Thank Different. Employee engagement is a key element to any successful business. In today’s knowledge economy, your most valuable assets are your people. All organizations need to have a strategy to engage & align their team to achieve their business goals. In a highly competitive world - the ability to retain, attract & engage your staff can be the difference between success & failure. Kudos is a corporate social network with a peer-to-peer recognition system designed to engage your teams with enhanced communication, collaboration, appreciation & recognition.
Marcus Buckingham believes “radical” shifts are necessary to support team leaders—the most important drivers of business success—in their efforts to manage performance and raise engagement in the workforce.
Could not agree more with Marcus's points. If you want to create engagement, give your team leaders the tools and training to make that happen.
Social products like Kudos empower everyone to be better leaders.The key questions Marcus highlighted are the data points you need to be aware of in real time to create engagement.
Anyone who runs a team needs to be able to answer three questions:
What are the strengths of my people?What are they doing right now?How are they feeling?
Were I disagree is around Survey tools as they way to measure these things. They are good for benchmarking things, not create dialogue. To maintain a continuous dialog you need a social tool that empowers everyone to be part of the conversation. we use recognition to accomplish that and to gather the insights on strengths, what people are doing and how they are feeling.
Survey's and social recognition work together. That is the best answer.
New research shows that companies are more likely to work with those that have a strong culture.
In the famous words of Peter Drucker - "Culture East Strategy for Breakfast".
Strong cultures are built on a compelling mission, vision and purpose. the companies that can clearly articulate that in a compelling and concise way and demonstrate and share their values with their team create killer cultures. They also attract similar minded talent and clients.
The real trick however is reinforcing that purpose and your values so your team develops matching behaviours and characteristics that drive the culture. It needs to be done daily and permeate everything you do.
New research confirms what they say about nice guys...[or at least the result is a lot more nuanced that it seems.
Givers dominate not only the top of the success ladder but the bottom, too, precisely because they risk exploitation by takers.
We have some well-worn aphorisms…courtesy of Machiavelli (“It is far better to be feared than loved”), Dale Carnegie (“Begin with praise and honest appreciation”), and Leo Durocher (who may or may not have actually said “Nice guys finish last”). More recently, books like The Power of Nice and The Upside of Your Dark Side have continued in the same vein: long on certainty, short on proof.
So it was a breath of fresh air when, in 2013, there appeared a book that brought data into the debate. The author, Adam Grant, is a 33-year-old Wharton professor, and his best-selling book, Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success, offers evidence that “givers”—people who share their time, contacts, or know-how without expectation of payback—dominate the top of their fields. “This pattern holds up across the board,” Grant wrote—from engineers in California to salespeople in North Carolina to medical students in Belgium. …[T]he book appears to have swung the tide of business opinion toward the happier, nice-guys-finish-first scenario.
And yet suspicions …remain—fueled, in part, by …Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson. …Since Steve Jobs was published in 2011, “I think I’ve had 10 conversations where CEOs have looked at me and said, ‘Don’t you think I should be more of an asshole?’ ” says Robert Sutton, a professor of management at Stanford, whose book, The No Asshole Rule, nonetheless includes a chapter titled “The Virtues of Assholes.”
In Grant’s framework, the mentor in this story would be classified as a “taker,” which brings us to a major complexity in his findings. Givers dominate not only the top of the success ladder but the bottom, too, precisely because they risk exploitation by takers. It’s a nuance that’s often lost in the book’s popular rendering.
…[M]anagement professor Donald Hambrick, of Penn State [knows] academic psychology’s definition of narcissism—a trait Hambrick measured in CEOs and then plotted against the performance of their companies, in a 2007 study with Arijit Chatterjee.
…Hambrick…chose a set of indirect measures: the prominence of each CEO’s picture in the company’s annual report; the size of the CEO’s paycheck compared with that of the next-highest-paid person in the company; the frequency with which the CEO’s name appeared in company press releases. Lastly, he looked at the CEO’s use of pronouns in press interviews, comparing the frequency of the first-person plural with that of the first-person singular. Then he rolled all the results into a single narcissism indicator.
How did the narcissists fare? Hambrick …ound that the narcissists were like Grant’s givers: they clustered near both extremes of the success spectrum.
This is a really good article. I am not sure what does work best. But you are who you are. You are a jerk or you are a nice guy or girl but you can learn the competencies that will make you and your company successful if you tend to have nicer tendencies.
What I took away at the end of the article is you need these qualities to be a great leader:
If you want people to follow you - you need to show people you care about success. People want to follow a winner.
You do not need to be a Jerk or Narcissist to get results but you need to be tough, direct and challenge people when it is appropriate to get results. Then appreciate them and give them Kudos when they do well. You then will develop shared behaviours that will make the whole company successful. Disagreeable Givers is a great term and worth striving for.
My favourite part was the Steve Jobs argument. He was a jerk and a narcissist and built a great company we all admire. But his Jerk tendencies got him fired and it was his kinder gentler self after he reflected on things in his exile that lead to his ultimate success on his return. He was a better leader when he came back. A little less of a total jerk and he actually did praise when appropriate and gave credit where credit was due. But he still pushed people relentlessly and they respected him for that because of the spill over effect. By him doing well, the whole team and company did well. He had the above qualities.
If he was the only one that did well - seeking money, prestige and acclaim - he would have been exiled again and the Apple would have failed. Hard to even imagine. But the question you have to ask - was his jerk behaviour the reason for the success or was Appel and Jobs successful despite his narcissistic tendencies? Hmmmm?
There are wartime CEO's and Peace time CEO's and they need to act differently to be successful based on the circumstances. Steve jobs was a very good wartime CEO.
But follow the rules of engagement and you will be successful all the time.
It’s only natural to believe that employee happiness is contingent on success, but this belief is actually backwards. It’s not that success makes employees
Josh has it right. #Kudos to Josh and @SparkHire for a great article. More happiness at @KudosNow for your team.
I prefer the word engaged verses happy though. You can have happy people that are not really productive or committed. A focus on perks and a lack of accountability and feedback can lead to an average but generally happy culture.
That said, all the items he has outlined to create happiness and a great culture (AKA employee engagement) is bang on.
Technology like Josh's at Spark Hire and ours at Kudos are leading the way to more employee happiness and employee engagement.
Uncover how these 10 businesses have managed to create company cultures focused on employee engagement.
We all want to build great companies that people want to work for. There are lots of perks and benefits that can be used to motivate people and make a culture fun. What you do depends on your goals and budgets.
This article shares lots of great ideas but the common thread each company lives is trust, transparency, empowerment and feedback.
If your team knows what is expected of them, how their efforts contribute to the companies goals and objectives and that those efforts are valued / appreciated they will be engaged.
Recognize the behaviours you want and you will get more of the behaviours that lead to the company's success.
Once again another report that shows how companies are wandering in the dessert trying to grasp how to deal with employee engagement. Senior leadership ranks engagement as very important but have no real plan or systems to make a difference.
Time to try something new if you want to make change for the better.
Recognition programs are among the top methods companies use to promote employee engagement.
Good stats in the article on the benefits of engagement and how firms are trying to create engagement and measure its impact on the bottom line.
I was wondering however, how are these firms actually administering, managing and measuring these programs. Are they using technology solutions or manually administering these recognition, wellness programs, etc….
Also what are they specifically doing in the case of recognition. Are they using the typical solutions you hear about all the time - Years of Service Awards, Above and Beyond Awards that are nomination driven or On The Spot awards that are at a Managers discretion? And if they are doing these things do the employees value it and is it effective?
I have seen and heard stats about how employees are not aware their is recognition programs in place, and or they feel the programs are unfair and inconsistent. Which in the end they do really have the engagement effect they are looking. I have also heard from people that administer these prorgams that they are extremely manual, difficult and time consuming. So while recognition is viewed as the most widely used program - do these companies and their programs seen as being truly effective, achieving the desired results and providing the data that can be properly / easily measured, providing deeper insights on individual performance, contributions and connections in near real time?
We have lots of companies calling us everyday for three main reasons - they just did a survey and their engagement score was bad, and or they are running a recognition program that is manual and last but not least their recognition programs are not effective, not working or liked by the staff. These calls and this article leads me to believe the following:
a.) most companies have a recognition program of some sort
b.) their efforts and programs are not achieving the desired results or enhancing engagement for everyone.
I would be very interested to hear or read about peoples thoughts on how companies can make recognition programs more effective and how do you change the management paradigm and thinking that traditional recognition programs are good enough. It is almost like most companies just have a program to say they have a program and it may in fact be hurting more then it is helping and they have no idea.
As work becomes more social, mobil and millennial - what can companies do to make the #1 strategy for creating employee recognition truly work better for them?
More than half of America's workforce is disengaged. In an exclusive conversation with Dr. Jim Harterwho initiated the first "State of the...
Yes there is a huge engagement problem.
It constantly surprises me when I speak to some people (investors or clients) and they say a recognition system is a nice to have verses a need to have in business. It is undeniable that most businesses are struggling to engage their people yet business owners and some managers keep doing the same old thing, which a lot of the time is nothing. Give your head a shake people. Unhappy people means you are wasting /loosing money.
These folks ask what is the business case to have social recognition in the company. How will it help me make money. I know they are thinking people should just do their damn jobs and stop complaining. News flash, that is not a people problem, that is a leadership problem.
There are tools that are specifically designed to improve productivity in communication like Slack or streamline administrative processes in human capital management like Namely but they mean nothing if most of your staff does not care the company and are just going through the motions - until they find a better job. If you do not think it matters or you do not have an engagement problem, keep doing what your are doing.
The best performing companies have a sense of purpose, strong values, over communicate and care about their team members - which can be demonstrated by something as a simple as a timely thank you or good job a few times a month. You know those companies that you admire and want to emulate.
A system that would allow a company to be better at recognition, make it more transparent and give you the business the timely business intelligence on how their team is doing sounds like a need to have for all businesses, if you ask me.
What are your thoughts. Nice to have or Need to Have?
In today’s world, the barrier between work and life has all but disappeared, the balance of power in the employer-employee relationship has shifted, and Millennial demands are now driving much of workplace culture. HR and talent teams can’t afford to stay stuck on business as usual.
This is a great report that clearly demonstrates their is a paradigm shift happening in the way companies will work in the future. Culture is truly king and work is becoming more social, mobile and millennial. Enjoy.
"A superior leader is a person who can bring ordinary people together to achieve extraordinary results." I learned this a few dozen years ago at Wharton, from an entrepreneur who had enjoyed tremendous success.
I am always confused when people preach about happiness at work and that being the goal. I think they are missing the mark. Work is just one part of your overall level of happiness. When people are happy at work it is usually because they are engaged.
Engagement is what we should strive for at work. As this article points out, if happiness is the goal there are lots of things that can go wrong. Focusing on happiness alone as the core measure can actually be counter productive.
Sure we all want people to be happy at work but work is not everyones core purpose. For most people it is an means to an end. Money and security on your way to your dream job or financial freedom.
You are the master of your own destiny and happiness. The one thing that is in our control is how your choose to approach your work, no matter how mundane or challenging it may be. Seems like a cliche but it is the secret to happiness.
The company can create an environment that has many of the elements to help a person be engaged but the individual must also contribute to their engagement.
The amount you enjoy going to work and how much you choose to contribute will depend on many factors.
The vision and purpose of the organization
Your opportunity to grow and learn
The communication in the organization
The connections you build with co-workers
If you feel valued, trusted and empowered
and if you want to invest yourself into your role
If your company gets most of these things right and or is making an effort to address these key drivers for engagement and you choose to invest yourself as well - you have a good chance to be happy, satisfied and engaged.
In some sense, being thankful is a result of life exceeding our expectations.
This is a good article. Interesting perspective on gratitude and expectations.
We all have a choice on how we see things and how we treat others. If more people approached life with a desire to help where they can and go above and beyond even in the little things the world would be a better place and you would be happier for it.
Key take away:
Dispositional gratitude is a good way to be. To be thrilled at a word of praise, at another’s good performance or at each sunny day. These people are present-minded and hyper responsive.
People with grateful dispositions see their efforts grandly but not themselves. Life doesn’t surpass their dreams but it nicely surpasses their expectations.
Businesses have long recognized the importance of delivering a differentiated and engaging experience for their customers. But as Millennials have surpassed Generation X to become the largest share of the American workforce, companies are now applying the same philosophy of creating memorable customer experiences to keep their own employees engaged [...]
AirBnB has the right idea to provide a compelling work experience but perks - gyms, chefs, massages, etc... misses the point a bit. They go on to describe everything that is important and i applaud them for that.
Sure they are nice and will help attract new talent wanting to work at a hot startup with a great culture but that is not what people really want. But they will need to be very careful - Perks are not Culture. And when the Perks go - so may the people.
This is what people really want:
They want to believe in the vision, mission and leadership.
They want to be appreciated and feel like they belong.
They want to build relationships, learn and grow.
They want to be empowered and trusted.
They want to do meaningful work.
If the environment provides that - people could sit on boxes and have doors for desks - works for amazon. We do need to pay more attention to our team members and treat them like we treat our customers. After all they are the ones that work with our customers and an engaged employee will provide an exceptional customer experience.
To achieve that brand needs to radiate down and inspire and leaderships actions should reinforce the brand and through recognition and feedback, coaching and mentoring - align values and reinforce the desired behaviours.
Millienials are not really that different from my late Boomer cohort group that started our careers in the late 80's. We wanted to work hard, love what we did, be appreciated and work for a great company and boss. We wanted to change the world and reach our goals and dreams.
We have a bunch here and they are the hardest working, loyal and smart kids we could hope for. Sure we have had a few overly idealistic and entitled employees that have come and gone (promoted out of the company) but for the most part nothing has changed generation to generation.
Technology has changed which makes us more mobile, global and connected but the core essence of what drives us all is the same.
Leaders finally realize the importance of a fully engaged workforce. Now they should learn what practices drive and sustain happy employees.
Great article. Engagement should be part of business strategy & culture.
Quicken Loans really gets that their people are they key to success and if you treat them well, recognize and value them while reinforcing the correct behaviours that drive results and support your values, you can achieve amazing things. It is a competitive advantage.
Systems help develop consistency and allow you to create the culture you want. If you leave it to chance you will get the culture you deserve.
This is a really good video and message. Focus on what matters if you want to be successful, engaged and engage others. Technology should serve a specific need and be in context. too often we let technology distract us verses serve us. Be mindful of what you do and be present when you engage you team.
VideoSo what’s the right employee engagement strategy to dramatically increase engagement in your organization? Well let’s first talk about the wrong strategy... Usually, someone from HR has to convince the CEO to spend money on an employee survey. And when the results come back, the data is hoarded by the senior leadership [...]
I’m not sure if the title of today’s post is a major surprise. We’ve been talking about employee engagement for quite some time. In fact, I’m concerned that the conversation has turned to noise. But regardless of what you call the term, engagement remains a key business issue. That’s only a one part of the …
This is a persistent issue. People are less engaged for a variety of reasons. I believe it comes down to several areas if you want to change how people think and feel.
Leadership taking ownership — this needs to be a driven from the top. My feeling is it still gets lip service. They companies that do well put their people and treat them like partners, leading from a core sense of purpose, vision and values. Engagement starts here.
Better and more consistent communication — it need to be free flowing in social style environment where everyone can participate — contribute or consume.
Frequent and ongoing recognition — the best way to inspire and connect with your team as well as coach and mentor is to praise in public.
Trust and empowerment — last but not least empower your team to part of the culture. They will create a positive community if you let them. They will take ownership and pride it what they do and who they work for if can give them that level of trust.
Continuous measurement of employee sentiment — the annual review and survey is a big part of the problem. That is often the only time an employee gets any feedback or an opportunity to give feedback. Companies need to employee new strategy and tools that allow for a continuous conversation. And management does not need to lead pr even be part of the conversation. The team will contribute and connect daily if you let them and that will be the best barometer of how the company is doing and give you deep insights on how individuals are performing and where and how they are contributing.
We think the solution will revolve around a social network that empowers everyone to give recognition. If you want to change the engagement trend start to thank different.
There has been a new fad rising among companies around the world. It benefits the customers, the employees and the management. This new popular trend is catching on from company to company and is spreading like wildfire. What is this new trend? It is the focus on employee happiness.
The idea of Employee Happiness is a little miss guided. Employees can be happy based on perks and benefits to make work inviting and fun. Having a cool place to work is nice and attractive but if the underlying culture, communication, mentoring, and recognition is flawed or marginal, employees will become disgruntled and dis-engaged no matter how fun or cool you make your office or what perks or benefits you offer.
A company needs to be authentic, have purpose and vision that resonates with the team, provide opportunities to learn and grow, and recognize the contributions of the team members. If you have that you will have happy team members or more accurately engaged team members, which is the real goal. If they are engaged they will be happy and they will also be resilient, so even if you do not have a perfect utopia disney esk work environment or if you run into challenging times, they will still lean and work together for the to overcome and achieve.
You can have happy workers that are useless or you could even have satisfied team members that put in the a minimum effort. So be careful what you measure and what your are trying to create.
The last thing you want is an amusement park with a bunch of clowns.
This article does highlight the essential elements that makes for a happy and engaged team. The more you can do in this list the better but you can also keep it simple and have engaged team members if you hit the basics I listed above.
The best leaders are always ones that can relate to their team, keep a calm demeanour in crisis or conflict and work to support their team to help make them better verses dictating or blaming for what is wrong. The best Managers look for what their team does right and recognizes those behaviours and results. Managing people well is much harder then it looks, recognizing people for what they do well and how they contribute is a great place to start to be a good emotional intelligent leader.
It comes down to having your heart in the right place and caring about your team, not giving them stuff. Combined that with a compelling vision, mission and values and that will help you create a culture and company that your people will then care about. Get to know them too, on a personal level , build a connection beyond work. And say thank you. That is a winning formula.
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