By Michael Snow on Jan 17, 2014
Employee engagement goes far beyond the existence of technology and tools – it is something that needs to be well baked into the culture of the organization. I stumbled upon a wonderful paper on a great site I found that was chock full of interesting articles on employee engagement and the psychology of work and employment and living life to the fullest being personally satisfied and rewarded. The article entitled, “A call for the HIGH PERFORMANCE HUMAN WORKPLACE” by Dominique Giulini, General Manager Novartis Healthcare, Canada talks about the shift in thinking that is required now to promote full employee engagement. Companies are increasingly challenged to create opportunities to fully engage their employees to increase both retention as well as quality of work. I’m sure that many won’t like his approach or suggestions as they do challenge the historic sacred cow of corporate culture – Profit. His premise is quite simple yet presents a significant challenge for today’s leaders:
“This shift is from seeing profit as the goal to profit as the result of meaningful things done in fulfilling ways.”
This shift is best described by using the examples from his paper that talk about one major aspect to this shift – based on numerous studies, employees prefer to have a "Noble Purpose."
“This is Noble Purpose - Some Examples:
Noble Purpose is not jargon or a slogan. If it is not genuine it doesn’t work. It starts in a leader’s heart and mind. It is always available if you become 100 percent responsible for it in your company culture.”
When one starts doing research on "Employee Engagement", there are a couple of very well known groups that appear frequently having conducted major research on employee or "human capital" patterns of behavior. Both Aon and Towers Watson have provided insightful research on the topic.
From Aon's "Trends in Global Engagement" Report:
"Engaged employees deliver better performance, which is critical for business success. They understand their role in the business strategy, have a strong connection and commitment to the company, are more involved, and strive to go above and beyond in their jobs. The bottom line is that employee engagement matters—now more than ever. And the solutions for maintaining or improving engagement are increasingly complex for companies operating in an environment of instability and varied economic conditions. Striving to maintain a higher level of employee engagement not only contributes toward short-term survival during economic volatility, but is also a key factor for longer-term business performance and better positioning when market conditions become favorable. The companies that get engagement “right” will enjoy a source of competitive advantage in talent strategy and business results that is hard for others to replicate."
Embed engagement into business practices - engaging employees can't be a side thought. It needs to be part of the culture and fabric of the organization. Growing a culture of collaboration that allows employees easy and rapid communication speeds up both internal and external, employee and customer satisfaction.
From the Towers Watson 2012 Global Workforce Study — conducted with 32,000 employees across 30 countries:
“The first gap is effectively enabling workers with internal support, resources and tools, which can take a variety of forms. Think of the helpful supervisor who prioritizes and organizes work, regardless of whether the employee is in front of him or her, or 1,000 miles away working at home or in a remote office. Think of efficient technology that works (and a helpful help desk when it doesn’t). Think of a collegial work team ready to jump in to help. Or of online tools and processes that give remote or contract workers access to information and guidance to make good job-related decisions in real time.”
“When engagement starts to decline, companies become
vulnerable not only to a measurable drop in productivity, but also to poorer
customer service and greater rates of absenteeism and turnover.” (from Towers Watson 2012 study)
Keeping employees engaged leads to happier employees and ultimately that translates to happier customers. This is outlined clearly in a post on the Harvard Business Review Blog by Tony Schwartz, entitled "How Employee Engagement Hits the Bottom Line". In this post, Tony Schwartz praises the results of the 2012 Towers Watson study that "makes the most powerful, bottom line case yet for the connection between how we feel at work and how we perform."
He writes further; "For leaders, the key is to begin thinking of themselves as Chief Energy Officers. Energy is contagious, for better and for worse, and disproportionately so for leaders — by virtue of their influence. "The manager is at the heart of what we might think of as a personal employee ecosystem," the Towers Watson study concludes, "shaping individual experience ... day in and day out.""
Side Note: Interestingly enough, Tony Schwartz also has the record for the most read blog post in 2012 on the HBR site with a post that everyone should read to reset their multitasking behavior and expectations for more depth and productivity. "The Magic of Doing One Thing at a Time" by Tony Schwartz
Most of the social engagement rhetoric comes down to directing an organization’s focus on building a customer-centric organization starting from the inside out. Without the employee and customer-centric internal health of the organization, the external or customer-facing engagement is doomed for failure. Here’s an interesting video from the 2012 Oracle OpenWorld Customer Experience Summit Keynote with one of our partners, SapientNitro speaking with customer, Vail Resorts, on the importance of building a customer-centric corporate culture.
There has been a lot written about how to better engage with your customers across all of the new and existing or "legacy" channels of communication. Most companies were used to evaluating how well they were doing in retail or other face to face engagement modes. With the rapid growth of online and social engagement venues, today's successful organizations have been forced to align their channels for message consistency, culture, and context.
For a deeper dive into this subject, not so long ago, we hosted Ray Wang, Principal Analyst & CEO
from Constellation Research as part of our Social
Business Thought Leaders Webcast Series where he spoke on the 9 C’s of Customer
Engagement - How to Engage Your Customers and Employees.
We caught up with Brian Solis on the phone the other day and Christie Flanagan had a chance to chat with him and learn a bit more about him and some of the concepts he'll be addressing in our Social Business Thought Leaders Webcast on Thursday 12/13/12.
«--- Interview with Brian Solis
Be sure and register for this week's webcast ---»
Dear [insert business name], what’s your promise?
You say you want to get closer to customers, but your actions are different than your words.
You say you want to “surprise and delight” customers, but your product development teams are too busy building against a roadmap without consideration of the 5th P of marketing…people.
Your employees are your number one asset, however the infrastructure of the organization has turned once optimistic and ambitious intrapreneurs into complacent cogs or worse, your greatest detractors.
You question the adoption of disruptive technology by your internal champions yet you’ve not tried to find the value for yourself.
You’re a change agent and you truly wish to bring about change, but you’ve not invested time or resources to answer “why” in your endeavors to become a connected or social business.
If we are to truly change, we must find purpose. We must uncover the essence of our business and the value it delivers to traditional and connected consumers. We must rethink the spirit of today’s embrace and clearly articulate how transformation is going to improve customer and employee experiences and relationships now and over time. Without doing so, any attempts at evolution will be thwarted by reality. In an era of Digital Darwinism, no business is too big to fail or too small to succeed.
These are undisciplined times which require alternative approaches to recognize and pursue new opportunities. But everything begins with acknowledging the 360 view of the world that you see today is actually a filtered view of managed and efficient convenience. Today, many organizations that were once inspired by innovation and engagement have fallen into a process of marketing, operationalizing, managing, and optimizing. That might have worked for the better part of the last century, but for the next 10 years and beyond, new vision, leadership and supporting business models will be written to move businesses from rigid frameworks to adaptive and agile entities.
I believe that today’s executives will undergo a great test; a test of character, vision, intention, and universal leadership. It starts with a simple, but essential question…what is your promise?
Notice, I didn’t ask about your brand promise. Nor did I ask for you to cite your mission and vision statements. This is much more than value propositions or manufactured marketing language designed to hook audiences and stakeholders. I asked for your promise to me as your consumer, stakeholder, and partner. This isn’t about B2B or B2C, but instead, people to people, person to person. It is this promise that will breathe new life into an organization that on the outside, could be misdiagnosed as catatonic by those who are disrupting your markets.
A promise, for example, is meant to inspire. It creates alignment. It serves as the foundation for your vision, mission, and all business strategies and it must come from the top to mean anything. For without it, we cannot genuinely voice what it is we stand for or stand behind. Think for a moment about the definition of community. It’s easy to confuse a workplace or a market where everyone simply shares common characteristics. However, a community in this day and age is much more than belonging to something, it’s about doing something together that makes belonging matter
The next few years will force a divide where companies are separated by intention as measured by actions and words. But, becoming a social business is not enough. Becoming more authentic and transparent doesn’t serve as a mantra for a renaissance. A promise is the ink that inscribes the spirit of the relationship between you and me. A promise serves as the words that influence change from within and change beyond the halls of our business. It is the foundation for a renewed embrace, one that must then find its way to every aspect of the organization. It’s the difference between a social business and an adaptive business. While an adaptive business can also be social, it is the culture of the organization that strives to not just use technology to extend current philosophies or processes into new domains, but instead give rise to a new culture where striving for relevance is among its goals. The tools and networks simply become enablers of a greater mission
You are reading this because you believe in something more than what you’re doing today. While you fight for change within your organization, remember to aim for a higher purpose. Organizations that strive for innovation, imagination, and relevance will outperform those that do not. Part of your job is to lead a missionary push that unites the groundswell with a top down cascade. Change will only happen because you and other internal champions see what others can’t and will do what other won’t. It takes resolve. It takes the ability to translate new opportunities into business value. And, it takes courage.
“This is a very noisy world, so we have to be very clear what we want them to know about us”
So -- where do you begin to evaluate the kind of experience you are delivering for your customers, partners, and employees?
Take a look at this White Paper: Creating a Successful and Meaningful Customer Experience on the Web
and then have a cup of coffee while you listen to the sage advice of Guy Kawasaki in a short video below.
An interview with Guy Kawasaki on Maximizing Social Media Channels
Todays guest post by:
Michael Fauscette, GVP, Software Business Solutions, IDC
The CXO in the Next-Generation Enterprise
Less than six years ago, no company had a Facebook page or Tweeted about its brand on Twitter. In fact, just a little more than 12 years ago, most companies treated Websites like a billboard — a destination where people went to “learn” about the company’s products. Brands controlled their messages and presented those messages to customers and prospects.
Today, prospects and customers look for information about a brand online everywhere but the company-controlled Website. Social networks offer trust-filtered advice and information that’s perceived as much more accurate. The social Web, with its communities and user-generated content, has helped fuel a change in attitudes and expectations across a broad population.
Another key trend, consumerization of IT, has created a different path of innovation in business, where the most innovative ideas and technologies are formed in the consumer space and pulled into the enterprise, again creating different expectations and empowered action.
Business is under pressure from customers, employees, stockholders, stakeholders and partners to do things differently, as the economy shifts away from the old industrial models into an age driven by information and the Internet’s ability to create different business models, communication channels, and open systems. Nowhere in business are these pressures felt more than in the executive suites across all industries, and spreading to all geographies.
Traditional management and leadership models, just like business models, were created for a different time, and are starting to fall short in helping businesses adapt to change. As the pace of change accelerates, executives are finding that strategy isn’t something that can be static, but instead must be flexible and adaptable to real-time inputs ranging from customer feedback to changing market conditions. Old command-and-control, hierarchical organizational structures are too siloed and inhibit knowledge-sharing and a collaborative culture.
Management models, just like business models, must adapt to the next-generation enterprise that is mobile, social, collaborative, data-driven, and has an adaptable and flexible business strategy. Next-generation executives will:
Business is changing, and management and business models must change to stay competitive. The changes are mostly about culture, and culture often does not change quickly. People fall back to habits that are comfortable, and resist change that seems uncomfortable. While a lot of the changes that businesses are experiencing are coming bottom-up, it is critical that executives understand these changes and adapt to create an environment of empowerment and collaboration.
To hear more with featured guest speaker, Michael Fauscette, GVP, Software Business Solutions, IDC - Watch the On-Demand webcast of the Oracle Social Business Thought Leader Webcast Series - “Organic Business Networks: Doing Business in a Hyper-Connected World”
WebCenter is The Engagement Platform Powering Exceptional Experiences
for Employees, Partners and Customers
The way we work is changing rapidly, offering an enormous competitive advantage to those who embrace the new tools that enable contextual, agile and simplified information exchange and collaboration to distributed workforces and networks of partners and customers. As many of you are aware, Enterprise 2.0 is the term for the technologies and business practices that liberate the workforce from the constraints of legacy communication and productivity tools like email. It provides business managers with access to the right information at the right time through a web of inter-connected applications, services and devices. Enterprise 2.0 makes accessible the collective intelligence of many, translating to a huge competitive advantage in the form of increased innovation, productivity and agility.
The Enterprise 2.0 Conference takes a strategic perspective, emphasizing the bigger picture implications of the technology and the exploration of what is at stake for organizations trying to change not only tools, but also culture and process. Beyond discussion of the "why", there will also be in-depth opportunities for learning the "how" that will help you bring Enterprise 2.0 to your business. You won't want to miss this opportunity to learn and hear from leading experts in the fields of technology for business, collaboration, culture change and collective intelligence.
Oracle was a proud Gold sponsor of the Enterprise 2.0 Conference, taking place this past week in Boston.
For those of you that weren't able to make it - we've made the Oracle Social Network Presentation session available here and have posted the slides below.
The following is intended to outline our general product direction. It is intended for information purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract. It is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions. The development, release, and timing of any features or functionality described for Oracle’s products remains at the sole discretion of Oracle.
Social Business and Innovation - Click Here ->>> WATCH TODAY ON_DEMAND! <<<<<
Guest post by Christian Finn, Sr. Director, Product Management, Oracle WebCenter
John Mancini, President of AIIM-- the 65,000 member community of information professionals-- takes center stage today as the next guest speaker in our Social Business Thought Leaders webcast series. I’ve had the privilege to get to know and work with John over the last several years, and he’s one of the most knowledgeable and engaging speakers in the industry.
John is also a terrific organizational leader. AIIM has a long history as a pre-eminent content management association. But as social technologies became prevalent and then pervasive over the last few years, John showed the foresight to embrace the social revolution and evolve AIIM’s mission to bring together what John calls “systems of record” with “systems of engagement.” Today he’ll share his views on this journey with you, but it’s more than just a presentation. John has invested, along with many industry partners, in doing original research on the convergence of ECM and social and its implications.
Over the last two years, John organized two research two task forces. One was led by Geoffrey Moore, the renowned high tech marketing guru and author of Crossing The Chasm. Andrew McAfee, who coined the term and wrote the book, Enterprise 2.0, chaired the other. Moore’s work highlighted the changes to Enterprise IT that the social revolution will engender, and McAfee researched where and how organizations are finding value in using social techniques to foster innovation, scale Q&A across the organization, and connecting sales and marketing for greater efficiency and effectiveness by talking to leading customers who have adopted social.
The output of these task forces are a series of free, brief whitepapers that make excellent reading and I highly recommend them. You can download them on the AIIM website: effectiveness. Moore’s whitepaper is here and McAfee’s whitepapers are available here.
You can also connect with John, his AIIM team, and many great fellow customers at the wonderful conference AIIM has started up, which next year will be in New Orleans with a great lineup of speakers such as Seth Godin and David Pogue. You can sign up for more information about the next AIIM conference here. You can also follow John, a profilic Tweeter, at @johnmancini77 .
Are you losing sleep at night staring at the ceiling wondering about:
• How content management and Enterprise IT are being changed by social technologies?
• How social technologies are being used to drive innovation and transform processes?
• What the implications of this transformation are for information professionals?
Of course you are!
Worry no more! Tune in this week and hear John Mancini present his industry-changing views on these topics and others as our series of Social Business Thought Leaders Webcast Series continues its momentum as thousands have viewed our topical thought-provoking free webcasts.
SOCIAL BUSINESS AND INNOVATION
John Mancini, President, AIIM
Date: Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 10:00 AM PDT
Moving from Records to Engagement to Insight — AIIM President John Mancini discusses the factors that are driving organizations to think more strategically about the intersection between content, social, and process. Join us for this webcast to hear how content management and Enterprise IT are being changed by social technologies and how those technologies are being used to drive innovation and transform processes.
John F. Mancini joined AIIM in May 1996. AIIM helps organizations find, control, and optimize their information. AIIM's activities are organized into 3 areas: 1) training; 2) B2B marketing support services; and 3) research. Prior to joining AIIM, Mancini spent 11 years in various positions at the American Electronics Association in Washington, D.C., most recently as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. He has also served as Executive Director of the Foundation for Public Affairs.
Mancini is a frequent speaker at meetings and conferences throughout the world on various topics including the content management marketplace and E20 technologies. Contact him if you are looking for a keynote for your next meeting. Click on this link -- http://www.slideshare.net/jmancini77/info360-keynote-by-aiim-president-john-mancini -- for an example of a previous keynote on Disruptive Technologies. Some other recent "mini topics" (that can be expanded into broader presentations...) The Facebook Dilemma, The Mobile Exigency, The SharePoint Paradox, The Shutterfly Effect, and The Black Swan.
Mancini holds a bachelor's degree from the College of William and Mary and a master's degree from Princeton University. Mancini blogs under the title Digital Landfill (http://www.digitallandfill.org), tweets as jmancini77, can be found as jmancini77 on LinkedIn and Facebook. and is the creator of the "8 things" series. He is the author quite some time ago of a children's book, Will's Christmas List, which has sold literally tens of copies.
Oracle WebCenter is the center of engagement for business—powering
exceptional experiences for customers, partners, and employees. It connects
people, process, and information with the most complete portfolio of portal,
Web experience management, content, imaging and collaboration technologies.