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News & Events
Why you should never ask if your employees are engaged ?

by Nicola Middlemiss August 05, 2016

Do you know how engaged your employees are? If not, you definitely should not start by asking them – that is the assertion from one global HR expert who says there is a far more effective way to find out.

“I understand that companies will talk internally about employee engagement as part of their strategy,” says Rodd Wagner, VP of employee engagement strategy at BI WORLDWIDE.

“It is in my job title, I have used it for a long time, I have written books about it, Ihave written white papers about it – it is been around for 25 years and the term will probably be with us for quite a while,” he continues.

“That having been said, I have also observed that still – 25 years after it entered the corporate lexicon – that is not how employees talk about their day. They don not go home and say; ‘Wow, I felt really engaged today,’ or ‘I felt kind of disengaged today.’”

Wagner – who penned the New York Times best-selling business book “Widgets: The 12 New Rules for Managing Your Employees As If They are Real People” – says the term is too mechanical to make an impact with actual employees.

“If I ask; ‘Are you an engaged employee?’ to someone just off the street, they might say; ‘What do you mean by engaged?’ Wagner told HRM.

“If I ask; ‘Are you happy at work?’ Nobody asks; ‘What do you mean by happy?’ They have a definition, they understand it and at the same time it can be studied robustly through surveys to understand what it is to make someone happy on the job.”

According to Wagner, the same elements that contribute to a person's engagement at work are the same elements that define happiness.

“When you ask those questions about transparency, about a sense of meaning, about a sense of achievement and recognition – when you put them all together they correlate exceptionally strongly with that overall question – how happy are you at work?” he told HRM. “So you are really asking about happiness as much as you are about engagement.”

The Minnesota-based expert says if HR would shift their focus to creating happy employees, rather than productive or engaged employees, then the benefits would be significant.

“Companies have to let go and recognize that, at the heart of it, when you’re talking about employee reciprocity, the thing that an employee will reciprocate most strongly is a company that is endeavouring to make him or her happy on the job,” he stressed.

“If you want engagement from your employees that ultimately leads to performance then go ahead and make them happy,” he added.

http://www.hrmonline.ca/hr-news/why-you-should-never-ask-if-your-employees-are-engaged-211618.aspx

Professional development positively effects engagement and retention, study says

by Tim Gould July 29, 2016

Just how big a role does professional development play in employee engagement and retention? A recent study provides us with some new insight.

BetterBuys, a Web-based resource on business technology, recently surveyed 2,000 employees — the majority of them managers — to try to quantify the benefit of offering workers opportunities to widen their job horizons.

Here are some highlights of what the study uncovered:

• More than three-quarters (78%) of survey participants said they had access to some form of developmental programs

• 92% ranked professional development as “important” or “very important”, and

• Tuition reimbursement is the second most desired professional development opportunity by employees but ranked fourth for what employers offer.

What sort of opportunities do employees want? Take a look:

• 48% voted for external/off-site programs

• 46% voted for tuition reimbursement

• 44% wanted online training, and

• 42% would like in-house programs

And what opportunities are currently offered by employers? The rundown:

• In-house programs, 77%

• External/off-site, 74%

• Online, 70%

• Tuition reimbursement, 53%, and

• Other, 5%.s

Impact on engagement

Employee engagement is a huge concern for companies nowadays, the BetterBuys survey indicated that professional development could play a key role in boosting employee loyalty and commitment — survey participants who had access to such programs were 15% more engaged in their jobs than workers without similar opportunities.

Impact on retention

The survey found there is a 34% higher retention rate comparing those with development opportunities compared to those without. Plus, fully three-quarters (75%) of employees with opportunities said they were likely to stay with their employers for another five years — only 56% of workers without opportunities said the same.

Bottom line

Here’s part of what the BetterBuy researchers said after weighing the results of the study:

We found that employers who offer their employees professional development opportunities experience higher retention and engagement. Especially when engagement is low, retention is positively affected by having these opportunities to reduce turnover. Reasonably, the cost of offering new perks and benefits must be viewed with a return on the investment, and the return on these opportunities is through engagement and retention.

It is clear that offering your employers room to grow their role in your organization will go a long way toward building employee engagement and help you hang on to your best people.

http://www.hrmorning.com/professional-development-positively-effects-engagement-and-retention-study-says/

3 Keys to Being a Good Boss It is About Presence, Praise & Promise

Todays post is inspired by this one on small gestures made by good bosses, especially those at the most senior level.

It is also inspired by a sneak-peek I got at the results of our latest Workforce Mood Tracker survey (report to be released soon, stay tuned), which showed employees would rather have a better boss than more money in their paycheck.

That caused me to think about the characteristics of a better boss. While there are many, these three seem to rise to the top continually:

1-Presence You not only manage by walking around , you show up to meetings on time to signal that you value the work your employees are doing. When you are meeting with an employee, you shut off or totally ignore your email, IM, texts and any other interruptions to give your full attention to the employee. If employees need your support to push a key decision forward, you lend your visible presence and direct support.

2-Praise You make it a point to give your employees the frequent, timely and specific feedback they need to stay on track and move their projects forward appropriately. You recognize and appreciate them and their efforts that are especially in line with the companys core values and strategic objectives. Because you are diligent about catching employees doing something good, you also help employees receive constructive feedback more readily as they know the feedback is intended to help them advance.

3-Promise You help your employees see the future they have with the organization and in their career. You do not make undue or unwarranted promises of course, but you are committed to helping your team members grow and develop and they know it. You seek out training and development opportunities for them and encourage them to go. You give them realistic stretch goals to help them develop skills.

These three skills are foundational to earning the good boss title and all the perks that come with it (committed employees who happily go the extra distance). But there are many more.

What other signs of a good boss are important to you or do you strive to demonstrate?

You can find more from Derek Irvine on his Recognize This! blog.

Derek Irvine is Vice President, Client Strategy & Consulting Service at Globoforce, a global provider of strategic employee recognition and reward programs. In his role as a thought leader for employee recognition at Globoforce, Derek helps clients set a higher ambition for global, strategic employee recognition, leading consultative workshops and strategy setting meetings with such organizations as Avnet, Celestica, Dow Chemical, Intuit, KPMG, Logica, P&G, Symantec, and Thompson Reuters.

http://www.tlnt.com/2012/10/31/3-signs-that-youre-a-good-boss-its-presence-praise-promise

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