Manager for Achievers. She manages The Engage Blog and produces a range of marketing content. In addition to being the final editor of all blog content for The Engage Blog, she also manages and maintains relationships with 45+ writing contributors. Connect with Kellie on LinkedIn.

 

 

 

 

employee appreciation week

25 New Ideas to Celebrate Employee Appreciation Week

Here at Achievers, we spend a lot of our time evangelizing about the importance of acknowledging your team on a daily, ongoing basis. We still love annual celebrations, though, because “positive emotions …actually help us to think better.” In the spirit of pure creativity and the fine art of recognizing each other’s diverse talents, here are 25 fresh ideas for your 2019 Employee Appreciation Week:

Focus on Empowerment

1. Make everyone’s schedules flexible for the week

People will appreciate being able to get some errands accomplished, and you may decide that all the benefits mean you should make the change permanent.

2. Roll out new educational opportunities

People want to further their education, and you can roll out a new program during Employee Appreciation Week. This should include appropriate prices and tuition support.

3. Bring in a couple of temp workers for the week

Arrange for each employee or team to have a turn offloading some of their stacked-up busywork to new hands. This might even become a seasonal “catch-up” event.

4. Offer anonymous feedback opportunities

While this may not exactly qualify as “fun,” it will definitely show your team that you value their opinions, and anonymity helps boost the voices of shy employees. Be sure to listen and take action on feedback. “Employee feedback software is a need-to-have because it’s the best way for us to keep our finger on the pulse of engagement.” according to our Chief Workforce Scientist, Dr. Natalie Baumgartner

5. Arrange for an ergonomic consultation

You can show employees that their health and comfort are important to you by arranging for an ergonomic consultant to come in during Employee Appreciation Week. You’ll need a modest budget for equipment changes, but it might make a long-term impact on the employee experience.

6. Announce the beginning of a one-year wellness initiative

Employee appreciation begins with supporting health and wellness, and you can kick off the campaign by handing out discounts on a gym membership or upgrading your wellness program.

7. Offer a range of fun activities

Employees need to feel they can choose which style of fun works best for them. Group activities like a visit to a winery or a bowling night are affordable, and by emphasizing the chance to choose, you’re showing that you value diversity and their opinions.

8. Sponsor a retreat

The right retreat can help employees bond as a team and encourage everyone to share their thoughts and ideas. A recent survey found that 82 percent of employees have ideas that they feel will improve their company … but sadly, between 30 and 39 percent of employees say that nobody will listen to their ideas if they share them.

Reward Everyone’s Efforts

9. Announce future holiday events

Give your workers something to look forward to after Employee Appreciation Week: maybe a photo booth and costumes on Halloween, or a getaway trip in the fall.

10. Create a round-robin gifting circle

Who says gift-giving should be limited to a few holidays each year? Divide your team into 5 groups, and have each group select and order small gifts for another group — all on the company’s dime.

11. Set up a mini-golf tournament in your office

Yes, of course it’s a ridiculous idea. But if LinkedIn can do it, so can you! The act of setting up the course will be as much fun as the competition. People can win extra points for using office supplies creatively.

12. Take your team to a local escape room

These innovative activities only require an hour or two, and deliver loads of clever team-building efforts. You may need to arrange a few separate times, if your group is large.

13. Underwrite a family fun day

Weekend tickets to a day at the waterpark or on the ski slopes will warm parents’ hearts. Be sure to offer some alternatives: Childless workers might prefer tickets to an evening sporting event or film.

14. Bring in a caricature artist

Every employee will have a portrait to either bring home or hang in their cubicle, and even though they’re silly, it’s another way for people to stand out as individuals.

15. Divide your group into restaurant-review teams

Have each team draw the name of a new local restaurant from a hat, and then write a review afterwards for the company newsletter. You pick up the tab, of course.

16. Focus on team-building via LaserTag

Corporate events are increasingly using the fun and challenge of this activity to spice up their employee appreciation.

17. Upgrade the employee break area

How about some new seating, or a fresh paint job? Too often, the customer-facing areas of a company are beautiful and inviting, while employee areas don’t get any attention. Add some art from a local artist (maybe someone who works for you) and ditch any stale posters.

18. Do a coffee makeover

Is it time for a high-end coffee maker? Your workers will appreciate it. Include an excellent selection of varietal coffee beans and a grinder, and have some good cream and non-dairy additives available for the full experience.

19. Bring in a VR experience

Rent the headsets and buy an immersive experience to take your workers to the Grand Canyon. An instant getaway, with none of the hassles of real-life travel!

Recognize Each Employee as an Individual

20. Create an employee recognition campaign

Empower your employees to give their peers recognition. Allow employees to reward points with recognitions that can actually be exchanged for specific gifts. “82% of employed Americans don’t feel that their supervisors recognize them enough for their contributions,” according to Harvard Business Review.

21. Sponsor a mini “Maker Faire

Your workers are talented and imaginative people. Let them show you and their peers what they’ve been up to, in this chance to share the creative paths they follow during their non-work hours.

22. Add staff photos and bios to the company website

Show the world that your employees matter: Create a new page in your company’s website to show all the people who make things happen behind the scenes. Even consider spotlighting employees in a blog post, asking them a series of fun questions to answer.

23. Send a LinkedIn recommendation

Employee Appreciation Week is the perfect time to demonstrate that you’re invested in your staff’s career futures by adding a recommendation to each person’s LinkedIn profile. Afterall, Achievers study found that 44 percent of workers who are planning to change jobs give their reason as the lack of recognition and engagement in their present workplace.

24. Announce a specialty potluck

Have an extra-long potluck lunch, and ask each worker to bring their personal favorite contribution. This can either be something they love to cook, or just their favorite store-bought treat.

25. Salute your remote workers with a virtual party

Do you have employees spread across the globe? Send each of them a coffee gift card or order them a pizza, and invite them to join your whole staff at an online group hangout.

Don’t limit employee appreciation to just one day or week! Check out our e-book on employee recognition, and you’ll find some great tips on how to make employee appreciation an everyday event.

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About the Author

Diane Scheidler is a business focused Human Resources executive with significant functional experience in all areas of HR. She has worked in both early start-up and established high growth, Software and SaaS organizations supporting North American, LATAM, and European business units.

Diane is currently the Head of HR for Achievers, where she continually focuses on the employee experience, ensuring a culturally rich and engaging work environment.

Prior to Achievers, Diane has acted in a Sr. Leadership capacity to lead functionally diverse areas of Human Resources for employee populations ranging from 200 to well over 100,000 employees for Samsung Canada, Amazon Canada, Blackberry and Altana Pharma.

Diane currently holds a Master of Human Resources and Organizational Development degree from the London School of Economics and a Bachelor degree from the University of Western Ontario. Diane is also a Certified Compensation Professional.

 

employees walking

Who’s the Real Flight Risk? Why Employees Leave (And Stay)

An excerpt from Staying Power Staying Power Book 2018

Who’s the Real Flight Risk?

Why do people stay at your organization? Is it because they’re passionate about the work they do? Do they enjoy working with their colleagues and/or those you serve? Do they feel well-compensated and appreciated? Or is it for another reason?

While I would like to think these positive reasons are the primary basis for why staff stay, that’s not always the case. Here are a few reasons why some staff stick around, even when they are unhappy in their current role or situation:

  1. True loyalty
    Some employees feel a sense of obligation to the owners, business, clients, or even a single manager who gave them the job and have invested in their career over time.
  2. Skills gap
    If workers have not kept up with continuing education or evolving skills needed in their industries, their current skills may no longer hold value in today’s employment market.
  3. Golden handcuffs
    When employees build up a cushion of paid time off (PTO) and are given several more weeks each year, it’s very difficult to start over elsewhere.
  4. VIP status
    When someone has worked at the same place for a long time, they have tremendous institutional knowledge and know how to pull strings to accomplish what they want. Even if seasoned workers are not in an official position of authority, they often carry weight among their peers, which they don’t want to give up by leaving.
  5. Lack of self-esteem
    Some workers don’t have enough confidence in their skills or value to look for another job, and those individuals often loathe the thought of interviewing due to the potential rejection.
  6. Creatures of habit
    Some people just do not like change. They prefer to stay in their comfort zones doing their current jobs, and they don’t want to transition over to a new company, new role, new colleagues, new boss, new systems and new processes.

Any chance you have a few employees on your team who appear to be more loyal than they truly are? It’s not a bad thing. They are dependable workers who get their jobs done with little supervision needed. But managers need to keep in mind that not everyone who stays is loyal to the organization or their managers.

Unfortunately, today’s younger workers have garnered a negative reputation for being job hoppers when, in fact, all new hires are a flight risk, regardless of their age.

New hires don’t have the “golden handcuffs” seasoned employees do, and most new hires have the confidence and courage to change jobs, or they would have stayed put.

Think of it this way. If someone was willing to leave their last company to come work for you, they are likely to leave you for the next opportunity that appeals to them.

Trees vs. Revolving Doors

The veteran group of dependable workers described earlier is what I refer to as the “trees” in our workforce today. They are deep-rooted in the organization and are not likely to go elsewhere anytime soon.

Now, the other part of the workforce is a completely different story. These less stable positions in the company are the “revolving door” roles, which rotate through new hires faster than managers would like, and that cost companies dearly in losses of productivity and profitability as they repeatedly rehire and retrain for these jobs.

At most organizations, I find the majority of positions fall into one of these two categories: trees or revolving doors. If you had to separate your entire workforce into only these two buckets, what percent of your staff falls into each? (There is no right answer. This is just to help you reflect on your current staffing situation.) Is it 70/30, 60/40, 50/50?

Now, project out five to 10 years and envision what percentage of your staff will fall into each category then. Scary, right? It doesn’t have to be!

The impending transition from a long-term workforce to a shorter-term workforce should not blindside any manager or company. We can see it coming, and can prepare for it now.

As more trees retire, they are not likely to be replaced by newer trees who will stay long term but, instead, those roles will become more revolving-door positions. This is already occurring in several industries and the trend will continue. I bring this projection to light as a way to jump-start your leadership team into discussions about the importance of understanding today’s new workforce and making retention efforts a priority. The costs associated with a lack of preparation will be detrimental to some organizations.

And keep in mind, the goal is not to stop the revolving door. The goal is to slow it down to a manageable pace that is sustainable.

Do you have a plan for the workforce transition? And do you know the parties involved?

To learn more about the current state of employee engagement, check out this white paper: “2018 Employee Engagement Survey: HR Professionals Share Their Advice for a More Engaged Workforce.

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Do you have any thoughts on this article? Share your comments below.

About the Author
Cara SillettoWorkforce thought leader, speaker and author Cara Silletto, MBA, is the president and chief retention officer of Crescendo Strategies, a firm committed to reducing unnecessary employee turnover. Her 2018 book, Staying Power: Why Your Employees Leave & How to Keep Them Longer, helps employers better understand today’s new workforce and improve employee retention.

Want to read more and learn how to keep your staff longer? Get your copy of Staying Power now – available on Amazon here

 

 

 

puzzle

5 Things Amazing Company Mission Statements All Have in Common

What is it about your company culture that defines your organization’s identity and builds your employee alignment? How do you tell the world about the values behind your company? A mission statement keeps everyone on the same page with respect to why you’re even in business at all. While you may feel that your primary purpose for existing is to be financially profitable, no company will achieve long-term success if its only mission is “to make money.” Larger goals matter, both for you and for your employees. Here’s an exploration of what mission statements are and are not, together with five characteristics that amazing company mission statements all have in common.

What Is a Mission Statement, Exactly?

A mission statement “declares the purpose of an organization and defines the reason for the company’s existence,” according to Business News Daily. It’s different from a slogan, which is a marketing phrase designed solely to catch the attention of potential customers. It’s also different from a vision statement, which is longer and is designed to lay out your company’s future. Also, while your mission statement might be incorporated into your business plan, it’s not intended to describe the nuts and bolts of operating.

Mission statements are as varied as individual companies, but the really outstanding ones do have certain characteristics in common:

1. They Are Short and Punchy

A mission statement shouldn’t be an essay. You’ll have better luck aligning your employees when they can remember what your mission statement actually is, instead of recalling it merely as a wall of words on a sign somewhere. Likewise, it should not be written in corporate jargon. Gee Ranasinha, CEO of marketing firm Kexino, puts it this way: “Mission statements need to be written using words and sentences that ‘normal’ people use and understand.”

Casual dining giant Darden Restaurants has truly mastered the art of brevity. Its mission statement: “To nourish and delight everyone we serve.” Darden saves a deeper dive into their company’s values for their employee page, on which they go into much more detail.

2. They Start With an Action Verb

It’s helpful to read a few online lists of the very best mission statements. For instance, in this list you’ll notice that most of the statements have an action word at the beginning of the statement. After the word “To…” you see such words as “inspire,” “create,” “reinvent,” “give” and so on. Although there are variations in which some companies describe what they are going to “be” rather than what they’re going to “do,” the majority use very active phrasing.

3. They Are Specific

Your mission statement should reflect the specific nature of your business and define your company culture and character. Check out two different statements, demonstrating this point. Here’s an example: “Deliver to customers and employees.” Would you be able to tell what kind of product this company is selling? Now compare the first example with, “To discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases.” This statement, from Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, tells you precisely what the company does.

4. They Are Directed Both Inside and Outside

Here’s an example of a statement that’s only inner-directed: “The company’s primary objective is to maximize long-term stockholder value, while adhering to the laws of the jurisdictions in which it operates and at all times observing the highest ethical standards.” Would this persuade you to become a customer? They are actually a dairy product wholesaler, but their mission statement is almost solely directed at their own staff and stockholders.

In contrast, Patagonia‘s statement is addressed to everyone on the outside as well as on the inside: “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.” Customers will gain confidence when they read this statement, while employee motivation will be strengthened by the clear articulation of goals.

5. They Are Revisited Every Few Years

Mission statements must grow with the company. Regardless of how carefully you plan the path of your business, the passage of years will inevitably bring evolution. In order to keep your company’s mission statement absolutely relevant, it should be reevaluated every few years. While you may not need to entirely rewrite it, companies often find that it’s necessary to add something to a mission statement as they move forward with development.

Starbucks provides a great example of corporate evolution. In the beginning, their mission statement was, “To establish Starbucks as the premier purveyor of the finest coffees in the world while maintaining our uncompromising principles as we grow.” Nothing wrong with that — but as they grew, they wanted to express something more. Their current mission: “To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.” Clearly this illustrates a shift in the company culture, and would be noticed by customers as well as by employees.

Writing a strong mission statement conveys your company’s “true passions and values,” according to Wendy Maynard, strategic director of Kinesis, a marketing firm. Maynard points out that the rewards for putting the time and effort into crafting a powerful mission statement will provide real value to your company. To learn more, read our blog on the Top 5 Company Missions and Values.

At Achievers, our mission is to change the way the world works. Achievers is a behavior-driving employee engagement platform that listens to employees and aligns them with business objectives and company values. Our award-winning employee recognition platform and active listening interface with insights enable enterprise organizations to accelerate employee engagement. Shop Direct, a multi-brand online retailer serving the United Kingdom and Ireland, saw a 17% increase in their engagement survey after implementing their Shine program, powered by Achievers. To learn more, check out Shop Direct’s case study.

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engaged employees

How to Convert a Disengaged Employee Into An Engaged One

Disengagement is contagious and costly, and it’s your responsibility as a manager or HR professional to deal with this contagion before it spreads throughout your workplace. Overall, 16 percent of employees are actively disengaged, according to Gallup, but even one disengaged employee is one too many.

You can spot an actively disengaged worker as someone who disrupts projects by dropping the ball, overburdens co-workers who have to complete undone tasks, and ruins team cohesiveness by undercutting the mission and goals that motivate their colleagues. Disengaged workers may also work at odds with company norms – consistently breaking rules, like coming in late or leaving early, and generally being uninvolved in the office culture.

When you have actively disengaged employees in your fold, your other team members, who may have their own outside stresses and yet work hard to play by the rules, may feel resentful. And — watch out for this — the person they might end up resenting could be you.

Handling Disengaged Workers Is a Key Part of HR’s Job

If you are an HR professional, then you are the one responsible for ensuring that everyone contributes to shared company success, and your staff relies on you to be paying attention. Here’s how to approach a disengaged worker and prevent the contagion of disengagement from spreading throughout your company.

Step One: Get Employee Feedback and Listen

You may be feeling disappointed and frustrated with an employee who’s not pulling their weight, but it’s important to keep those emotions in check. It’s rare that an employee shows up at work with a desire to be engaged – or to disengage others. It’s quite likely that there are factors you don’t know about that are at play in the situation, so spend some time together and consider your meeting a fact-finding mission.

When you meet with employees, it is essential that you take a supportive tone to encourage them to talk openly about their feelings. Ask them to share their concerns and priorities as well as any ideas they have about how their job could be improved. Gathering regular, more frequent employee feedback through anonymous engagement surveying is another very effective way to stay informed. Such technology allows employees to feel safe in being candid about their experience and needs.

Just be sure you are gathering feedback and measuring often – as engagement is exceptionally fluid and shifts frequently. Keeping your finger on the pulse of employee engagement requires a rich toolbox of strategies so use them all to gather this critical information that will inform your engagement action.

Step Two: Address Immediate Issues

Regardless of how you gather your engagement data, be sure to respond to actionable engagement issues right away. This is the equivalent of stopping the spread of harmful contagion before it gets out of hand. There are feedback tools out there to help make this task easier, such as advanced technology that can deliver bite-sized, personalized actions for both employees and managers.

Author and engagement specialist Tim Eisenhauer states, “When an employee begins to experience problems with engagement, it’s essential to step in as quickly as possible so that things don’t progress further.”

The action you take will depend on the feedback you receive but here are some examples of ways you might tackle engagement challenges:

  • Frequently Monitor Engagement
    How often do you monitor employee engagement? If your answer is once to twice per year, that is simply not enough. Engagement levels are always changing and you must track it frequently in order to make a true impact. How can you accomplish this? Try pulse surveys. Pulse surveys are meant to be short and include a list of key questions that can be sent out regularly on a quarterly or even monthly basis. By frequently monitoring engagement, you can be immediately alerted of any dips in engagement and take action right away.
  • Personalize Your Actions
    As soon as you detect any sign of disengagement, make sure to address employee needs (whether it be recognition, rewards, feedback, ) with personalized action. For example, if an employee reports a dip on engagement around recognition, consider spotlighting the person in the next team meeting, recognizing them on your company-wide recognition platform, or having a personal one-on-one meeting to go over their accomplishments. Every employee is unique, with a different set of needs at different moments of time, so avoid using a one-size-fits-all model – you have to make your action personal.
  • Focus on Management Development
    The number one reason people quit their jobs is a bad boss or immediate supervisor. It is vital for management to develop trusting relationships with their employees. Research shows that when employees trust their managers, it affects engagement. Make sure managers are providing ongoing support and communication to their employees. By improving the way managers interact and work with their team, you are one step closer to improving engagement.
  • Use a Strength-Based Approach
    Take a strength-based management approach and start leveraging your employees’ strengths. Offering learning and development opportunities to help employees build upon their unique strengths is a great way to help them develop as professionals. After all, 87 percent of millennials said development is important in a job and 40 percent of employees who receive poor training and limited opportunities for development leave their job within five years.
  • Identify Core Values
    Have you ever measured the core values of your employees? Use a strength-based approach to identify which values matter most to each employee, as individuals. Once you determine which values are most core and remain constant to your employees, you can incorporate those values into your engagement Through a strength-based approach that leverages core values, you can better drive desired behavior and engage employees.
  • Be Attentive
    Make sure your employees feel heard and give them the attention and support they deserve. Encourage employees to participate in meetings and share their opinions. Always be receptive to their input and try to see their point of view. For example, if an employee needs more role definition and clarity, take the time to help them review their work priorities. Giving this type of undivided attention allows for engagement to occur on a very personal level.
  • Encourage Time Off
    Did you know 65 percent of employees didn’t use all of their Paid Time Off (PTO) last year? Research has shown that disconnecting from work affects performance . When employees get a break from work, they are more productive and engaged the following Avoid employee burnout by encouraging employees to take time off so they can recharge their batteries.

Once you have addressed the immediate needs of your actively disengaged employees, it’s important to help establish or reinforce a strong and healthy company culture that supports and encourages your staff to feel engaged in their work. There are many avenues to creating a culture that drives engagement , but here are two powerful steps to get you started on the right path:

  • Institute employee recognition and rewards

When you let employees know that you notice and appreciate their efforts, they become even more engaged in what they’re doing; it’s just a fact of human nature. Remember: “Employees who do not feel adequately recognized are twice as likely to say they’ll quit in the next year,” according to Gallup. Your staff’s teamwork will also improve when co-workers are encouraged to recognize and compliment each other’s efforts. Recognition is an engagement win-win.

  • Align employees with your company’s vision

HR expert Andre Lavoie writes in Entrepreneur that employee alignment with the company goals and vision is one of the most basic elements of engagement. He cites a 2016 Gallup poll that found “only 40 percent of millennial employees surveyed felt strongly connected to their company’s mission.” Lavoie goes on to comment that “this disconnect is sure to cause a lack of direction and create listless employees disengaged from their work.” Evaluating the extent to which your people feel aligned with, and empowered around, your company’s vision will guide you towards actions you can take to enhance that experience of impact – a key engagement driver.

Strengthening employee engagement in your company is a high-value investment in your organization’s performance and you can take concrete steps to achieve success. If you’re interested in learning more about the relationship between disengagement and business performance, take a look at our white paper, “Is HR a Cost Center? The True Cost of Employee Disengagement” and to see how one company went from below its benchmark to Best-in-Class in employee engagement related to recognition, download Achievers’ case study on Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey.

Disengagement is a risk factor that threatens organizational health and performance but can be addressed through feedback, insight and a commitment to prioritizing employee engagement on your company’s strategic agenda.

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Do you have any thoughts on this article? Share your comments below.

About Dr. Natalie Baumgartner

Natalie Baumgartner is the Chief Workforce Scientist at Achievers. She has spent her career advising companies of all sizes, from entrepreneurial startups to Fortune 500 firms, on issues related to company culture. Specifically tackling key hire assessment and portfolio due diligence issues, she’s found success analyzing what most overlook – the human element. She holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with a specific focus on assessment and additional training in strength-based psychology. Natalie serves on the board of the Consulting Psychology Division of the American Psychological Association. She is a popular speaker on culture and recently did a TEDx talk on the importance of culture fit. Natalie is a culture evangelist and is passionate about the power that culture fit has to revolutionize how we work. As an avid Boot Camp aficionado, if you can’t find Natalie in the office odds are good you’ll bump into her sprinting up mountains in her hometown of Denver, CO.

 

 

employee and city view

7 Ways to Fast-Forward Your Career

In a survey of millennial employees, 32 percent stated they were actively seeking a promotion. Are you among those ambitious workers already laying the groundwork for advancing your career? If so, it’s never too soon to put an effective step-by-step strategy to work. Here are seven ways to fast-forward your career.

1. Refer to a Recent Accomplishment

While conscientiousness and competence are baseline requirements for moving up in the corporate world, they aren’t sufficient in themselves. The days when simply putting in your time would guarantee a promotion are long gone, and you need to be able to articulate your value to the company. Dr. Randall Hansen, founder of Quintessential Careers, advises keeping a record of what you’ve accomplished and turning those accomplishments into specific numbers. Have you sped up an operation by a certain percentage or increased sales by a measurable dollar amount? Statements like these are the kind of persuasion that managers naturally respect.

2. Stay on the Sunny Side

You’d never expect to be considered seriously for promotion if you chronically showed up late to work, left early or used vulgar language in the office. These behaviors, however, are seen as less problematic by supervisors than having a negative attitude. Fully 62 percent of managers say they’d be reluctant to promote a worker who makes a habit of complaining or spreading negativity. If you have to point out flaws in the system in order to highlight a better approach, it’s crucial to frame your statements in a positive tone. Spreading optimism and good spirits is an important element of expressing your alignment with company culture. Look at the situation through your manager’s eyes: He or she wants to improve productivity, and if you’re in the habit of pointing out all the ways in which things aren’t working, you’ll be identified with that negative stance.

3. Weave Your Social Web

There’s an old saying: “It’s not who you know; it’s who knows you.” This is a key maxim to keep in mind as you aspire to be noticed as a good candidate for promotion. John Corcoran, creator of “Smart Business Revolution” and former White House staff writer, identifies four specific targets for your networking efforts: your boss, your future boss (after the hoped-for promotion), your future peers and an influential peer of your future boss. Building your social network also gives you the foundation for career security because you’ll be positioned to hear about good opportunities wherever they happen to arise.

4. Look the Part

If this tip sounds like it belongs in the Mad Men era, that’s probably an indication that you should rethink your appearance. While office dress standards have relaxed, especially in the software world, where bringing dogs to work and kicking back over ping pong are the new normal, they have definitely not been abandoned. In a CareerBuilder survey, 43 percent of employers state that “shabby” or wrinkled clothing would make them less likely to promote someone, and 27 percent would find it harder to promote someone who dresses “too casually.” Other style disasters noted by managers include “unprofessional or ostentatious facial hair” (24 percent), heavy perfume or cologne (21 percent), and tattoos (27 percent). Your appearance is a visible metric that shows how aware you are of social signals, and that sensitivity is a key quality for leadership positions.

5. Always Be Learning

Whether you enroll in webinars, sign up for outside coursework or seek out mentors within your organization, you should constantly find ways to expand your knowledge. Your career won’t move forward unless you’re actively driving it, and increasing your skill set is how you fuel that advancement. Take action and find ways to engage in the workplace. Provide honest employee feedback to leadership, embrace new conversations with coworkers and share top accomplishments and goals. Furthermore, establishing a mentor relationship within your own company can put you in the sights of people who may have a say in promoting you.

6. Be Active in Recognition

Employees who got promoted received 83 percent more recognition from colleagues and supervisors than employees who continued in their current positions. Furthermore, an Achievers study found that the people chosen for promotion were those with the strongest track records of supporting and appreciating their coworkers. These successfully promoted workers turned out to have offered 3.8 times more recognition to colleagues than had their peers who were passed over for promotions. The ability to make people around you look good is an important leadership quality. This may seem counterintuitive since you want to stand out in your boss’s awareness, but you won’t win any points by running down your teammates. The hallmark of true excellence is the ability to lift up everyone on your team and promote the well-being of the organization as a whole.

7. Promote Your Boss’s Interests

In addition to helping your co-workers shine, it’s also important to figure out what matters most to your boss. Is she anxious about expanding the market? Does he have a big investment in developing a new product line? Listen to what your boss has to say about goals, and then put those goals at the top of your own priority list. Business strategist Larry Myler recommends, “Find out how your boss is judged and how he gets a bonus,” and then help him meet those goals.

Following these promotion tips is a win-win proposition. Even if you don’t get the promotion you first envisioned, you’ll become a prize catch for any manager. In the long run, your career is in your own hands, and you’re the one who moves yourself forward.

To learn more about how to be active in recognition, check out our e-book on how to make recognition an everyday event.

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