Did you know just 19 percent of employees consider themselves “very engaged”? Now, throw an unexpected crisis into the mix (such as a global pandemic) and imagine how quickly this number can drop.
During times of crisis, how people react matters. According to a CDC report, “During an emergency, people absorb and act on information differently from non-emergency situations. This is due, in part, to the fight or flight mechanism.” Everyone reacts to a crisis differently – what matters is how you react. As your organization faces a crisis, it’s important to act quickly and react in three steps: 1) digest 2) plan and 3) take action.
When tackling step two (plan), you want to consider all the resources and tools available for you to leverage. Ask yourself, “What platforms and tools can I use to help my organization face a crisis?” If you have an employee recognition platform in place, strategically map out how you’re going to maximize its impact on your workforce. No matter what conditions your company is facing, ensuring employees feel valued and appreciated is important and can have a strong impact on engagement, productivity, and morale. Recognition is especially essential during times of crisis when employees might feel disconnected. Let’s take a look at the numbers when it comes to recognition:
- “Lack of recognition” is the third biggest reason people say they are or would consider leaving their jobs
- 82 percent of employees wish they received more recognition for their work
- Recognition has the greatest impact on employee engagement
- Social recognition is two times more likely to improve performance and NPS scores
Numerous companies are utilizing the power of recognition and leveraging Achievers’ award-winning recognition platform to engage their workforce during times of crisis. In fact, a few days after COVID-19 was announced as a global pandemic, Achievers saw a 14 percent increase in the number of total recognitions on the platform and a 48 percent increase in monetary recognition. When leading during times of crisis, it’s important to use recognition to bring employees together and strengthen connection. Let’s take a look at how some companies are leveraging the Achievers platform during times of crisis.
How companies are utilizing Achievers during a global pandemic
When a global pandemic (COVID-19) was announced, many of our customers immediately turned to one of the most versatile programs in their toolkit: their Achievers platform. Below are examples of key Achievers features that have helped companies communicate to their teams, boost morale, and maintain employee engagement amidst these uncertain times.
An Achievers feature many customers have come to rely on during the COVID-19 pandemic is Announcements. Announcements is a feature displayed front and center on a program’s homepage and allows customers to communicate important information and updates across the company. With Announcements, all employees (both online and offline) are notified on important communications. Employees also have the option to view updates according to their preference, whether on desktop or mobile. Below are a few examples of how companies are leveraging Announcements during COVID-19.
Continuing Life, a senior living organization, used Announcements to announce its new childcare assistance program to help employees affected by school closures from COVID-19. Atop of communicating CDC updates, related business implications, and the new program with Announcements, Continuing Life’s Managing Partner, Warren Spieker, posted a “thank you” video to all employees, expressing his gratitude for their contributions and sharing why their efforts in the community are extremely important. The company also displayed ads in their program that led readers to content pages with more information on COVID-19.
Coborn’s, a growing retail and grocery company, used Announcements to post a “thank you” message from their CEO, Chris Coborn, to all employees. With the company’s front-line employees supplying groceries during COVID-19, words of appreciation can make a big impact on morale across the organization. As the global pandemic continues, Coborn’s is regularly using Announcements to provide key updates to all employees, including messages from their CEO and leadership team. Beyond leveraging Achievers as an essential communication tool, Coborn’s has increased budgets for their location leaders to ramp up their recognition frequency to front-line employees. Also, the company recently launched a new recognition category, Safety & Wellbeing, to reinforce the importance of safety across their 120 locations.
Leading retail and grocery company
Another leading retail and grocery company also used Announcements to post a “thank you” message from their CEO to all employees. The company’s CEO then followed up by sending a $100 monetary recognition to each of the company’s 60,000 non-bonused employees to thank them for helping customers who are relying on them during a difficult time. This company and the CEO have also relied on Achievers for key data and insights based on employee comments so they can take action on any necessary follow-ups. Moreover, the CEO leveraged the Announcements feature to communicate a significant update to his employees about a $2/hour raise he instilled until the end of the month. Looking ahead, this company also has plans to leverage Announcements to link to a video with a message from their CEO. In the video, the CEO will personally address the company, supply an update on COVID-19, and share his appreciation for the employees’ efforts during this challenging time.
With the Achievers platform, employees are able to easily send and receive recognitions. All recognitions are displayed on a company-wide newsfeed and employees have the opportunity to like, comment, and/or boost other recognitions; a boost is a one-click recognition. Whether it’s social recognition, monetary recognition, or both, companies are heavily using the Achievers Recognize solution during times of crisis. Below are a few examples.
As central and southern Delaware’s largest not-for-profit healthcare system, Bayhealth’s 4,000 employees are focused on strengthening the health of their communities, one life at a time. With a large population of their employees working at the forefront of the COVID-19 crisis, this healthcare institution has been encouraging recognition to their front-line employees to help support them during this challenging time. During a global pandemic, healthcare workers are on the front lines every day helping others; frequently recognizing their tireless efforts helps boost morale during difficult times. Bayhealth also displayed ads in their program linking employees to their COVID-19 safety measures and procedures on their intranet.
PathFactory, a computer software company out of Toronto, ramped up on monetary recognition when faced with a global pandemic. To boost morale, the company did a bulk upload of monetary recognition accompanied with a “thank you” and positive message to all employees. By pairing a positive message alongside monetary recognition, employees instantly felt valued and appreciated.
When COVID-19 came to the forefront, a computer and network security company increased points budget for recognitions. By increasing the points budget for a specific time period, employees are encouraged to award others who focus on frequent communications and demonstrate elevated empathy with customers during the crisis. The company is also running a campaign similar to March Madness. Instead of focusing on basketball, the campaign is tailored to addressing the global pandemic and emphasizing the importance of staying connected.
With Achievers Listen and Check-ins, conversations are initiated to gather employee feedback. During times of crisis, it is critical for organizations to gather employee feedback and take action so employees feel heard and supported by their manager and organization. In fact, 90 percent of workers say they are more likely to stay at an employer that takes and acts on feedback. Below is an example of how one company is leveraging Check-ins to build trust with their workforce.
A financial services company has seen tremendous organic growth of Check-ins since COVID-19 was announced as a global pandemic. The company is monitoring Check-ins daily and participation has more than doubled, jumping from 7 percent to 16 percent. The company is also gathering all employee feedback and using it to communicate with their workforce to build transparency and trust.
Achievers is honored to be able to support our customers with a myriad of tools to engage and support their workforces during challenging times. There are other unexpected emergencies that arise beyond global pandemics, such as hurricanes and bushfires. During various past crises, Achievers has always stayed by the side of its customers to support Culture Continuity™.
How companies responded to past crises with Achievers
The world has faced and will continue to face a variety of natural disasters. Below are examples of how companies have leveraged the Achievers platform in past crises.
Achievers customers across the globe
During the Australian bushfires, many Achievers customers in Australia and across the globe deployed program ads (created by Achievers) to encourage donations to the Australian bushfires. Employees were able to donate their points to a variety of charities supporting bushfire relief efforts in the Achievers platform through the Give Back pillar. In some cases, companies matched donations for the bushfire campaign to further the impact.
As a result, donation activity on the Achievers platform from November 2019 to January 2020 jumped 322 percent and donation amounts increased 256 percent. Although these numbers represent all charities worldwide that Achievers customers donated to, it showcases how the Australian bushfires catalyzed and motivated employees to give back, no matter the cause.
A manufacturing company in the automobile industry set up a campaign in their recognition program to support relief efforts in Tennessee after a tornado. The campaign was promoted with a display ad in their program that led employees to instructions on where they could donate their points.
A major electronics company goes the extra mile by providing financial assistance for basic necessities to employees facing hardship, regardless of the cause. Eligible employees can qualify for out-of-pocket expenses of up to a maximum of $2,000 as a result of a natural disaster and/or catastrophic loss; it can be applied to any personal property damage or other relief payments. Employees can apply for this relief by filling out a form available within the Achievers platform.
The use cases above showcase how companies have leveraged the Achievers platform to bring employees together and give back in times of need.
What Achievers is doing during times of crisis
At Achievers, we feel a strong sense of responsibility to lead by example, do our part, and practice what we preach. Recognition and feedback are weaved into our culture and during times of crisis, we put an extra emphasis on both. With the impact of COVID-19, we’ve ramped up on a number of initiatives to both inform and engage our workforce during uncertain times. Below are a few examples of what Achievers is doing to support our employees.
– Maximize all aspects of our recognition program, Aspire, to keep employees connected and build a culture of appreciation
– Use Achievers Listen to gather employee feedback on a regular basis and assess what actions need to be taken
– Leverage Announcements to provide informative updates
– Host leadership office hours in an online chat where team members can drop in and ask any questions
– Achievers’ CEO, Jeff Cates, sent a recognition through our platform to all employees to thank the team for their solidarity in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and boost morale
– The Achievers CARES team customized and built a content page on Aspire that features charities employees can donate to. Employees can donate to local food banks and/or the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund; proceeds to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund will be used to support the WHO in their global efforts.
– The Achievers CARES team also created a communications channel called Connected During Quarantine – Achievers Cares. This channel is designed for employees to share stories, workouts, recipes, photos, and more. Every week, a Reader’s Digest is released summarizing the top shares from the channel.
– The Achievers Employee Success team issued a survey through Aspire to update all emergency contact information.
– The Achievers Employee Success team partnered with Achievers Women’s Network (AWN) and the Achievers CARES team for Wellness Wednesdays where all employees are invited to take part in virtual instructor-led yoga, meditation, and other wellness activities.
As we look toward an uncertain future, it’s important to be nimble and adjust to new situations that arise. According to a recent Fast Company article covering, “How to Lead in Times of Crisis,” there are two key components required in order to achieve success: 1) build community and 2) solicit feedback. Achievers partners with customers every step of the way to help build community through recognition and solicit feedback through advanced listening tools. Learn how Achievers can help your organization engage employees all year-round and during times of crisis by scheduling a live demo of the Achievers platform today.