Nothing stops a great marketing plan in its tracks faster than a less-than-satisfactory customer experience, and one of the best ways to deliver consistently on the brand promise is to engage all employees in the company mission.
On Wednesday, November 7th, The Ad Club hosted its third event in the Under The Dome series. The event featured BI WORLDWIDE, centering on their research into the “10 New Rules of Employee Engagement”.
BI WORLDWIDE Vice President of Employee Engagement (and author of multiple books on the topic), Rodd Wagner presented BI WORLDWIDE’s latest research on the topic of employee engagement, including 10 make-or-break imperatives for attracting, retaining, and motivating employees in the coming decade. The presentation emphasized how each of these key rules affect a company's brand and consumer experience.
The first rule; get inside their heads. Wagner began by telling the audience of over 100 people to truly understand their employee; to get inside their heads. It’s not enough to say, “I know how tech people think,” or “he’s in accounting, we know how they think.” You need to treat each employee differently, and that starts with his or her manager. BI’s research demonstrates a direct correlation between employees who believe their manager understand them, and the level of effort an employee gives at work.
Rule number 2: make employees fearless. Fear may indeed be a motivator, but is it the best one? Wagner does not believe in fear as the great motivator, instead he sees it as the opposite. While it my increase productivity, fear of losing ones job does not make for a more engaged, effective employee. Instead, fear creates employees who are motivated only by employment, rather than a sense of pride for his or her company.
As Wagner progressed through the 10 rules, trends began to emerge and the ten rules began to weave together. Rule 3; make money a non-issue rule 4; give it meaning, and rule 6; keep them healthy all seemed to roll together into an easily digestible message: treat people well. All things [companies] being equal, and they rarely are, says Wagner, an employee will take the most financially lucrative opportunity. But by giving the work meaning and making it cool (rule number 7), employers can continue to attract top talent, assuming the pay is at least competitive.
People don’t enjoy making the most money for the least work, people enjoy being part of something, interacting with like-minded people, having a life, and taking it to the extremes (rule number 10). In short, happy employees empowered to take the lead (rule number 8) and do awesome things don’t need to make the most money in the industry; being a valued member of a team doing meaningful work is enough.
And when your employees do meaningful work, rule number 9 says be sure to magnify it! If you don’t recognize an effort, you can’t expect to see that effort repeated. Praise your employees when they do well, when they take it to extremes, and they will continue to do so.
A final rule Wagner discussed at the presentation was rule number 5, be boldly transparent. This is a rule that every company, regardless of size, industry, or location must pay attention to. In an age of social media, potential hires aren’t learning of your organizations culture through HR manager or new hire orientations; they are learning the true culture on websites like Glassdoor (a site Wagner considers to be quite credible) or by contacting employees in their extended LinkedIn networks. Be transparent. If your culture rocks, let it show! If it’s less than stellar, there is nowhere to hide anymore!
For more on BI WORLDWIDE’s 10 New Rules of Employee Engagement, see their site.