7 Replies Latest reply on Jul 15, 2011 5:39 AM by janalaura

    What is 'Employee Engagement' ?

    trishaliu

      Howdy all -

       

      How do you define 'employee engagement' ? We know that increased/improved employee engagement is a good thing because it helps with individual satisfaction, affinity with the company, and (hopefully) increased productivity. But what does it look like?

       

      To me, it looks like:

      • individuals are more connected with each other - more touchpoints, conversations, knowledge of other individuals and teams
      • individuals feel more connected to the company - more cohesiveness, rather than fractures by department, region, product line, etc.
      • mindset or culture of openness - it is safe to share my work and OK to ask questions publicly, not knowing who might see it and respond with assistance

       

      (I have more thoughts on this, but I'm on a deadline )

       

      I am advising a new team that is considering Jive to improve employee engagement. How do I help them make the leap from 'we know engagement is good' to 'here are the specific activities that we want to focus on to support engagement' ? My inclination is to jump very quickly into 'what activities are people doing now that don't work so well, and how can we make those better?' But in guiding folks that are new using social tools in the workplace, I think there may be an intermediate explanatory step that I missing between 'engagement is good' and 'focus on activities'.

       

      Thoughts?

       

      Thanks!

       

      Trisha

        • Re: What is 'Employee Engagement' ?
          Mlavoie

          Maybe some quick stories about how engagement helped people to solve business issues. I find storytelling a great way to illustrate key advantages of social engagement.

           

          Also, I'd describe engagement activities that might range from 'likes' to external blogging.  People outside the SoMe community don't really understand engagement, and are always looking for a practical application and 'proof'.

          • Re: What is 'Employee Engagement' ?
            saramiller

            I was a recently speaking at an internal comms conference in Chicago, and a SVP with Edelman touched on this topic. It's a difficult one to answer because each company - and perhaps each department at that company - will and can define "engagement" differently. At Sprint, our internal comms group defines it as a behavior of "advocacy." To us, true engagement is when an employee tells the Sprint story and are advocates for us outside the company. So our goal in internal comms is then to equip them with the right information fast enough to be able to be our advocates. That mission drives everything we do in our group.

              • Re: What is 'Employee Engagement' ?
                wengla02

                The difficulty I’m having is empowering employees to talk amongst themselves and across ‘swim lanes’ or ‘silos’.  It’s a really new paradigm.  I think we’ll have long term success and breed some engaged communicators that can then be empowered to share the Sprint story externally.    Had a meeting with some early adopters yesterday and was greeted with the ‘deer in the headlights’ look – you want me to share?  With other people?  ☺  We got over that though and they are getting the idea about using social business software…

                 

                First steps first though – get them talking on the Internal community!

                 

                Will

              • Re: What is 'Employee Engagement' ?
                sarlesli

                Hi Trisha,

                 

                I think employee engagement can definitely mean many different things. Now in terms of using Jive to help employee engagement I think its a wonderful opportunity. An employee community space can be used to communicate information, train, increase collaboration etc. You can also use the space to familiarize employees with social networking benefits. Some areas that come to mind for me are:

                 

                • Creating a space that is easy to navigate, friendly and clear user pathways
                • Communicating that its OK culturally to contribute (many employees are afraid of being too active and getting into trouble)
                • There are cool programs to help engage them such as Employee of the month, Post of the week, Newbies area... the list is limitless

                 

                Think about what resources, tools the employees are currently using and if this would replace or suppliment them and how the user experience will work. So ie: Intranet site, Sharpoint etc.

                 

                I hope this helps- and this sounds like a very fun thing for you to be working on.

                  • Re: What is 'Employee Engagement' ?

                    Hi,

                    For me, with an internal community, I define it as activity.  While reading something or even telling someone offline about something you read could be defined as engagement, it is easier to measure and explain that people who are engaged are active.

                    Mike

                      • Re: What is 'Employee Engagement' ?
                        trishaliu

                        Great responses - thank you everyone! I think the specific mindset that I am feeling challenged by is 'Let's give employees Facebook for the business - that should help them feel happier/more engaged, right?' The approach that I would like to take is to focus on activities and business value. Your input has helped validate that I'm on the right track.

                         

                        @saramiller - thanks for sharing the aspect of advocacy, giving employees infomation and tools so that they can be company advocates out in the world. I hadn't thought of that one, and I think that will resonate with the team I'm working with.

                         

                        @sarlesli - Great suggestions on the employee recognition programs!

                         

                        Trisha