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Using Voting to Increase Employee Engagement

Posted by Morgan Wright

Jul 17, 2023 10:34:00 AM

This blog highlights a financial services organization that uses KaiNexus in its insurance division to support its continuous improvement efforts by encouraging employees to submit opportunities for improvement. However, the organization faced a hurdle when they observed declining engagement numbers. To address this challenge, they re-strategized and revamped a process in KaiNexus. Here’s how they successfully re-engaged their employees in improvement work:

KaiNexus Beginnings 

When the previous way to accomplish their CI work stopped being effective, this organization knew it was time to explore their options. An Executive at this organization championed the idea of bringing on KaiNexus to help them manage their continuous improvement work after working with KaiNexus in a previous organization. Executive support is one of the most critical determinants of whether you have a successful improvement culture.

What is Voting?

After a bit of time using KaiNexus, their engagement numbers started to dwindle, and they knew they had to make some changes to get people re-engaged in KaiNexus. Over the past six months, this organization has been on a journey to encourage their employees back into improvement work.

One way they went about this was to revamp their voting process in KaiNexus. If you aren't familiar with the voting feature in KaiNexus, the Voting Feature allows you to engage your people in improvement work across your organization by voting on particular ideas. If voting is enabled on one of your Items, you (and the rest of its Team) can vote on Items nested under it — its "children" — to show your support for them.

Using Voting to Re-Engage an Organization

Previously, the CI Team had voting on Items open throughout the entire month. But no one seemed to be voting on Items, and they determined they needed change this process in order to boost the lagging participation within the system. They decided to limit the voting period to one week per month, instead of having the voting period open the entire month. Additionally, they began sending out an email at the beginning of the determined voting week to let the Users know the voting period had begun. 

But voting was not strictly for frontline users - even executives vote on ideas each month! Not only is having buy-in from executives influential in an improvement culture, but executive engagement in KaiNexus goes a long way in modeling positive behaviors to the rest of the organization.

Additionally, they added incentives to encourage people further to vote each month. At the end of the voting period, the person whose idea gets the most votes, along with a random draw of everyone who voted and whoever is selected from there, will get their choice of a gift card or 1 hour of PTO. The Champion at this organization believes providing incentives is a key part of the engagement process. People are busy with their typical responsibilities in their daily work, and adding a new task into daily work can be challenging. Providing a reward or incentive is an important part of establishing a new habit, such as doing work in KaiNexus. 

But they didn't stop there. This organization has continued to tweak its process to increase engagement further. For example, the Champion worked with their marketing department to improve the design of the email sent out before the voting period opening. They worked on ways to make the email more readable and less overwhelming. Now, the email is brief and includes bullet points about who won the most votes and the random draw of the month. Additionally, they recently included a link to the item directly in the email to reduce the barrier to getting into the system. (If you don't have a marketing department available to help you with this - set some time with Morgan Wright, KaiNexus Customer Marketing Manager.) 

Another way they encourage engagement and keep KaiNexus top-of-mind is by emailing out quarterly updates about the work going on in KaiNexus. These quarterly update emails include what ideas were implemented, the impact of these ideas, and highlighting the people who submitted these ideas. This quarterly update gives users consistent visibility of the impact of their work, and inspires them to see the work of their peers as well.  

After just a few months, they started to see their engagement numbers increase!

"The ideas that get the most votes typically have additional engagement, too, such as comments and additional 'followers' on the Item. Engaging in this way isn't required on ideas, but as people vote on ideas and get exposed to more ideas in the system – the more engagement there is naturally." – CI Lead, Financial Services Organization

Voting is one way to help engage your employees in your system. Continuing to drive engagement in KaiNexus will further increase idea generation, collaboration, transparency, and empowerment. These factors contribute to the success of continuous improvement initiatives and will help your organization create and sustain a culture of innovation. If you need assistance utilizing voting in your instance, contact your Customer Success Manager.

Topics: Employee Engagement, Employee Recognition, Customer Testimonials

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