Tuesday, February 19, 2019

2019 Employee Engagement Trends

Last week BI Worldwide published the Employee Engagement trends that will impact programs this calendar year. The results rectify program initiatives that continue to entice participation. There are also a few new trends that are taking intrigue to an elevated strategic level.

The Impact of Employee Recognition on Mental Health
As an educator of College aged people and a spouse to one who works in the Mental Health profession, I am ever-encouraged by the sea change in the support over the last decade. Stigmas are being lifted and transparency has opened up with generous resolve. The corporate world is listening....
  • Wellness programming has extended from step counts to mental and spiritual support. 
  • Flexible work and less-confined workplace structure is an expectation.
  • Coaching has evolved beyond tactical work application to individual development.

Every organization is a collective made up of ambitious individuals. Employees now expect to have the opportunity to self-select their career path. Companies can no longer fear that the knowledge they provide will be taken elsewhere. If your organizational culture rocks and you have programs to support development, your people will grow together to create something completely unique.      
Integration Makes for a Better User Experience
Employee Recognition programs exist in 3 functions: user experience, management tools and leadership insight. Without adoption, engagement is impossible.

It seems elementary but if programs are not easy to access and simple to use, your platform will gather dust.

Employee Recognition evolves into Employee Engagement when recognition is integrated with Learning Management, Performance Management, Customer Relationship Management and Collaboration. You have the opportunity to create a consolidated entry point to all the aforementioned programs.

With the proper programming, Human Resources is the organizational tunnel to development.   

Think Beyond your Sandbox
Where technical integration makes for a better user experience, vendor consolidation saves money, speeds up the legal process and strengthens HR's strong hold on internal branding.

An organization's Employee Value Proposition (EVP) encompasses six strategic functions:
  1. Compensation & Benefits
  2. Work Content
  3. Organization
  4. Rewards and Recognition
  5. Growth
  6. People 
Limiting Employee Recognition to peer-to-peer and manager discretionary functions covers less than 1/6th of your all-encompassing EVP.

Great organization's expect their vendors to partner with them from behind the curtain. Programs should be completely unique to organizational culture and far reaching to address all areas of the aforementioned EVP.

Outstanding organizations are not dubbed so due to a survey.

We are called upon to use technology as the backbone of Employee Engagement and to humanize program development in a language that only our employees understand. It's hard work but the effort of consolidation, integration and amplification across the organization will streamline focus and save your company millions.

I don't believe I've ever been more excited about the potential realized in the work we do together. Call it Employee Recognition, Employee Engagement, Employee Experience or Ninja Training.... Human Resources are now the unavoidable strategic organizational element that the title deserves.  

Don't Forget to Remember,


Monday, February 11, 2019

Systematic EVP

We've reviewed the trajectory of Workforce planning for ages: Employee Recognition gave way to Employee Engagement which is now being called Employee Experience. These phrases more-closely resemble buzz words but there is a distinction to be made in the verbiage.

Engagement references an arrangement to do something in a fixed time while Experience tilts toward observation; one interactive the other somewhat passive. These are not competing ideologies.

People still like to be rewarded. People want to learn. People want to develop. People want to be part of a culture that elevates their work beyond their personal goals. Transactions happen, systems track said activity, and it all becomes part of a greater cohesive strategy. 

Each organization's Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is a six part strategy to synchronize base line objectives (work content and compensation) with the elevated goals of employee growth and development.

Wrapping the collective arms of the Human Resource function around an all-encompassing EVP is an unenviable challenge: there are years of process to streamline (or undo), legacy systems and people who seek to disrupt where others see no need to rock the proverbial boat.

Such is our conundrum.....

But we can start with a systematic approach to progress.

Scaling to Audience
System limitations almost always guarantee program failure. Users want a platform that is designed with some flavor while promoting objectives centric to their core job function. If reward options are limited, users will plateau and stop using the system. If the design looks like it was created in 1977, program interaction will wane. If initiatives are limited to a few "pat on the back" functions, excitement for appreciation will be replaced by resentment of "another leadership initiative designed without compassion for those in the trenches".

Multiple Avenues of Attraction
You can build the best system in the world but if communication, training and intrigue are not part of your program strategy; your eco-system will remain dormant.

Does your program have a title replicated in 12 other companies in your industry?
Is finding the site difficult?
Does it take 2 days and 5 approvals to recognize a colleague?

You'll need a branding strategy specific to your organizational culture, paths to intrigue that keep users coming back for more, and challenges that engage the competitive and collaborative motivational set in equal time.

Do the hard work: dig into every corner of the culture and develop a strategy that synchronizes Human Development with Organizational Purpose. 

Don't Forget to Remember,


Monday, February 4, 2019


I am always humbled by reminders that nothing in life is of insurmountable importance. It comes in song, laughter overheard and the rare occasion to drive on the open road.

We are reminded of life's simple pleasures when we hear the voice of a familiar singer. We can take comfort in a warm meal on a cold night or when the sun slivers through the clouds after hiding for a while. The grandiose responsibilities of life can crowd our minds but we have to maintain our grip on our heartstrings. It is proven time and time again that troubles we fear seldom manifest themselves. How dare we waste time in worry.

Then we head into the open road, a song comes over the radio and the sun peaks over the fields; out ahead of the pack, seeking a little bit of salvation from the worry that clouds our mind.

We cannot hide from it, so we might as well drive into it!

There is not a problem that cannot be solved and there are always new ideas to hatch.

Inspiration is the process of emerging from routine. Authenticity appears when we discover something new. In a day-and-age when everyone is an author, anyone can prove their opinion on anything and there is no governance to steer you otherwise.

Some times you have to delete your profile.... and some times you just need to take a drive.

When information overload serves only as to strangle motivation, simplicity serves as a humble reminder that we are free. The opportunity to explore the boundless landscape is ever-present.   

Dissemination as a Matter of Motivation
Quitting doesn't solve the problem, it takes opposition away from those who seek to control through forced alignment. Activism is a lonely trade because it requires unwavering commitment without immediate reward. Most of us would rather do our thing in peace rather than create chaos for the sake of helping others.

Will it take a tragedy for you to care enough to make change?

If you wish not to change the world, you can at least start with yourself.....

Any idea can be opposed as long as it is intersected by another. If you are only opposing the norm for the sake of opposition you may be too afraid to expose your lack of mastery in all things.

There are 80,000 people in the stands and 24 on the field.

The Breach

"Once more unto the breach, dear friends, one more" - King Henry

Through my 20 year professional career, I've given and have received mountains of advice. Some things I thought I believed have proven false. There are words that I thought were gospel that have grown dusty on the wall. The one truth that seems never to be refuted is that hard work pays off. More than certificates, accolades or degrees; hard work is the great differentiator. There are a million decorated college grads who are unemployed.  Those who are capable of grinding every day always find a way.

People fail for one of two reasons:
1. They get over-confident
2. They are unable to get through The Dip

The optimal time to search options is when things are going well. If you wait for things to go sideways before you take action, you'll likely make decisions out of desperation only to yield misery.

Seth Godin contests that those who know when to quit better divert their time to more-productive projects. He also points out that most who try, give up after the heavy lifting is done, right before their reward is achieved.

People who cannot handle adversity cannot sustain a victorious march:
- Are you are smart but unwilling to try?
- Are you are creative but too stubborn to conform to process?

You can't be a comedian is you aren't funny.

You can't be a 3 star chef if you cannot cook.

Don't Forget to Remember,