Links of the Week is a selection of three articles about #EmployeeEngagement and #Millennials that were the most popular on my Twitter feed this week. Articles from Business 2 Community completed the trifecta as all three top articles came from their website. If you haven’t checked out some of their content, it’s definitely worth keeping an eye out for.

1. Six Rules For Smart Simplicity And Employee Engagement (Business 2 Community)

Smart simplicity is all about creating an environment where: employees can work with one another to develop creative solutions to complex challenges.

I really liked this article given that I’m a big fan of simplicity in our personal and professional lives. According to Yves Morieux of the Boston Consulting Group, the complexity of today’s organizations is stifling employee engagement. It makes sense when you consider in the last 15 years (according to a BCG study) that the complexity of organizations have increased by 50-350%. Think about all the new procedures, paperwork, decision-making channels, etc. that you have to deal with on a day-to-day basis. Yves and his team at BCG provide six rules for “smart simplicity” which include “knowing what your colleagues do” and “reinforcing the integrators” which can make a positive impact on breaking the organizational silos. Definitely worth a read if you’re struggling with complexity at your workplace. Check out Morieux’s TED Talk here.

2. Millennials Can Be More Loyal Than Other Age Cohorts – But Only If Brands Deliver On Emotional Values & Expectations (Business 2 Community)

Emotional values and higher expectations not only play a greater part in the Millennial decision-process but that a brand’s ability to deliver on required emotional values trumps rational ones every time.

According to research way back in 1985, marketers predicted that the Millennial generation was going to be the most “rational” generation ever. In other words, we would be the ones scrutinizing price and product quality like no other generation. Fast forward 30 years and we’re getting a new point of view about Millennials – we’re a very emotional generation. We have significantly higher expectations for brands to be authentic and “listened to” by us. Companies that are leading in this include Apple, Nike, Chipotle, and Old Navy. I’m not surprised by this. Given how much more complex the world has become, using our “gut feeling” to decide who to trust and who not to trust has become an important way to decide where we should be spending our money.

3. Who’s Got Time to Manage Employee Engagement? (Business 2 Community)

The main problem is that, while everybody sees an engaged workforce as wonderful in a “flower-powery, everybody-hold-hands” kind of a way, the reality is that there are often far more seemingly urgent things to be getting on with.

We’re wrapping up a trifecta of Business 2 Community articles and this is a good one. According to a report entitled “The changing nature of employee engagement” conducted by the Engage for Success movement, only 41% of the companies surveyed could make a link between employee engagement to broader business performance. Employee engagement seemed to be valued by most respondents but they had other more pressing issues to address. On top of that, if you consider how 42% of respondents believed that line management (i.e. front line managers) were the biggest challenge to creating a more engaged culture, the issue becomes event more challenging.  The article argues that the key to developing a better Employee Engagement strategy has to start with the measurement of the current state (e.g. employee engagement surveys) and future state along with someone with the time and knowhow to implement the strategy. Yup, easier said than done.

Hope you enjoyed this roundup! See you next week.