Blog | Employee Incentive Information | Performance Management | Divvy

Employee dis-engagement is robbing your bank! Protect your assets!

If you are a business owner or in senior management, you are acutely aware of the negative factors that seem out of your control. Factors undermining your business growth and profitability. Higher taxes, rising costs, competition, regulation, employee dis-engagement and unforeseen market changes.  These things can raise your blood pressure and even threaten your business survival.
However, the good news is you can get control of one very vital asset by focusing on employee engagement.

Topics: retaining your valued employees Employee Engagement Employee Retention wellness programs incentive and reward solutions points-based recognition program

How to create an engagement program employees will love

Getting caught up in the mire of research and opinions about whether or not rewards work can drive one to drink—or something stronger! It’s especially true if you have a large workforce and are getting pressure from the top to produce results. What kind of behavior changes are you looking to achieve in your workplace? What measurements are you using that confirm certain behaviors are improving?

We know what doesn’t work. Compliance is not engagement. Fear isn’t respect. Intimidation creates costly turnover. Cooperation isn’t always collaboration. Throwing only cash or rewards at your workforce will produce only temporary changes in attitude and behavior.

The Pavlov approach to changing employee behavior gets a one-time response at best. Once the reward runs out, your employees will often revert to their old ways. Losing weight, showing up on time, quitting smoking, practicing safety, contributing ideas, saving money, or improving sales are all goals that need more than a pat on the back or a new TV. You can spend a lot of money—only to get a temporary result.

So do rewards work?

The answer will depend on how your programs are designed and implemented. What you want is the best use of your organization’s resources for long-term positive and productive performance. Here’s a hint—sincere and deserved recognition is the foundation.   

Topics: retaining your valued employees Communication Employee Engagement Safety Employee Retention Employee Recognition Sales Performance Peer to peer recognition tangible reward Attendance Employee Incentive Programs

More success stories from the employee engagement archives

It’s not difficult to make the case that the ongoing financial mess on Wall Street and TARP payments to some of the country’s biggest banks have victimized smaller firms. One victim is the investment management industry. A big challenge becomes being able to assure clients they can continue to trust them with their money.

As we have emphasized in previous blogs, having a workplace that engenders a culture of respect, engagement, trust, and fairness will aid in empowering your organization to keep clients. And how do you do that?

By inspiring your most valuable asset—your employees. When individual employees feel a part of the whole, they will invest more of their efforts on your customer’s behalf. And your customers will respond positively. Often a customer’s only perception of your business comes from their interaction with your employees. That presents a wonderful opportunity for you to become remembered as the deliverer of a great brand experience. The perception of being a caring organization will resonate well within the marketplace.

The employee factor is a powerful asset you already have that can offset market conditions. So ask yourself—what is your client’s perception of your company? Is their interaction with your organization conducive to them staying? Is your customer’s recollection of their entire experience with you, at all touch points, a good one? Is your organization still cautious about implementing an employee recognition and rewards program? Do these programs really work? Here are some success stories guaranteed to reassure you of the value of employee interaction.

Companies that have embraced the power of engagement

Topics: Communication Employee Engagement Employee Retention Employee Recognition Peer to peer recognition Performance performance improvement solutions

What is a happy employee? What is an engaged employee?

Companies today want to attract and retain the best quality talent. Some of these same organizations believe the best way to do this is to offer the most enticing perks one can imagine— sauna rooms, nap areas, free lunch, paid days off, afternoon bowling, and the list goes on.

Much confusion remains among employers as to the differences between a happy worker and an engaged worker. Of course, anyone would be happy with a free lunch but the point here is that being engaged must come before being happy. They are not necessarily exclusive. They just need to be put in the right order. Your highest ideal, as an employer, is the development of a productive, creative, loyal, and passionate workforce. That will happen when you have engaged your people. The results will also affect your customer base because your engaged employees will take better care of them. Your customers, in turn, will tend to stick with you.

If you are a forward looking brand, you will have to contend with the economic uncertainty out there among consumers. No one has to tell you, the customer is always right even when they’re not. Although the level of consumer skepticism is high, this can work to your advantage if your employees are inspired to provide great customer service and experience. For example, an employee may be happy at work but not necessarily investing their energy on behalf of your organization.

When surveyed, some employees might even claim to be happy and satisfied with their job but will not hesitate to jump ship when another “opportunity” comes along. By coming to a better understanding of what it means to be happy, satisfied, and engaged, you can take intelligent steps to improve your overall workforce retention and performance.

Topics: incentive programs Rewards Communication Employee Engagement Employee Retention Employee Recognition Results engaged employee

Workplace conflict—where to find the silver lining

There are many reasons why conflicts occur in the workplace. Even the most enlightened among us might actually be the source of some of it. How do we start off our day? What outside influences do we allow to get into our psyche? We can, inadvertently, bring our morning edginess into the office along with our low tolerance for disagreement or opposition.

I remember one cold, rainy autumn morning last year—I hadn’t slept great the night before. The town had decided it would start a construction project outside my window at 6 am. Facing me at the office was a mountain of paper work that had to get done and a big meeting with a new client who promised to bring tons of demands. OK, client demands come with the territory. But then my electricity went out in the middle of a shower and my office manager called to let me know her daughter was very sick and she would be out for the rest of the week. My clock alarm wouldn’t shut up. By this time, I had amassed a nice headache. I was ready for a conflict—not good for anyone. (By the way, I don’t recommend checking emails first thing in the morning either. Spam will annoy you, urgent messages will stress you, and being reminded of something you didn’t finish yet will give you guilt.) In the end, everything worked out OK that day and I didn’t have to take an aspirin. Thank God for counting to ten and taking a deep breath! But a bad day is a common reality that we all have to deal with at some time—but how we choose to allow it to affect our work also affects everyone around us.

When conflict happens, morale gets lowered and absenteeism goes up—undermining your creativity and productivity. But all conflict is not destructive. Sometimes it can be a sign of commitment to a cause or a passion about something positive. There can be a silver lining around every conflict when we understand what it is and how to turn it around.

Topics: employees Workplace conflict Communication Loyalty Employee Retention Employee Recognition Recognition

Why listening to employee ideas will boost growth and profits.

San Mateo Times September 15th 1955 page 2:  "Ray A. Hammerstrom, a roller at the Pittsburgh factory of the Jones and Laughlin Steel Corporation, had an idea worth 15,000 dollars. Events leading up to his happy dream began in the summer of 1953 when a new 10-inch bar mill was installed at the works. The switch that controlled the delivery of the straight bars to the cooling bed were not functioning. Company engineers couldn't find a solution. Hammerstrom made some rough sketches for a new design with no success. That was until one afternoon when he took a cat nap. His visionary catnap revealed the solution and won him a check for 15,000 dollars, the largest award the firm ever made to an employee for an idea."

Fact is, whatever amount Jones and Laughlin paid out to Hammerstrom, the return they received for his idea was infinitely higher. Jones and Laughlin knew they would be paid back in spades. But, in spite of the huge benefits implementing employee ideas, few organizations invite their input. History is replete with examples where new products, innovations and ways to improve the organization began with an employee idea.

Consider why it makes big time sense to encourage and reward employee ideas. How can it improve workforce engagement and product innovation? Why is listening to employee ideas a smart management practice?

Bringing in the collective wisdom for the greater good is wise because it promises to produce great ideas and increased benefits for your entire organization.

Here are some examples and what you can do to boost your profits with employee ideas.

Topics: Communication Employee Engagement Employee Retention Employee Recognition Sales Performance Performance Taico Incentive Services Retention

Discovering and capitalizing on employee engagement's golden key.

We've all heard the saying, "its simple but not necessarily easy." The "golden key" that instantly  engages and motivates your employees is very simple and even easy to implement.  Unfortunately, at the same time, changing the negative attitudes some managers have toward their employees is neither a simple nor easy task. For them, there's no point or worth in putting forth the effort to engage or motivate anyone. Their behavior is habitual. Successful employee engagment resides in looking at how your employees experience their workplace. Are employees experiencing advancement toward their work goals? Are they encouraged toward steady work improvement in an atmosphere that supports safety, dignity and purpose?  This is the golden key.
Can you answer the following questions in the affirmative?
Are you recognizing your employees' small wins? Does your workplace provide a safe haven to present new ideas and take risks? Do your employees feel that their dignity is being protected and their voices heard? Do you recognize and reward real progress?
Understanding how to use this golden key will reduce employee turnover and boost your overall employee performance. Here are some pointers.

Topics: Communication Employee Engagement Loyalty Programs Employee Retention Taico Incentive Services performance improvement solutions Rewards and Recognition

Why employees join you in the first place!

"I have yet to understand the dynamic here. We followed best interview practices and went forward to hire a wonderful team of talented, enthusiastic software developers. We provided them with a flexible work environment and top pay. After 3 months, half of them decided to jump ship and go with a competitor. Finding quality technicians is not so easy. These kinds of experiences dumbfound me and threaten my client base."
Not an uncommon storyline for employers today. Of course I could easily pontificate and play sideline pundit. I could tell this employer the reason much of his tech team left him was because he did not adequately engage and motivate them. Maybe so, maybe not. Fact is that incenti-vizing your workforce is not a cut and dry process. There are no magic bullets or cookie cutter solutions or that perfect gift award that will guarantee you loyalty. You can, however strengthen your level of employee loyalty, performance and community by understanding an often overlooked truth.
The reasons why talent joins you in the first place?  Here are some answers.

I have always emphasized to clients how vital it is to ask good questions during the interview process to determine the quality of your hire. For certain there is much you can learn from a candidate. Will they be right for your organization?

Topics: retaining your valued employees Service Awards Communication Incentives Loyalty Employee Engagement Loyalty Programs Safety Employee Retention Sales Incentives

Human Resources. Where to find the stones and walk on water!

Job Title: VP Human Resources.
Job Function: recruiting, labor relations, compensation, benefits, payroll, computer skills, organizational development, support sales and safety departments, tons of paperwork, create regular reports, Spanish a plus, oversee communications, boost loyalty while retaining employees, manage multiple tasks in spite of frequent interruptions, solve every problem, ability to walk on water.
OK, so I added the "walk on water" part. That's what we hear sometimes from HR executives we work with. It often feels like this. When you know where the stones are, you can easily follow them underfoot to safe harbor. As one ex-military friend Bill M. told me, "If you're infantry you're the unit's direct value component, everyone else is support." In the manufacturing environment, you are of direct value to the company being on the plant floor building a product or selling it to customers. Otherwise you're just part of the support team. In hospitals and medical organizations if you are the nurse or physician, you are directly caring and healing patients. Your work has direct value. The remaining personnel are considered a supportive role. The point is that in every organization there are individuals who's activities add direct value and those who provide a supportive function.  In the past, HR's role was more a supportive one. Today you are being asked to do more and be of direct value in ways that impact profits and performance. For example, one of HR's biggest challenges is retaining great employees and improving loyalty.  More than ever, of direct value to an organization's financial health. Here are some important ways to engage, retain and encourage loyality from employees.

Topics: incentive technology Communication Employee Engagement Loyalty Programs Employee Retention Sales Performance points-based recognition program

Why employees bail out. What you need to know about retention!

When a valued employee jumps your ship it can have disruptive consequences for your organization's direction and the moral of your workforce. Depending on the role of the employee, the difficulty of replacing them and the costs of retraining can be large.
Often the question from the top is: Why are my employees leaving?
Much has been written about this topic. Many employers still hold to the illusion that with unemployment figures so high, employees will stay on no matter what. If you have your finger on the pulse you know, employee turnover can be costly, time consuming and almost brutal. Almost a quarter of your employees will quit this year. You can greatly curtail employee turnover by understanding a few things now. If you want to improve retention and protect your most valuable asset, your workforce, here are some things you should take stock of immediately.

Topics: employee incentive program Communication Loyalty Loyalty Programs Employee Retention