The Magic of Employee Engagement

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of Employee Engagement Issue: April 2018

Some would call it swagger, the French would call it joie de vivre – the energy or the essence of something great. In some companies the magic is obvious and the culture contagious. Companies that come to mind are usually in the tech space like Google, Facebook, Shopify and the millions of other tech start-ups out there. Since the Dotcom boom of the 90’s, companies have been trying to obtain high standards of employee satisfaction through: company perks, wellness incentives and even subsidized food plans to satisfy the foodies. Has any of these strategies really helped with employee engagement? How do organizations get their employees engaged and find their swagger?

Employee engagement is very much tied to the MAGIC of a company. To capture the magic, employees need to have: • Meaning • Autonomy • Growth • Impact • Connection

It’s transforming a culture of being transactional to being “ALL-IN”!





Impact growth


MEANING Meaning is much more than just job satisfaction. A person can like their job, be paid well and enjoy spending their time at the office. But without meaning, the honeymoon period dissipates. It needs to be more than just a mission statement to satisfy shareholders – it’s the ability to make an impact. If an employee sees a clear line between what they’re working on and how it impacts the world, for the positive, they’ll take pride and ownership of their job. Meaning is a natural motivator – it becomes one’s purpose. It gets you going and keeps you engaged!

Meaning is Lost Traditionally, companies have a closed-loop or siloed communications structure – lack of transparency. Especially in a conglomerate, individual business units generally have little to no visibility into other teams. This can lead to inefficiencies and redundancy. Quite often, communications are done through Power Point slides. Where the employees are “talked-at” versus a collaborative conversation – information ends up getting lost and knowledge is not retained.

Voicing Your Meaning Employee engagement software is a platform that gives employees a voice. It opens up the lines of communications through chats, messaging, feeds, etc. By giving your employees a voice, it breaks down the hierarchical barrier. Employees are given a chance to share ideas. Not just a 30 second, hand raising session, during a Town Hall Q&A. It provides a better employee experience, enabling them to collaborate with their teams and the organization. Just as social media has become a part of everyday communications (giving every person a moment in the spot light), businesses are embracing messaging as a viable communications platform.

SOCIAL FOR BUSINESS When social platforms first came out, many businesses banned the use of social media during working hours. As the market matured, businesses saw how effective and engaging a social platform could be. Take LinkedIn, a social business platform that connects businesses and people. Not just recruiters and job seekers. According to Neil Patel, a New York Times best selling author and a Top 100 Entrepreneur under 35 recognized by the United Nations, says that “LinkedIn messaging is three times more effective than email”. Is email dead? Not dead, but there is no denying that messaging/texting is much easier. By the time you type up an email, wait for a response, then take action…you can see how inefficient email can be, especially if you’re in a large organization. To drive productivity, businesses need an internal, LinkedIn platform to manage employee relationships effectively. Many enterprise Employee Relationship Management (ERM) systems have been built on HR/Payroll or CRM platforms. These solutions can take many years to roll out and they can be cost prohibitive. With today’s new technology stacks, best-of-breed, employee engagement tools are much more accessible and easy to roll out.

AUTONOMY When people think of autonomy, they think of anarchy, like in Lord of the Flies. In this case, it’s about empowerment – giving employees the ability to do their jobs effectively. You’re providing them with options and the ability to speak up. Which otherwise may not happen.

Everyone communicates differently. Type A’s may want to take centre stage and command a room, while Type B’s may be more comfortable with raising their hand in a digital forum or with through non-verbal queues. An employee engagement tool bridges the demographic gap within an organization: Millennial who were raised in the digital era, to new comers to the country and those entering into their golden years.

Productivity and Absenteeism Employees that are engaged are more productive and take less sick days or days away from the office. According to Gallup, in their 2017 Research, employees are 17% more productive and they use 41% less sick days than those who are disengaged. Disengaged employees don’t just affect their own productivity but it negatively affects others around them.

Onboarding How do you expect someone to perform well if they don’t know what to do or what direction to take? It’s always difficult for Managers especially when they’re growing a team. How do they keep themselves performing at their peak while mentoring those who just joined?

Often times, training is done through the firehose. New hires get blasted with presentations, videos and everything else, with hopes that the information is relevant enough to get them up and running. It ends up being a sink or swim culture. If they sink, you never end up recouping your recruitment costs. Moreover, you might of just lost a person with huge potential because they weren’t given the right tools to make them successful.

Artificial Intelligence Training An artificial intelligence (AI) driven knowledge hub will address all forms of training from new hires to continuous improvement. It doesn’t mean that you’re implanting a chip in your employees head! If anything, you’re proving them with an AI knowledge hub that will grow with them. Through the use of a chatbot interface, it’ll assess where their skill set is at. Once it determines a benchmark, it can adjust the learning materials through: self guiding training documents, videos, tests, podcasts, etc. For businesses who have staff in the field or need a simulated training environment, you can use Augmented Reality (AR) to facilitate those employees. AR will help give them real world training and lower the risks involved when they are live in the field. For instance, a Fire Fighter is a rewarding and high risk job. With AR, you can simulate different emergency scenarios and it’ll show you’re new hires, how to problem solve on the spot – without the risk of injury.

GROWTH Stagnation kills growth! Day in, day out, doing the same thing… that can kill a person’s spirt and a company’s employee retention rates.

Based on Gallup’s, 2017 research, 51% of employees are always looking for new work opportunities – drivers include, “quitting their bosses” to receiving higher compensation, right down to not answering their true calling. Finding one’s true calling is both a spiritual and professional journey. Often people aren’t able to bridge those two. To be fulfilled or to find work/life balance, one needs to grow professionally and personally.

Being limited because of your current skill set can be deflating. Organizations are starting to look beyond just credentials and work history, but someone’s potential.

By offering your employees growth opportunities, means you as an organization is invested. You’re banking on their full range of skills – the ones they have today and the ones they’ll acquire.

Gamification Who doesn’t like being rewarded? A reward system is nothing new – but, being rewarded instantly is.

Instant gratification is what drives social media users. Getting a thumbs up, a heart, etc, stimulates the frontal cortex of the brain releasing dopamine or happy hormones. Gamification has the same outcomes. Through badges and recognition, employee engagement starts to sky rocket.

It can foster healthy competition and help with knowledge retention. Gamification is a business transformation tool – connecting employee actions to business outcomes. It’s tangible, measurable and fun!

IMPACT In today’s digitally, connected world, most employees work more than 40 hours a week – logging in after working hours, connecting at work functions, conference calls and the list goes on. In many ways, where a person works and what they do becomes part of their DNA fabric. It becomes more than a job. It’s a part of who they are. Employees that recognize their true impact on an organization ends up becoming your brand ambassadors.

Continuous Improvement If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve upon it. With an employee engagement tool, you can see exactly where your employees are being engaged and where they’re dropping off. You will have full visibility into what drives them. You’ll have insights into the courses they’re enrolled in, the events they’ve signed up for and the content they’re engaging with on your platform. You’ll be honed in on the sentiment of your employees, individually and as a whole.

CONNECTION Many friendships are built at the workplace. When you spend just as much time in the trenches with your colleagues as with your family, its hard not to build connections.

In a global economy, many teams work across different time zones and continents. A platform that can enable face-to-face contact, not just virtually, is key to fostering relationships.

In Facebook, it keeps you up to date on current events. You have visibility into the events your friends are attending and it provides an opportunity to connect with your friends, in person.

A social, corporate event calendar helps employees stay connected with other colleagues. It’ll give you chance to connect with your colleagues in person and share in knowledge transfer and experiences.

COST OF DISENGAGEMENT Businesses CAN’T afford to have disengaged employees! According to Gallup, a disengaged employee costs a company 34% of their total annual salary. On aggregate 17.2% of a workforce is disengaged. Calculation:

An Employee Relationship Management (ERM) isn’t going to be able to address your entire 17.2% workforce. But if it could address just 2% of it. Is it worth it investing in the tool? You bet! An employee engagement tool is more than just a piece of software. It’s a transformational tool that brings out the MAGIC in every person. By fostering a work environment that encourages growth, meaning and empowerment, it’ll drive growth. It’ll make retaining and recruiting top talent much easier – with magic, you don’t need the extra perks. Employees will see value in the culture!

Transition from being a company focused on employee satisfaction to a company that cares about employee experiences. Ready to take the leap?

TheAppLabb is a product innovation and development firm. Our goal is to improve human experiences through intelligent and immersive technologies – driving business results for our clients. Over 11 years of experience with 360+ global clients and over 500+ apps built, we offer strategic consulting, UX and UI design, custom software development and out-of-the-box industry solutions for multiple vertical markets. Let’s create some magic. Together we’ll turn your ideas into reality. URL: Email: PH: (416) 745 - 3164 PH: (464) 688 - 2786

Version: April 2018 - TheAppLabb ©


Neil Patel - Social Media Cold Outreach: How To Send a LinkedIn Message to Anyone on LinkedIn

Harvard Business Review- Why People Really Quit Their Jobs

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai - Brain Reward Pathways

Gartner - Gartner Reveals Top Predictions for IT Organizations and Users for 2013 and Beyond

Paul Petrone - How to Calculate the Cost of Employee Disengagement

Human Resource Today - Employee Satisfaction vs. Employee Engagement in 2018

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Brooke Cagle - Unsplash - Charlie Hammond - Unsplash - Michael Heuser- Unsplash - Hermes Rivera - Unsplash - Izuddin Helmi Adnan - Unsplash - Bekir Dönmez - Unsplash - Bence Boros - Unsplash - Leo Manjarrez - Unsplash - A# U# - Unsplash - Jason Leung - Unsplash - Erlend Ekseth - Unsplash - Curtis MacNewton - Unsplash - Phil Coffman - Unsplash - PH: (416) 745 - 3164

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