I’ll have my communications with a side of empathy, please

What if employees could “order up” how they liked their engagement? What would they choose? The data below suggest that organizations might want to change up their “menu”:

    • 71% of employees don’t read or engage in company content or emails. Why? Because they get too much information that is not relevant to them.
    • 74% of employees reported in a Gallup survey that they have the feeling they are missing out on important information at work.

For all the efforts that go into internal communications, employees may not be getting what they want or wanting what they get.  How can you serve up communications that inform, inspire, and motivate employees—and help them feel engaged and in-the-know? A good first step is to start with the basics:

    • Know your audience: What do they want to know, which channels do they prefer, how often do they want to receive communications? All of these answers have likely shifted since remote work began in full force last year. Ask yourself what needs to change to meet their needs.
    • Make every word count: if you are communicating in writing, less is more. The more concise and clear communications are, the more likely employees will digest and understand what they are reading.
    • Measure the impact: the best way to know if communications are hitting the mark is to ask. Collect feedback through surveys or anecdotally to get reactions.  Allow employees to rank the usefulness of a communication, provide opportunities to leave comments, or talk with people to gauge reactions.

To capture the minds (and hearts!) of employees, take the extra step to demonstrate EMPATHY in your communications.  The more you acknowledge how they are feeling, and what they are dealing with, the stronger and better received your communications will become.  The last 15 months have been challenging and stressful as employees navigate the brave new work world.  Make sure that every communication comes with a healthy side order of empathy and you will boost the stats in your organization and engage your employees.

 

Agreeing to Disagree Doesn’t Go Far Enough

By: Molly Russin

If you’re like me, you’ve been surprised by how differently some of your friends and family members approached the pandemic. From I-don’t-leave-my-house, to Nobody-can-tell-me-what-to-do, to everyone in between, we’ve been exposed to a completely new side of folks we thought we knew. Even now, as we celebrate an almost-return to normal, there are lots of people who believe that it’s not safe to be around others without a mask—no matter what the CDC or local governments say. Although about 42% of Americans are fully vaccinated, one in four Americans have no intention of getting vaccinated.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about how the people that we work with sometimes have radically different views than we do. We might be completely clueless until they “let us in” and then we have a choice: keep our mouths shut , agree to disagree  or we can listen and learn.

I once had a manager who shared that he would not hesitate to shoot an intruder. I always viewed him as a pretty low key guy and this declaration shocked me. Plus, he had young kids although proudly kept firearms in the home. This made me anxious.

Then there was the time I was sharing photos from my daughter’s wedding. One of the guys on my team looked at my beaming daughter and her wife and said “Where’s her husband?” I said, “She doesn’t have one.” He said, “I though you said she got married.” On and on it went until I practically had to shout, “She’s gay! There is no man in this picture!” He just said “Wow. That’s different.” And walked away. This made me angry.

One of my closest friends is a Black woman who tearfully admitted to me that she often felt like many of her coworkers looked down on her, no matter how well she performed her job. She felt like she was constantly being judged, from the way she wore her hair to the places she went on vacation. This made me sad.

Looking back, in all three cases, I wish that instead keeping my feelings to myself that I would have asked questions and tried to understand where the other person was coming from.

I’ve read countless articles about how the world of work will be permanently changed post-pandemic. Sure, we’ll see physical changes and scheduling changes and the like. Whether or not real change comes at work, however, will depend not on technology but on people–on each and every one of us and how well we are willing to drop our assumptions and really listen. Agree to disagree? OK. But I believe we have to go beyond that.

The truth is, we don’t get a vote in what other people believe or do. If a colleague talks about his love for guns, if someone shares that she believes in defunding the police, if a colleague of color admits to feeling unheard by team members, if someone admits that they are never going to get vaccinated…what will our response be? Since we all have 2 ears and one mouth, perhaps we have to try our best to listen and to learn.

What makes someone support the NRA? How can I help someone to understand the joy and freedom of gay marriage? How can I be a better ally to my colleagues of color? If I had started this kind of conversation—uncomfortable though it may have been, I think It would have expanded my perspective and understanding. And isn’t that what being a mature adult is all about?

What do you think? Leave your comments here!

 

 

The Old-School Tool that Can Help You See the Future

By KDH Consulting Owner: Kelly Donlon Hoy

 

To devoted users of digital planning tools or apps, you’ll get no quarrel from me. I also like my various trackers and project management resources. They provide me with the ability to input, respond to, and monitor my work at the touch of a button, whether I’m out to dinner or on the soccer field.  In other words, they easily and efficiently keep me on track.

This crazy year, however, I’ve added a new tool that’s totally old school: a huge whiteboard. I’m kind of obsessed and here’s why:

Having a whiteboard is like having a conversation with myself.  It can serve as:

 

  • A blank canvas to brainstorm new ways to serve clients
  • A daily task list
  • A spot to hold an inspiring quote
  • A quiet reminder of my goals
  • A tracker of my activities
  • A visual cue for my priorities

There is something powerful about standing at the board, dry erase marker in hand. I get great satisfaction writing things, checking them off, and yes, even erasing them.  One of the major reasons I love my whiteboard is its non-permanence. Erasing doesn’t eliminate the work I’ve done. Instead, it allows me to create and recreate, to adapt and evolve. And isn’t that a good description of what work is all about today?

Deep Cleaning Your Communications Plan

By: Molly Russin

Like so many of us, I’ve made Spring Cleaning one of my year-round hobbies during the pandemic. One thing I’ve learned—over and over—is that you can’t declutter by reorganizing; you must reduce. Take it from me and my Container Store obsession– no matter how many adorable baskets and clear plastic trays you cram your stuff into, you won’t reach nice-n-neat nirvana until you get rid of some of your stuff. And by “some,” I mean a lot.

 

Recently, I applied that philosophy to a client’s Communications Plan. Of course, it was comprehensive and well thought out;  it included multi-channel approaches and messages for every audience. But was it clear…concise…and most of all, impactful? We looked through as many metrics and KPIs as we could to judge the effectiveness of each initiative and quickly concluded that the time had come for a Communications Spring Cleaning.

 

“When we really delve into the reasons for why we can’t let something go, there are only two: an attachment to the past or a fear for the future.” — Marie Kondo

 

This is not a task for the feint of heart. Let’s keep in mind, though, that this has been a year of non-stop stress, multi-tasking, and remote around-the-clock work. Employees simply don’t have the bandwidth for a let’s-do-it-all Communications Plan. Perhaps, as Ms. Kondo suggests, you’re attached to the past. You really LOVE the monthly newsletter and your quarterly townhall is a can’t miss! But do folks on the receiving end feel the same way? Or, maybe you fear the future. You know the time has come to set up an Insta account, but you just don’t have the time or the energy to make it happen.

 

The truth is, this isn’t easy work but it’s critical to making your communications as streamlined and effective as possible—something that is proven to increase Employee Engagement. If this is something you’d like to explore, the team at KDH Consulting would love to help. Make this the year that each one of your communication tactics “sparks joy” in your employees–and in you.

What Employees Want: A Satisfying Culture

What Employees Want: A Satisfying Culture

Written by: Rebecca Korsen

Does your company have a culture that keeps employees satisfied? If not, consider the impact to your bottom line. A Glassdoor survey showed that more than half the respondents valued workplace culture over salary [1].  That makes sense, right? Culture is a driver for current employees, new hires, and for fresh talent emerging in the industry–and directly affects your business performance. In this edition, we will explore several characteristics of a strong culture that will help attract and retain talent and drive results.

Employees want…Collaboration – 

Most can agree that collaboration fuels employee motivation. Employers can foster a collaborative environment by encouraging teamwork.  Holding weekly team meetings is a good starting point – establish a dedicated time for employees to ask questions and raise concerns, as well as connect with one another.  Consider using a business communication platform, such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom, to connect with all employees.  These platforms enable one-stop shopping for connecting colleagues.  A final key to collaboration is to encourage two-way exchanges between leaders and employees.  Creating this open dialogue allows employees’ ideas to be heard, increasing employee satisfaction. 

Employees want…Flexibility – 

Since the Spring of 2020,  workplace flexibility has become even more important in attracting and retaining talent.  During COVID-19, employees have struggled to juggle professional and personal obligations while working remotely.  Leaders can help by showing flexibility with employee work schedules.  Many organizations have allowed employees to establish a work schedule that accommodates their needs. Others have offered employee flex days. Flex days can be offered at some regular frequency so employees can dedicate additional time to personal care. This option also promotes employee wellness, creating a healthier, more focused workforce. 

Employees want…Innovation – 

Most employees want to make an impact within their organization. For example, Google allows employees to dedicate 20% of their time to innovation.  Leaders can foster a culture of innovation by encouraging employees to share their ideas.  It’s easy enough to stand up brainstorming sessions or online forums.  And recognizing innovation–big or small–is another positive step to take.  For example, an employee that proposes a small process improvement is showing innovation by striving for results-based improvement.  

Employees want …Growth – 

To improve engagement and retention, understand that many employees want to further themselves professionally and realize their potential. Consider how you can provide developmental opportunities to your employees.   Expanding assignments, and offering or sponsoring additional training specific to their role can further skill development that drives better business outcomes. Offering career rotational positions or special short-term assignments will allow employees to explore new and different areas within your business that may fuel long term career pathing for employees.  Creating online career navigation tools, and setting up monthly training on relevant topics will show employees your commitment to their career development.   

Employees want…Encouragement

Employees value an employer that values their hard work and determination.  Encouragement can take on many different forms. For example, you can provide verbal positive and critical feedback, so employees feel valued and have clear measurable expectations. Providing individual feedback should be scheduled consistently 1:1 to discuss career goals & objectives as well as overall performance. Teams can also provide feedback, or “shoutouts” highlighting individual positive performance. This can be accomplished through team meetings or through team emails. A second form of encouragement can be through providing rewards or incentives. Incentives/rewards can be in the form of providing certificates of appreciation, assigning an employee of the month, providing monetary rewards such as gift cards or vouchers, or assigning leadership/higher level tasks to recognized employees. 

 

By incorporating these aspects into your employee experience, you will enjoy the rewards. Once employees are offered collaboration, flexibility, innovation, growth, and engagement, they will consistently bring their A-game. And that investment pays big dividends that will boost your bottom line. 

 

Turn and Face the Strain: the Four Ms of Change Management

Turn and Face the Strain: the Four Ms of Change Management

By: Kelly Donlon Hoy

Major change initiatives in an organization are a huge undertaking  with potentially big payoffs and—surprisingly—low success rates (some stats suggest only about 37% of initiatives are realized fully). The astounding number of articles and case studies about the essentials of change management can overwhelm even the most committed “agents of change.”

Complex systems and frameworks guide companies through the disciplined process of developing a strategic vision to implementing a change—with key arms focused on People, Process and Technology. But not every organization is steeped in these methods or tools—or even in the relatively new discipline of change management.

Where to begin? Mastering the 4Ms– Mindset, Messages, Methods, and Measures—is a great way to start.

 

M1: Mindset

Change practitioners often refer to Mindset as “change readiness” : Where are employees’ “heads” about a potential change? What will they think and feel about the value of the change or the need for it? If employees are not receptive – or they don’t understand why it’s happening, implementation will be next to impossible. Having the right attitudes, perceptions, and beliefs is the most essential ingredient in any change effort.

Assessing mindset includes thinking about how much employees already have on their plates. For instance, your organization has just been acquired and as a result, employees are acclimating to a new culture,asked to launch  new products, and report to new managers.  Imagine “piling on” another change like a completely new software system. It’s possible that employees just won’t have the bandwidth to embrace one more thing, no matter how critical.

M2: Messages

What helps shift employees’ mindsets? Messages. It’s essential that employees hear a crisp, clear articulation of the change: what it is, why it matters and why now. This applies outside the workplace, too. As humans, we need the right cues and information to jump start and implement change.

Think about it: If you want to improve your health, your commitment will be strengthened by what you see, read, and hear. Maybe an offer to join a gym or a boot camp will spark your interest in moving more. Your family or friends might support you by offering to workout with you. Maybe your physician will point out the need to reduce blood pressure, lower cholesterol or improve the impact on your joints by shifting to a healthier diet.  All these data points can help you get into the right mindset to make necessary changes. 

Let’s return to the example of rolling out a new software platform at work. Employees need to know why. Is the current system outdated? Is there a competitive need to upgrade?Is the change driven by new policies or regulations? Explaining and communicating consistently will boost the likelihood that the change will happen successfully.

Tip:  Know which “channels” are most effective within your organization.  Some companies message from the topthrough CEO announcements, town halls, or company-wide emails. Others find a more “local” approach, with front line managers explaining upcoming changes, to be most effective.  For larger changes, it’s likely that all channels will be used to create  cohesive, consistent messaging.

 

M3: Methods

Saying you’re going to change and actually doing it are two different things. Part of your message has to be about the “how”—what’s the plan and timing for the change? Employees will appreciate having the approach mapped out. A high level “roadmap” marked with key deliverables and milestones is a good way to provide a snapshot of what’s to come. Major milestones can be celebrated to further motivate and inspire the organization through the change.

“Methods” can often require in-depth project planning. If your organization uses planning tools for other routine operations, they may be repurposed for a change initiative. If not, you can choose from many options –and even experts—to assist with mapping out your approach. This doesn’t have to be overly complicated but should include milestones, a way to address issues and resolve problems, and a communication plan to keep the organization informed.

M4: Measures

Tracking your progress keeps you headed in the right direction, at home and at work. Be aware, challenges or delays are an expected part of the process–but a setback doesn’t mean failure. When you’re simultaneously shifting people, processes, and technology, one or all 3 of these components may hit a temporary impasse.  A quick—or not so quick—pause for analysis and problem identification can help you navigate toward a solution and get right back on track.

Pick measures that matter to your project. You can count how many team meetings you had or how many edits someone made to a communication, but those won’t get you closer to a successful outcome.  Carefully select the indicators that tell you the project is on track (or not), and make sure the entire team is aware of those metrics and who is accountable for them.

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Looking for an experienced partner to map out the next change at your workplace? KDH can help!

Contact us at : www.kdh-consulting.com

Cultural Change that Sticks

An insider’s look at shifting the tide in a large organization.

By Molly Russin

Can you really change Culture? The simple answer is Yes.  Unfortunately, there is no easy answer. That’s why there are hundreds of thousands of articles and books on this very topic. I could cite them all but then this wouldn’t be a blog, it would be a white paper. One fact everyone agrees on is this: about 37% of change initiatives succeed. No matter how much time, effort, blood, sweat or tears are poured into the remaining 63%, they fail. I worked for a large corporation that experienced multiple Cultural changes, refreshes and tweaks over two decades. Here are 3 critical questions you must be able to answer if you want to join the 37% club.

 

1. What exactly does “change the culture” mean? In my mind, culture means the ways that work gets done in an organization; some might refer to them as habits or ingrained ways of working. A positive example might be something like, We always put our customers first. A negative aspect of culture might be, We nod in agreement when a new initiative i s presented but afterwards we secretly tell each other what we really think (and it usually isn’t agreement). It’s important to decide if you think the entire culture needs an overhaul or just certain aspects of it. Be careful not to throw out the baby with the bathwater, as the saying goes!  One more thing: if the cultural shift is actually just a new technology or process, maybe what you really need is Change Management. But that’s another topic for another day.

2. What is the desired change and why is it necessary? Who wants it? Who needs it? What will happen if the change doesn’t occur? These are questions that often get asked early in the process, not answered very well, and then tossed aside while the “real work” gets done. It’s critical that a cultural shift is explained with absolute clarity and extra crispy articulation. I believe the reason so many organizations bring in consultants to assist with Culture Change initiatives is because it’s easier for “outsiders” who aren’t wed to the old ways of doing things to explain what the changes are and why they’re needed.

If the folks on the receiving end seem confused, remember that it’s not their job to get it…it’s your job to help them understand. Keep trying until you see lots of nodding heads…not bobbing heads that say yes to everything because they aren’t listening, but nodding heads.

3. How will progress be measured and what happens if change isn’t happening? Once you’ve defined what Culture changes will be made and everyone is on board with the desired end state, it’s critical to decide how progress will be measured—even before a plan is put in place. What does good look like and how will you know when it’s happening and when it’s not? What steps will be taken if you start to feel push-back (and you will)? Where is it coming from and why?

Sometimes it’s necessary to take a step back and rethink a plan. For instance, one “Customers First” transformation I was a part of included a mandate that all employees get to know more about our customers by meeting with at least one customer at least once a year. The intention was right and our staff was willing but it turned out that this would be a huge burden on our customers! They simply didn’t have the time to spend with folks who weren’t on the account team. We quickly figured out a variety of ways to educate non-customer facing staff about our customers businesses that didn’t involved face to face meetings and we were able to proceed with the strategy. As your team makes progress, be sure to report out, often, so that everyone understands that the plan is working and change is happening with everyone’s help.

 

 Is your team thinking about a Culture Change in 2021? KDH Consulting can help you to put in place a winning strategy. Contact us today for help!

 

Using Communications to Bridge a Divide

By KDH Creative Director Molly Russin

 

Want to bridge a divide?

Choose your words carefully.

I’m fascinated with a poll conducted by Frank Luntz and the de Beaumont Foundation called Changing the COVID Conversation. According to Dr. Luntz, “…our leaders need to remove politics and partisanship from their messaging and give Americans a better reason to comply other than because it’s good for them.

 

This hit home for me, and it might for you, too. I have a brother who refers to COVID as “the flu.” My neighbor divides our community into “maskers” and “anti-maskers.” And a former colleague calls those who won’t get vaccinated “entitled West Coast brats.” If we’re honest, we all use labels to identify certain behaviors but this year, especially, those labels carry strong and unmistakable political overtones.

 

As a communications aficionado, I firmly agree that when two sides are miles apart, the way to bring them together—or at least closer—is by paying careful attention to the words that we use and the labels that we assign. This may sound obvious but it’s no easy task.

 

Certain words put fuel on an already raging fire. You’ve seen it before in many different industries. For instance, the “Diet and Nutrition” industry morphed into the “Health and Wellness” movement. The former smacks of deprivation while the latter is positive and empowering. James Clifton notes in an article in New Food Magazine, that Weight Watchers’ recent rebrand to WW follows a similar “healthful” path. Purging the brand of the ‘Weight’ word presumably makes it feel more comfortable to a wider audience, not consciously on a diet. Similarly, the use of and reference to “big” models has morphed to the more politically correct (and kinder) “curvy” and “full figured”.

 

According to Dr. Luntz, in all conversations that seek to bridge a divide, it’s critical to

Focus on the benefits of success rather than the consequences of failure (Vaccines are coming soon; life will return to normal again)
Don’t expect people to go along because “it’s good for them”; rather, speak to what might happen if they don’t do their part (Just one infection can grow to shutter an entire city)
Keep politics out of it; ensure that messaging is neutral

 

In the deBeaumont poll, they published the following list of “This not That” words to help bring people together as we continue to fight this common enemy. Details are available at debeaumont.org/changing-the-covid-conversation.

 

The next time you’re seeking to bridge a divide, choose your words carefully. Need help thinking through your messaging? KDH Consulting can help.

 

 

 

 

 

*Changing the COVID conversation by Mark Miller, deBeaumont.org, 11/30/2020

What Internal Communications can Learn from Netflix: 5 things to consider to engage employees in 2021

By Guest Blogger Rebecca Korsen

With the promise of in person work still a distant glimmer of hope, employers should challenge themselves to continue to engage employees in 2021 in ways that connect and inspire them. There may be a lesson, or two companies can glean from streaming giant Netflix:

 

1. Everyone loves a story  Take for example, these hit series: New Girl”, “Stranger Things”, and or even an oldy, “Friends”. What do they have in common? A terrific story line that the audience connects with personally.  By the end of the first few episodes, the characters feel like family. Consider pushing story and friendships back into your organization. Give employees a story that they can bond over and share for seasons to come.

But where can you start? You don’t have to look far: your employees and stakeholders are the source for strong stories.  Putting employees work stories and successes center stage can unite and spark engagement. Employees are the backbone to any organization, why not let their work stories shape the company narrative? And don’t forget about customers.  Who do employees work for and to what end? Highlighting customer needs and solutions is another great story arc.  To capture this content, some companies dedicate a forum or webpage to make sure their stories and feedback are being shared to motivate and inspire collaboration.

 

2. On demand is in demand  Compelling stories readily available? Count us (and your employees) in!Netflix has excelled because it allows people to watch what they want, when they want. Consider how accessible your company’s content is. Just be mindful, working remote might put a wrench into individual user accessibility. With many organizations, working 100% remote, technology issues are bound to show up. So how can make the connection better? Measure accessibility to improve outreach. Possibilities include gauging employee activity through online surveys, clicks/likes per minute, or even by using email outreach to directly advertise available content!

 

3. Snackable content Grab a comfy seat, your popcorn, soda and candy; we are about to binge watch! Bingeable content is always in high demand because it is often short and sweet! Same goes for organizational trainings, announcements, and newsfeed content. All content should be straight forward and to the point yet entertaining and engaging. The window is small to capture your audience. Planning a series of bingeable content that is quick and easy to digest will maximize an employee’s workday.

Think about your own binging habits—if the content grabs you, it’s easy to tell yourself, “OK, I’ll watch one more episode; it’s only 23 minutes.” (We have lots of research that proves this.)  Now ask yourself: how bingeable is your organization content? Do you leave them craving one more story? One more “episode”?

4. Trending now – Users always have their preferences on what they like to watch. In an organization, same thing applies. How can we track user preferences to see what is trending? Data analytics can be extremely helpful to determinemost likes or most views narrowing down on personal preferences when it comes to most watched content. With this data, employers can highlight which organizational content is the most important and even consider which content should be the main focus. A simple 5-star rating of an article tells you employees accessed it, read it, and liked it! Even live events can provide important information about accessibility.  There are many response meters and ways to measure connectivity that will help create a clear connection that brings employees coming back for more. By measuring most views and most liked content, employers can provide personalized recommendations or even personalized watch lists to every employee. Everyone gets what they want and more!

 

5. What’s your “genre”? Netflix is ahead of the competition because it offers genres that attractevery user. If you had to pick what type of show your company is most aligned to, what would it be? While a company certainly is more than a Netflix series, considering an organization’s genre can spark some ideas on your storyline or “red thread” through communications. Take a look at some fun examples:

 

Mystery/Suspense:  Startup companies are an easy fit into this genre.  As companies work towards launching a big product, each day is filled with challenges (mysteries to solve) for smart, resourceful employees. Will the start-up make it? Will it succeed? The outcome is unknown, and it makes for some exciting, adrenalin pumping stories. Think Designated Survivor, Homeland, or Criminal Minds.

Heart-warming shows: Does your company focus on important social issues? Are you trying to make the world a better place? Non-profits are akin to the engaging, heart-warming series we love to watch.   Feel-good shows are watchable because they pull at our heartstrings and evoke an emotion that makes us want to join the cause and celebrate what’s good in the world. Somefavorites include Atypical, Babies, and Down to Earth with Zach Efron.

Rom-Coms: Romantic comedies make us laugh and feel good at the same time. This popular genre, often in movie format, is typically about bringing people together to find happiness and love–really to find a better existence. That’s an easy bridge to consumer good companies.  Consumer goods companies are focused on delivering products and services that make for a better existence for customers. So many favorites to choose from here, including When Harry Met Sally, The Notebook, or The Holiday.

 

Epic series: What type of company most aligns to the storylines we see in epic series? Large corporations are a best bet.  Epics are long sweeping tales that depict a rich history of characters, events, and themes. Established organizations with long histories and perhaps multiple divisions reflect the kind of grandeur and sagas often played out in epics.  The stories and the characters are complex and have lasting impact. There are so many examples to choose from, including Orange Is The New Black, The Crown, or The Last Czars.

 

 

It may seem like a stretch to mirror what employees are streaming during their off hours at home.  But as the lines between home and work continue to blend throughout quarantines and work-at-home mandates, you might find some of these watching trends useful as you tackle your 2021 communication plans. Looking for relevant content with impact, give us a call! We’ll help you create a great story!

Motivation Magic: Breaking Down What Good Looks Like

By Guest Blogger Rebecca Korsen

With current surges in the global pandemic and the fact that recently or soon-to-be- approved vaccines are not yet ready for widespread distribution, working remotely remains the norm. Most physical offices are still closed, and research points to the lack of social interaction negatively affecting employee drive. How can employers identify what good work looks like  in this remote workforce era? The answer may be as simple as prioritizing and measuring employee motivation. Why employee motivation? It’s a direct correlation to employee engagement. Engaged employees are happier and more productive, which limits company turnover and increases workplace satisfaction. And so, to reveal this “motivation magic ,” employers need to understand and utilize motivators. Below are a few motivators that employers can leverage within their organizations.

Recognition. Employees find satisfaction in being recognized for their accomplishments; a simple “thank you” or “you’re doing a great job” can positively change employees’ outlook, motivating them to forge ahead. For this reason, creating a recognition framework can boost employee work ethic. For example, employers can use a virtual platform to identify and recognize employee accomplishments. There is also power in peer-nominated recognition. Even remotely, peers often see things that managers and leaders do not. By encouraging employees to recognize their co-worker’s accomplishments, employers can also create a stronger team comradery.

20% Project. The 20% project carves out 20% of an employee’s work week which is dedicated to brainstorming projects that are beneficial to the organization. Research shows that innovative entities like Google adopted this strategy and validated that employees can be creative and still meet standards and deliverables. The results show employees are more engaged when they can tap into this type of creative outlet, leading to increased productivity and work ethic.

Growth. One of the biggest drivers of employee engagement is the potential to become better and excel within an organization. Employers can encourage personal growth by assigning new and challenging tasks to employees. In addition, dedicating time to discuss employee growth and career objectives motivates employees to continue to strive within their current position. Working with your employee to identify a career path shows that you care about their success, which will energize your workforce.

Feedback Matters – now more than ever. Preserving or setting aside time to discuss individual employee performance shows that you care. Providing positive and constructive feedback to employees not only helps them better perform, but it also lets them know you see and appreciate their strengths and accomplishments. Perhaps employees have developed a new skill during the pandemic? Perhaps they have demonstrated resilience or leadership? These are notable examples of employees staying engaged and adapting to the circumstances. By dedicating time to give feedback to your workforce, employees will become more productive and value the extra time you invest in their personal development.

Compensation. Financial compensation has always been a top motivator. However, employers don’t have to spend top dollar to show gratitude. Creating friendly competition, such as contests to encourage collaboration, can motivate employees to exceed expectations. Even handing out snacks, gift cards, or greeting cards to recognize accomplishments is a small gesture that can make all the difference.

In addition to leveraging the motivators identified above, employers can tap into employee feedback to identify other things that drive motivation. Consider some of the many ways to collect their insights:

  • create employee surveys
  • put an employee engagement platform in place to acquire feedback electronically
  • conduct one-on-one chat sessions to discuss and ask questions about their level of motivation.

Once perspectives have been collected, employers can determine which ideas to implement to improve employee engagement.

After diving-in and better understanding employee motivation, the motivation magic has been revealed. Employees will be satisfied, happier, and much more fulfilled when it comes to their careers and their future. We have learned that when employers promote and understand these motivators, their workforce can change for the better!