Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Employee Engagement - 2012

Throughout this year I have presented "Cultivating Employee Engagement" to HR professionals across Northern California. 500+ local HR Pros attended these seminars. The great attendance and positive feedback were a result of 2 things:
1. An energetic approach to presenting
2. A collaborative forum for idea sharing

It is always interesting when a salesperson presents to HR. The initial reactions are furrowed brows and raised eye brows. Attendees are there to receive re-certification credits.....they will do what they must to digest the material. Attendee apprehension is understood because most presenters do not conduct sessions with enough conviction (or they use the opportunity to sell something). You cannot establish influence without teaching skills that will contribute to the success of your audience. It's not all about us!

Here are 8 things learned in 10 seminars, countless miles on the road, and a whole lot of open and honest conversation:

Seize the Leadership Opportunity - HR has been categorized as an administrative stop gap in an organization. More and more, HR is becoming a key strategic function to organizational progress. The door is open, but you must be armed with numbers and a correlating strategy to back up your mission for organizational engagement. We can no longer be cautious, we cannot share without enforcement, employees will not be engaged by passive strategy. HR cannot be a strategic partner if we allow ourselves to be cast aside as administrators.

Demolish the Silos - Organizational progress cannot be made strictly through the manager to peer channel. Performance reviews may be a legal necessity, but they do nothing to motivate. Employee goals should be acknowledged and broadcast for the entire organization to witness. Progress should be encouraged by everyone, not regimented by a superior. Career advancement should be a result of a transparent, personal commitment to progress, not closed door office politics.

Poll the Audience - The incoming workforce is full of ideas for organizational development. That should be celebrated not ignored. Every organization needs a strategy for gathering organizational feedback to ensure Executive action.

Make it Cool - Core Values written 100 years ago need to be redefined in terms relevant to today's workforce. Wearing lapel pins is not an organizational strategy, it is a way to further commoditize an out-of-touch brand. Everyone should have an equal opportunity to excel based on well-rounded behavioral competencies.

Prioritize - HR is the key to organizational engagement. You can reduce turnover, drive results, and create a company culture that is totally unique. It takes creativity, a knowledge of your employee pedigree, and the ability to quantify effort. It is not turnkey, it is not easily defined, and it will take a lot of time. If you want to make a difference you have to believe with uncompromised conviction. Get busy doing the things that will change lives for the better, save the spreadsheets for the weekend.

Be a Business Partner - HR opposes the sales pitch. This because, if you are selling more than a widget, a pitch doesn't work. To promote an effective program you have to have: a mission unique to your organization, internal branding that empowers adoption, cool rewards, and metrics that measure program effectiveness. In order to gain adoption you have to have the aforementioned elements of program success in mind.....and then you have to sell it your Executives and Employees!

Communicate - A Marketers goal is to expose the brand, HR's goal is to protect the brand. Creativity is the key to effective program adoption. You know your workforce better than anyone. Get creative! Market your program! This is the best way to gain program adoption and to help your program grow!

Debunk the Myth - The best way to prove you are not a paper pusher or the employee police is to prove it. Organizational development is converting from a top down to a bottoms up game. You can be the change agent in communicating the employee voice.

Don't Kid Yourself.....HR is Cool!

If you stepped out of your comfort zone in my 2012 seminars, just wait until next year when the "HR as a Business Partner" series puts you in the organizational drivers seat!

Don't Forget to Remember!


1 comment:

  1. Its very Cool article dude! Employee engagement is must to HR people.