Employee Engagement Archives - MConnected Communications

What is this thing, the “Employee Experience?”

By | Employee Engagement, Employee Experience, Future of HR, HRevolution | No Comments

Over the past few years as HR embarks on the next H(R)evolution, HR has continued to look for ways to expand employee engagement to include the overall employee experience. While like engagement, the definition of employee experience varies based on who you ask and where you work, the overall intent is the same: all of the ways in which your employees interact with Human Resources, leading to one consistent pre-defined experience. In other words, how HR creates mini-moments and impressions along your employees’ life cycle, to reinforce your company’s culture, brand, mission and core values.

It’s a huge bucket – one that looked at, at a macro-level, is overwhelming. Why is the overall experience something that HR should own? Is it something that HR even can own? And… where do we start?

Here’s the thing about “employee experience” – it’s not another new thing that you as an HR professional or your HR department needs to take on, it’s being intentional with how HR delivers continuous value and an ROI for the company. It’s how you, reinforce your HR brand at every touchpoint.

The exciting thing about looking at employee engagement through the lens of employee experience is that it provides you with even more opportunities to influence true employee engagement and loyalty, while also capturing a lot of those “miscellaneous” HR activities you are already doing. It becomes the thread that pulls everything together. And a huge differentiator, when trying to retain and attract talent.

#EmployeeExperience is being intentional with how HR delivers continuous value and an ROI for the company. It’s how you, reinforce your HR brand at every touchpoint. #HR Click To Tweet


5 Questions to Start Building Your Employee Experience

1. What is your HR brand?

Creating your HR brand is a long-term project for your team (you can also create your individual HR brand), but to fully execute a comprehensive employee experience, you need to know what your HR team wants to be known for. If that’s too big of a question, start with what your CEO expects HR to deliver for the company.

Are you the people police? Are you the culture ambassadors? Are you the heartbeat of the company? What does HR bring to the table and how does the rest of the organization view you?

If you want to create your true HR brand, you want to start with the above item and then you’ll need to expand on not only what HR brings to the table, but more importantly, who your employees are, what they want and need from HR, where the gaps are, how HR can fill them effectively, and how everything ties together to the company’s overall internal and external brand. You can do this by partnering with someone who’s done this before, coordinate with your internal marketing team, talk to your employees through focus groups or a survey, and so on.

It takes some work and time to get your HR brand established, and from there you will continue to refine it, but if you are currently delivering HR solutions – then you already have the start of your brand.   Read More

HR’s “Seat at the Table”

By | Employee Engagement, HR Structure, Metrics | One Comment

During that last 25 years of HR, one of the big aspects has been, and continues to be that Human Resources wants “a seat at the table,” meaning its leaders are getting invited to major decision-making meetings with a revenue focus. Traditionally, HR leaders are not invited to such meetings, because oftentimes the more senior, bottom-line-focused executives do not think of them as people who add monetary value to the business.

Luckily for all of us, this is starting to evolve. You’re seeing it change at more in forward-thinking places such as Silicon Valley, but smaller upstart companies are coming to scale with HR periodically in one of those “seats at the table.”

But now there’s another problem: people that are interested in, and came up through HR, traditionally don’t have as strong of a business background. They may understand how to balance a budget, but they tend to not be as strong with fiscal responsibility to the business (and Board)… or how to prove their value.

As someone who has their MBA in an HR-focused program and after comparing notes with someone who did a different graduate program focused on HR at a top-three school, graduate learning for HR still isn’t focused on the right things. If we were asked to focus on revenue plays, compound growth, or even statistics and data analysis… everyone would break out in hives.

Point being: often HR people aren’t thinking along the same lines of, or using the same vocabulary as, more conventional business leaders or leaders in different departments.

In 2015, via a SHRM study, there was a 7-percent drop in how other executives viewed the role of HR in their companies. Even as more HR departments want that “seat at the table,” it seems as though HR’s reputation is moving in the wrong direction.

Part of the problem continues to come back to: when HR finally get their “seat,” what value can they add? What should their leaders be doing first to retain said seat? Read More

What Wikipedia Can’t Tell You about Employee Engagement

By | Employee Engagement | No Comments

When you Google employee engagement, there are about 6,640,000 results of linked content. And all of that content can be easily summed up with one Wikipedia entry. There is information out there about every thing under the sun, in regards to employee engagement.

But to steal a Dr. Phil phrase, “How’s that working for you?”

Employee engagement can be googled, solutions can be provided by your vendor and you may even learn something on the Wikipedia entry.

But employee engagement that means something to your employees, can’t be learned from a quick search.

You’re Thinking about Engagement Wrong

I’m going to call a spade a spade – your entire definition and approach to employee engagement is likely, wrong. Not effective. Not meaningful to your audience (your employees).

It’s not really about engagement, or how you are currently defining it (which is probably a definition your survey vendor or consulting agency gave you). It’s about building meaningful connections with each and every employee that works for you, that you want to retain.

I’ve been seeing a lot of people talking about bringing “human” back into employee engagement – in fact, building a human workforce is the theme for an HR conference this year. And that’s important – your employees ARE human (and newsflash, so are you). Read More

defining employee engagement

25 Years of This Thing We Call “Employee Engagement”

By | Employee Engagement | 3 Comments

Apparently we are still celebrating the 25th anniversary of the coined term, employee engagement. 25 years, a quarter of a century, HR has been trying to achieve something that is still not quite defined.

When you consider your employee engagement goals, are they concrete? Do you know exactly what “great engagement” looks like for your company?

I have often wondered if we’ve lost sight of why employee engagement was proposed as being so important 25 years ago. In that landscape, HR was still the Personnel department… HRIS systems were rudimentary if in place at all… and the workforce was sitting in the same seat for years on end.

Employee engagement was created because there was a workforce shift coming – the way companies needed to change to speak with their employees, was changing. What employees wanted from a company and a job, was changing.

In other words, lots of big changes were happening.

Just like today’s work environment.

So how does something that was created 25 years ago still fit into our HR culture? How can something that helped companies change their actions and activities in regards to employees, guide what we’re doing today? Read More

Transforming Employee Engagement: Starting Small

By | Employee Engagement | One Comment

While there is no doubt that it’s past time to redefine the way we think about employee engagement, I was reminded this weekend at another conference, how important it is to start small. Microscopically small.

When I look at all of the content out there about employee engagement – how to do it right, how you’re doing it wrong, why it’s important, how to measure it, how to redefine it… it strikes me that the questions I still get from HR professionals, clients and other consultants are still not being answered.

At the core, we haven’t explained employee engagement in a manner that’s small enough to make a difference. We’re taking HR (and our business leaders outside of HR), on a round-about walk of improving engagement scores without providing the entire journey.

No wonder it’s been so difficult for us to consistently increase engagement. We are trying to follow a path that has so many obstacles and hairpin turns – and we’re approaching it as a straight line.

So while yes, this article points out a few ways to take a modern approach to engagement (and they are all great suggestions I may add), how are you – the practitioner supposed to um… prioritize wellness?

Read More

Employee Engagement: Held to a Different Standard?

By | Employee Engagement | No Comments

Recently Bersin by Deloitte released their latest research indicating that employers spend approximately $720 million on employee engagement improvement annually. And that number has created a few shockwaves… (and some awesome reads like this one).

As HR professionals, we know how much we emphasize “employee engagement.” If we don’t know the actual budget numbers, we know a big chunk of our annual budget is put towards engagement. But $720 million dollars each year?

And what do we have to show for this huge expenditure?

For a vast majority of HR departments… not much.

We can outline the activities we’ve done. The marching orders we’ve given leaders. The various surveys and follow-up sessions we’ve completed.

But nothing of any value.

Nothing indicating our return on investment. Read More

Demystifying Employee Engagement

By | Employee Engagement | 3 Comments

Lately, the phrase “employee engagement” is starting to get worn out. HR professionals are using it to justify their work, decisions and well… anything that doesn’t fit nicely into another box. But while we’re constantly using the employee engagement to describe our actions, our colleagues outside of HR are starting to roll their eyes… they don’t “get” employee engagement. Other than knowing it’s a buzzword that’s starting to wear out its welcome.

That’s because we’re not doing a good job at showing organizations why employee engagement is so important. It’s not just a catchphrase, it is the most important thing that HR can bring to the table that we’ve worked so hard to get a seat at.

It’s time to demystify employee engagement – so you can add more strategic value in your HR practice, and so the business will help you continuously move the engagement needle in the right direction going forward.

I was listening to a large consulting vendor talk about “demystifying employee engagement” the other day, and it was filled with lots of charts, consulting phrases and high-level talk without any substance or value at all. I think we walked away from the conversation more confused than we were walking in.

Let’s actually break engagement down – without fancy arrows or named processes or ridiculousness. Here’s how to tie your employee engagement to the business in a way that matters to them.

Breakdown Your Survey Questions

Since most of us use a vendor to help us create the survey questions and deliver the survey, you’re not starting from scratch. However, you need to go through the survey categories and questions with a fine tooth comb… instead of just taking the vendors recommendations without question. Read More

Employee Engagement Surveys: 3 Mistakes You’re Making

By | Employee Engagement | No Comments

Spring is about sprung almost everywhere (minus the 60 inches of snow we got in March!), which means for many HR departments, it’s time to get serious about your employee engagement/culture survey. While every company is looking for different things when it comes to employee engagement to ensure your HR activities support the business, there are three common mistakes that you’re probably making with your survey – preventing you from gathering meaningful information.

Mistake 1: Not being specific enough about “leader”

This is perhaps the biggest mistake I see every single company out there, making. To HR and perhaps your survey vendor, senior leader means your CEO, leader is the VP and manager is a manager… or some variation of that. However, for your employees, these definitions DO NOT exist.

When you are asking a questions about leadership, you need to define exactly who you are talking about. For example, if you are trying to gauge how confident the employees are in the direction provided by the CEO, ask exactly that: How confident are you that our CEO (insert name here is a bonus), is able to lead the organization? Read More