Building employee relationships can build employee engagement

To build employee engagement, create opportunities for employees to relate to each other. When employees have strong relationships at work, they’re more likely to be engaged — and to stick around. Here are three ways to make that happen:

 

 

  1. Look for ways to build visibility across silos. Help build awareness of the people and the work being done in different geographical locations and functional areas — through the intranet, employee publications, town halls or other channels. When employees are aware of other colleagues and the work that their doing, it smooths the way to potential collaboration down the road.

 

  1. Make celebrities of employees. Build in employee spotlights or other storytelling aspects to your recognition programs to help build human connections. Use photos of actual employees whenever you can, whether it’s for employee of the month or just a service milestone.

 

  1. Use wellness to create a level playing field. Fitness competitions, fitness tracker step-counting contests and other wellness initiatives are a great way to break down barriers between employees, managers and leadership. Nothing puts people on the same level like working out together. These sorts of programs also allow employees to build relationships that transcend workplace conversation, which can be valuable when they’re back in the office.

 

Do you need help engaging your employees? Tribe can help.

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.

4 Reasons Your Company Should Be Investing In Digital Signage

Digital signage is a useful channel that allows companies to communicate with employees in bite size pieces. This is especially helpful because it allows employees to be kept in the loop with little effort on their part.

Below are four reasons why you should be communicating through digital signage: 

1. Connection: It connects your employees and builds a stronger bond between them and the company. Featuring monthly new hires or explaining departmental roles can help associates familiarize themselves with one another and the way the company is run.

2. Education: Posting slides about new policies or procedures can be an easy way to reiterate recent updates that were communicated within the company.

3. Public Relations: Employees enjoy seeing their company (and maybe their work) featured in the media. Displaying recent press articles or a scrolling twitter feed with company mentions on a new product or service can serve as a great way for associates to see their hard work being appreciated.

4. Recognition: Digital signage gives you an opportunity to shine a light on specific people or teams that have gone above and beyond and make it visible to anyone who walks through the doors. Giving employees this sense of pride and recognition helps them know that they are an important part of a team and that their work is valued.

Need help creating content for your digital signage? Tribe can help.

Brittany Walker

4 Ways to Increase Engagement Through Employee Recognition

HiResEngaged employees are more likely to know that their role contributes to the overall success of the organization. When it comes to instilling that message throughout the company, Tribe often recommends a rewards and recognition program. From dedicated website portals, to a verbal “thank you,” there are many effective methods to increase confidence and morale through acknowledgment. Sometimes the smallest thing someone does can make the biggest difference for someone else.

  1. Verbally recognize standout employees during a regular meeting. Rewarding employees in front of their peers puts a little extra oomph in fostering pride. Schedule a few minutes into the agenda of your weekly or monthly meeting to spotlight an individual who deserves it.
  1. Establish a recognition item that can be passed on to others. The actual item can be determined by your culture – at Tribe we use a large jar – but the concept stays the same. Starting with the team leader, give it to someone who’s gone above and beyond. That person will keep the item for a month or quarter, and then pass it on to someone else on the team that deserves the spotlight for their accomplishments. It is important to let them know why they’re receiving the item, to set a standard for a job well done.
  1. Provide a sought-after treat to recognize employees’ contributions. This could be as simple as a quarterly breakfast with leadership, or a small gift or collectable token. The ability to attend an exclusive event or receive a keepsake can go a long way to make employees feel appreciated.
  1. Spotlight outstanding employees with a story of their accomplishments. Consider establishing an “employee of the month” program or a spotlight section in your newsletter or internal publication. Not only will it make that employee feel recognized for their contributions, but it will allow other employees to read why that person was selected and set their sights on how to be nominated in the future. It was also serve as a great reminder of your organization’s best practices.

Interested in developing a rewards and recognition program? Tribe can help.

Turn All Your Employees Into Salespeople

It’s almost the end of the year. The books are coming to a close and the bottom line is near. It’s time to really push your sales to the finish line!

How do you get that little extra boost from your sales team? Where do you find the extra manpower to make those necessary sales?

The answer is simple – turn all of your employees into salespeople.

For tips on how to make that happen, check out our blog on turning your entire workforce into your sales force.

What Exactly is Talent Magnetism®?

Every company knows how important it is to attract star talent from the beginning, but what is the easiest way? Talent Magnetism®. That’s how. At Tribe, we define Talent Magnetism® as “attracting and retaining star talent by engaging employees even before they’re hired.” This means letting your current employee workforce speak on your behalf, in a good way, so that the reputation of your company and how they treat their employees is already appealing to the potential new hire.

It’s an organic cycle that begins with engaged employees building strong word-of-mouth, both in person and online. This can enrich recruitment efforts by building a desire to work for that employer. After all, what’s a better indicator of the company than a happy employee who wants to tell you all about it?

The work doesn’t stop once someone has been hired. Once employed, it is important to have a successful on-boarding program, active recognition programs in place and meaningful work at the company. This helps create even more engaged employees – and the cycle repeats itself, over and over, person by person.

Google is a perfect example for Talent Magnetism®. Everyone knows that they treat their employees like royalty; free gourmet food, on-site laundry, celebrity visitors. It is no wonder they have applicants clamoring at their doors for a much-coveted spot within the company. Google can afford to be picky and only pick the best of the best that will easily transition into their company.

For more information and case studies on Tribe’s work with Talent Magnetism® and how we can potentially help you, visit http://www.tribeinc.com/case-studies.html

Make Your Entire Workforce Your Sales Force

Do you want to grow your business? There really isn’t a company or leader that doesn’t want to grow their business.  An easy way to grow is to have your entire workforce be your sales force.  Here are a few quick ways to turn employees into brand ambassadors and gradually into a huge sales team.

Spend time and resources providing employees education and direction.  Employees need to feel confident in the product or service you offer before they will be comfortable selling it.  Confidence stems from completely understanding the company’s capabilities and knowing what is expected of them as part of your sales team.  Allocate  resources to make sure your employees understand the benefits of what you sell as well as how you want them to sell.  Are they casually bringing up the product or service in social settings or would you like them to make a few cold calls each month?  You need to provide them direction and outline pre-determined goals. 

Don’t just dangle carrots, give them freely! Most people don’t have a ton of extra time at the end of their day.  If you want employees to go above and beyond and help grow the business, develop programs that not only give them motivation but reward their effort and accomplishments. This doesn’t have to be a budget buster but money you spend in this area will be well worth it in the long run.  Some ideas include simple internal contest with prizes and recognition for the most contacts or calls made in a period of time – or recognize the person who develops the most comprehensive plan.  The mechanism or contest itself is not nearly as important as providing consistent recognition and reward for effort.

Provide on-going support.  As we all know, Rome wasn’t built in a day.  Changing your workforce into a sales force will take time.  To ensure your employees stay motivated, provide on-going support and update your recognition programs and education materials.  Most importantly, take time to listen and groom your team.  This will be a new challenge for them and they will need your support as they are expanding their skills.

5 Low-Cost Recognition Tips for the Workplace

Everyone likes to feel appreciated and the workplace is no exception. When employees are recognized for their efforts and see their performance is valued, they will continue to do well. It will also build their confidence in their own work.

Everybody wins with recognition. “When you take the time and make the effort to extend sincere, timely appreciation, you create the perfect win-win situation,” says Dr. Alan Zimmerman, renowned speaker and founder of Zimmerman Communi-Care Network. “The other person feels great receiving your appreciation, and you feel great for giving it. And the atmosphere is positively charged for greater amounts of cooperation and productivity.”

Instilling a recognition program in the workplace might seem daunting, not to mention costly, however, there are a few low-cost, easy suggestions that you can implement without going to the board of directors for approval.

1. Recognize standout individuals at a regular meeting. Set aside five minutes of your weekly or monthly team meeting to spotlight an individual or individuals who deserve it. Consider opening it up to anyone on the team who has an individual they want to recognize, it doesn’t have to be the manager only.

2. Create a recognition item that can be passed on to others. The item can be a trophy, button, medallion or a cool rock – whatever fits your culture. The idea behind it stays the same. Give it to someone when they deserve to be recognized and let them know why they are receiving it. It is up to the receiver to pass it on to another employee who deserves acknowledgment next.

3. Provide a special treat to recognize employees’ contributions. This could be a quarterly lunch, breakfast or snack to recognize the value they add to the company. If not a meal for employees, a small gift or token goes a long way to making them feel appreciated.

4. Spotlight outstanding employees once a month or quarter. Consider an employee of the month program or a spotlight section in a newsletter or internal publication. Again, it helps to be specific why the employee is being recognized. Others will read why this person was selected and work harder so they can be chosen in the future. This area also serves as a great reminder of your company’s best practices since the selected team member is putting them into effect.

5. Say thank you. This is quite possibly the easiest and most meaningful way to recognize someone. It could be a hand-written note, phone call or face-to-face, but it will go a long way to let someone know they are appreciated.

With all of these suggestions, it is important the thought is sincere. Equally important is giving a specific reason for acknowledging someone. Also, it is key for managers and leadership to set the example for recognition, but it is just as significant for praise to be peer-to-peer as well. When others see someone recognized for their efforts, they will feel more compelled to give acknowledgment as well.

And remember, it doesn’t have to be a grand gesture that is recognized. Sometimes the smallest thing someone does can make the biggest difference for someone else.

Does Saying ‘Thank You’ Online Count as Recognition?

Yes, thanking someone in person is the best way if that’s what makes sense. But it’s not so black and white in today’s business world.

What if your choice is thanking someone in person two weeks from now or sending a note via the intranet or emailing seconds after an employee does something great? Oh, just pick up the phone and call, you say? What if the person is simply unreachable? Is a voice mail better than an email? I don’t know for sure, but I know that I’m not alone in intensely disliking long voice mails. I feel like I have to listen just because I don’t want to miss something important, even though it’s pretty rare for people to leave big news on a voice mail.

Of course, I’m not saying that online recognition should completely replace all other forms of recognition forever. Online recognition has the best results when it’s part of a comprehensive recognition program that includes all sorts of interactions – from formal memos to live town hall meetings and informal discussions.

Here are three reasons to expand your recognition program online:

1 – If you operate on a global level, your employee relations program has to operate on that same level, and technology is a big part of that. The bottom line is that employees appreciate recognition, and when they feel appreciated, they’re more likely to leave your customers with the same feeling.

2 – Online communications are preferred by younger generations and by some older ones. I’ve been with many clients who keep checking their emails while saying something like, “I’m sorry. I have to check. I’m waiting for my boss to tell me how the launch went.” When the email comes through, they say, “Oh, she said it went great. That’s a relief. Now I can move on and focus on what I’m doing now.” Another lesson: Sometimes any communication is seen as recognition.

3 – The world operates on immediate gratification these days. Just as your customer wants whatever it is they want immediately, employees crave almost immediate gratitude for getting the job done well.

What qualifies as online recognition? Tribe works with a number of big global brands to launch micro-sites for giving global “shout-outs” up and down the ranks to sharing stories that make heroes out of employees who don’t usually win the spotlight and providing training for managers on how to make the most of online recognition.

Do you have someone who pushes back on recognition programs? We hear a lot of, “Managers just need to say thank you. We don’t need a program for that.” Actually, not all managers are created equal. Some have a natural talent for recognizing people, and some don’t. Having multiple methods for making sure someone gets the recognition they deserve is a good way to hedge your bets and make sure everyone wins.

There are tons of books on recognition, but an interesting read is The Carrot Principle about a ten-year study of 200,000 managers and employees. This research says that companies in the top quartile for employee recognition, as determined by the surveyed workers, “earned a significantly higher return on equity, return on assets, and operating margin.” (You can read all about the study in The Carrot Principle, out in 2007, a New York Times best seller. The second version came out last year.)

Is Engagement Good, or Is That an Echo?

It’s always interesting to me when the leadership of a company says that engagement is high and all they really need to do is keep the momentum going. It’s interesting to me for two reasons:

1. That’s not really any easier than improving engagement. And the idea is that it will be easier to maintain. Just like any relationship in life, the employer/employee contract doesn’t go on autopilot.

2. It’s often true for leadership, but not the people who report to them. It’s too easy to think your personal professional experience is the same for others. Leadership is often more engaged because they can see clearly the vision and big picture and their role in it.

I’ve had more than one brand call and ask if we can do anything to improve morale at their company, without their leadership knowing anything about it. But leadership has to know about it because they’re central to its success. Research has shown that organizations actively seeking to improve employee engagement, including through the use of formal and informal recognition, financially outperform their competitors. The results of Watson Wyatt’s Human Capital Index Study show that better Human Capital Management (as measured by a composite HCI Score) is correlated to improved financial performance:
• Low-HCI companies: 21% total return on shareholder value
• Medium-HCI companies: 39% total return on shareholder value
• High-HCI companies: 64% total return on shareholder value.

So, am I saying that you’ve got a problem you don’t know about? Absolutely not. Here’s what I’m saying:
• Leadership needs to be sure they’re not just talking to themselves. When you’re close to the nucleus, you immediately understand things faster than people further away.
• Traditional surveys don’t always tell the whole story. Show me a survey where people don’t inflate or deflate the truth for one reason or another. I’d love to see it.
• Be sure people of all ranks and geographies get equal billing. It’s easy to subconsciously and subjectively dismiss findings that don’t appeal to what you want to hear or that can be easily explained away.

The beauty of being a leader is that you can have a far-reaching impact. Value your employees and they usually return the favor by doing their part to make your brand a success.