Weekly Learnings

Links of the Week (July 26 – Aug. 1)

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.

Weekly Learnings

Links of the Week (July 19-25)

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.

1. Improve outcomes by connecting the employee and customer experience (Computer World)

69.4% of companies do not measure employee experience at all.

Solid article on the importance of technology in delivering a better employee experience. Also includes some actionable tips around how to incorporate technology and communication into your business. I’ve seen more and more studies come out now that indicate that the key competitive differentiator in today’s world is how engaged your employees are. Engaged employees are much more attentive to the needs of the customer and deliver an experience that goes above and beyond the customer’s expectations. Customers in today’s world are looking for that experience.

2. How Software Will Transform Employee Engagement (Forbes)

An Officevibe study pointed out that 65% of employees would prefer more frequent feedback, even if that feedback came as little as once a week.

Keeping in sync with the technology theme this week, here is another article from Forbes. We’ve seen technology significantly impact business units like sales, marketing, and customer service in the past couple of decades. Now, the article argues, we’re seeing technology impact the HR department. The article provides some examples of companies that provide services in incentives, feedback systems, and mentorship that will help improve employee engagement.

3. Are Millennials Ruining the World? (Business 2 Community)

Millennials aren’t the problem and they are—because they are part of the natural cycle of societal evolution.

I loved this article. Finally, somebody explaining how societies have always categorized “young people” as being irresponsible, lazy, and selfish. To categorize “Millennials” in that way is unfair especially because we’re such a diverse (and humongous) generation. The quotes from Socrates to Seneca to Peter the Hermit all illustrate that this is just all part of being in a society where we have young people.

Hope you enjoyed this roundup! See you next week.

Weekly Learnings

Links of the Week (July 12-18)

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.

1. 6 Surprising Insights of Successful Employee Engagement (Fast Company)
This article got the most attention by far this week. While I would say none of the 6 insights were particularly surprising, there were a few things that were nice reminders. First, the concept of “employee engagement” is still a relatively new idea. It’s only been 25 years since it was first introduced and we’re clearly not good at it yet (re: only 30% of the workforce is “engaged”). Second, the cultural tone set by the organization is a huge reason why employees become loyal to a company. The Quicken Loans and their dedication to rebuilding Detroit was a good example.

2. Employee Engagement Starts With The Manager (Stephen Lynch, LinkedIn)
A great reminder about the importance of the manager in engaging your employees. I loved the point about employees being your #1 customer: “before you create customer evangelists, managers need to create employee evangelists”. It’s a helpful, punchy post with good tips on how to engage your employees.

3. 7 Hot Trends In Employee Engagement (TriplePundit)
Highlights the growing importance of employee engagement. Solid tips on how to start a employee engagement program like centralizing the communication of new engagement through one department while ensuring there is dialogue and trust being built between employees and management. I also liked the idea of starting as early as you can. Employee Engagement is like a savings account, the earlier you invest the more returns you’ll see down the line.

Hope you enjoyed this roundup! See you next week.