Peer-to-peer recognition programs boost employee engagement

There’s a different dynamic at play when an employees’ peers recognize them for their work. They’re often told “good job” by their manager or direct superior, but peer-to-peer recognition is helpful in building collaboration, community and engagement. Employers often struggle with creating a program that is meaningful to the culture.

One way to ingrain employee recognition into company culture is to tie the program into your mission or vision. Ask employees to nominate peers that exemplify your values. This opens up recognition to every level of employment. Directors, managers, customer service reps, and sales people can be all be held to the same standards. Plus, showing love to every division helps retain employees that might otherwise feel undervalued.

Recognition or signs of gratitude can take different forms. At one end of the spectrum, the reward might be nothing more than visibility. But you could also consider a points-based system with a prize for the winner. Money, gift cards, a day or half-day off work all drive high engagement in recognition programs. More important than the reward is the overall experience. Employees should have fun when they participate, because when they do they’re more likely to stay involved.

There’s no reason not to make recognition public to the whole company. Upload digital signage with their names, post a congratulatory article on your intranet, or send a monthly email with a short Q&A highlighting them. This creates heroes in your workforce for others to look to. Employees appreciate it when their peers get rewarded for hard work, and in turn will strive to be the next one recognized.

Not to mention, it’s easy for employees to work only in their silo. Public recognition is a great way to introduce and showcase hard-working part-timers and remote employees with the broader company.

No matter how you handle employee recognition, you need to sustain it. Skipping a month shows employees that you don’t care about the program or their work, and in return they’ll do the same. The results of a more focused and determined workforce will be reason enough to continue.

Interested in implementing a lasting and rewarding employee recognition program? Tribe can help.

Seeing the Vision is Critical to the Employee Experience

Every company has a vision, or at least they should. The issue most companies have is taking the vision from an idea to reality. Engaged employees work because they believe in what their company is doing and where it’s heading.

Although there are different silos in an organization, it’s imperative for employees to share a common goal. Everything they do needs to feed into the same objectives. Here are four ways you can focus your employees on those objectives.

  1. Make it visible. The outreach phase can include a booklet, brochure, mirror cling, paper weight, and the list goes on. One Tribe client printed their values on bags of snacks, and the employees loved them. Simply put, your vision needs to go where people will see it and see it often.
  2. If you want employees to believe the vision, top management needs to live it. Leading by example is key to getting everyone to buy in. Interview managers on how they live out the vision every day, post weekly or monthly blogs highlighting executives who employees look up to, or host town halls and Q&A sessions to gather feedback. The vision comes from the top, but the workforce believing in it is what drives it forward.
  3. Connect the day-to-day work to the vision. Communicate with employees at every level to show them how their work contributes to the greater mission. This helps with employee recognition, but it also shows how everyone is like a building block, nothing stands if even one piece is removed.
  4. Follow through with updates on the journey. Even if the information doesn’t paint the rosiest picture, employees need to know where the ship is headed. Quarterly updates provide a snapshot to compare with past performance. This is as much about keeping employees in the loop on progress as it is about showing everyone what happens when the entire company works with the vision in mind.

Whether you’re introducing a brand-new vision, or reinforcing an old one, your goals should be the same. Disseminate the information, have leadership live out the vision, connect daily work to the bigger picture and show employees how their hard work contributes to a more productive work environment.

Interested in crafting, launching or maintaining a company vision? Tribe can help.

Are You Keeping The Door Open On Internal Communications?

Communicating with employees is more than sending out communications just so you can check off a box. There’s no perfect playbook to guarantee every single employee will truly listen, but you can capture moreof your audience with open channels of communication.

Having an open channel of communication with employees is something every business should strive for. The employee dynamic is different from office to office, but it’s hard to beat face-to-face communication. That can take shape in group sessions or one-on-one talks. If it’s possible, allow managers to carve out time during the week for this discourse.

When speaking to individuals isn’t feasible, questionnaires and surveys on the intranet cast a wide net. Many employees say online feedback is the best way to share their voice. Even private channels like Slack or Instant Messenger give employees a collaborative space to toss ideas around. However, if you collect input online, employees need assurances their feedback was read. Listening is an important element in any conversation.

After feedback has been gathered, have a plan to acknowledge and implement. Not every idea can be taken, and employees need to know why certain suggestions were left out. Explain your rationale for going the direction you did, and acknowledge the feedback that didn’t get used. The next time you want input from the workforce, they’ll only put in the effort if they know they’re being listened to.

It’s impossible to get 100% of your company’s attention, but through testing different methods you can find what works best for your culture. Communication within a company is an evolving conversation. Employees are eager to share their voices, they only need the avenues to do so.

Do you need help communicating with your employees? Tribe can help.

Four Tips to Make Internal Communications Human

How are you communicating with your employees? Small companies have the benefit of easy, face to face interaction, but corporations with hundreds, or thousands, of employees can’t rely on a game of telephone. Communicating with a workforce that large means removing the personal touch a conversation gives. Making mass communication personal isn’t difficult, but it requires focus and effort. Here are four tips for adding a personal touch to your internal communications.

 

  1. Email is a popular avenue for internal communication, and for good reason. The majority of office employees have a company email, and in today’s world, emails are expected to be read. The issue is how the information is presented. A block of text is unappealing and won’t command anyone’s attention. Art directing your emails is a simple way to catch the eye. If the message is coming from someone in a leadership position, include their picture in the communication. Let employees connect a face to the message they’re receiving.

 

  1. Depending on the message, words alone might not be the answer. Shooting video of the CEO or an EVP delivering the message makes the communication more distinctive and puts a spotlight on the information. Just make sure the person talking on camera is comfortable with public speaking. If the confidence level of the speaker is low, employees will tune the news out. Admittedly, this is a riskier option, but done correctly, video is a refined way to communicate internally.

 

  1. Launch an anonymous employee feedback tool. Allowing employees the opportunity to provide critiques or compliments opens the door for honest communication. Their experiences are exactly what leadership needs to hear about — daily life in the company. To show employees that you’re listening, have a quarterly roundtable giving managers the chance to address employee concerns.

 

  1. Produce a podcast of executive or investor meetings. Giving all levels of associates an inside look at the company’s future and inner workings puts everyone on the same page. Providing that information helps promote transparency, and corporate transparency should always be at the forefront.

 

A successful communications strategy doesn’t have to include all of these tools, but it should incorporate elements of each to effectively reach your workforce. If these steps are implemented efficiently, your employees should feel like they’re working with you, not for you.

 

Interested in improving communication within your company? Tribe can help.

A Non-Comprehensive Guide To Implementing Change

No one likes change. It’s scary, it’s unknown. But market conditions and other business factors sometimes require large-scale, organizational change. You might be targeting an increase in sales, better trained staff, or even a complete culture shift. Regardless, there are four simple steps that can guide you down the path of smart, lasting change.

 

Do Your Research

Not only do you have to identify what you want changed, but you also have to know what’s causing the problems. If you’re in need of a personnel shift, more training might not be your answer. Achieving your best results doesn’t include glossing over problems. Identify your issues, and your solutions will come to light.

Have A Plan

Who is going to take charge in this battle for change? Battle is a bit harsh, but there will be people who resist. If you’re bringing in a consultant or agency to take the helm, it’s best that they have experience in your industry. Nothing kills momentum like no one believing the leader. Whoever’s in charge needs to have credibility. That’s also true if the leader comes from inside.

Provide Value

This goes back to not glossing over problems. Holding additional training sessions just for the sake of being able to say you did something, isn’t going to cut it. Lasting change doesn’t come from checking off boxes — you need to add value to the employee experience. They need to believe that changing will benefit them. Making their job easier, more efficient, or more secure is a great way to get everyone buying in.

Evaluate

There’s only one way to know if you’re going in the right direction. Give your change team short term goals, and listen to feedback. It’s important to know what’s working and what’s not. This also gives you insight in to who is taking change seriously. Bottom line, you need to be able to compare where you started to where you ended, and measure the progress.

Sometimes the road is short and wide, and other times you have to walk the straight and narrow. But no company every stayed the same and also stayed in business. The key is to steer everyone toward beneficial change, and this non-comprehensive guide is a great way to do that.

Interested in improving communication change within your company? Tribe can help.

Four Tips For Improving Your Internal Communication

If you asked each employee what the corporate mission statement is, or if they feel appreciated, what do you think they’d say? The answer isn’t an obvious one, especially if your business crosses state or country lines, not to mention continents. The further away employees are from headquarters, the less connected to leadership they seem to feel.

 Internal communications is so much more than just updating employees with business information. It can be used as a way connect with and build up each department. Employee engagement increases productivity and retention, and creating that connection doesn’t have to be hard. Here are four ways to improve the way you communicate within your company.

  1. For starters, encourage employees to speak up. They should know they have a voice and that their opinion matters. If they believe a process or meeting can be handled more efficiently, provide a way for their feedback to be heard. They just might be right.
  2. Be clear with your communication. Don’t just inform people of change. Tell them why change is coming, and how it will help the supply chain, reduce overhead, or eliminate redundancies. Change is always scary at first, but addressing concerns before they have time to manifest helps reduce some employee stress.
  3. Be creative in the ways you communicate. Don’t always rely on walls of text to get your message out. Just because you can summarize your message in an email doesn’t mean that’s the best way. Mix up your content with videos, or introduce friendly employee competitions. Just don’t be boring.
  4. Give recognition where recognition is deserved. This is particularly important when your business has many different hands involved in the creation of your product. Make sure your warehouse workers know how they fit in with the business, as in, there is no business without them. Each piece of the company is integral to the work flow, make sure people in sales, marketing, or engineering know that.

Some of this might be new, and some of it might be a reminder. The goal is to follow through with these guidelines and be consistent. A constant employee complaint is always receiving mixed messages—or no message at all— from corporate.

Interested in improving communications within your company? Tribe can help.