<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=749646578535459&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

Insights

Everything Continuous Improvement

Subscribe

How to Engage Employees During the Pandemic

Posted by Clint Corley

Jul 6, 2020 11:23:39 AM

Right now, every business leader in America is doing something they’ve never done before—managing employees through a pandemic. COVID-19 has changed so much about how we live and work that you should not be hard on yourself if you are struggling to support your organization’s culture and to keep your employees engaged.

Employee engagement is essential for success, especially in this disrupted environment. Organizations with high employee engagement are 21% more profitable. They experience less turnover and absenteeism, and each worker is more productive. But how can you support engagement when remote work and physical distancing are required whenever possible?

Here are a few things to consider:

Read More

Topics: Employee Engagement, Improvement Culture

Tips on Generating More (and Better) Ideas from Employees

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Nov 26, 2019 9:43:00 AM

The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas.” – Linus Pauling

If your organization is like most, there are people walking around the building right now who know how to solve your most vexing problems, reduce waste, and increase customer satisfaction. These people aren’t in the board room. They are the front-line workers who are closest to your products, processes, and customers. This reality frustrates many managers and executives. “Why don’t they just speak up?” is a common refrain.

The truth is that toxic work cultures have trained most people that their ideas are not welcome. Sometimes feedback generates backlash and condemnation. (Aren’t you a team player?) Other times employee suggestions are simply ignored. Over time, people just keep their ideas to themselves.

It’s sad but absolutely reversible.

Here are a few ways you can change the environment to one in which people are happy to speak their minds. By doing so, you’ll increase your organization’s chances of finding the ideas that significantly impact your key business metrics.

Communicate the Short and Long-Term Strategy

You’ll get better ideas from people when they understand the primary goals and objectives of the organization. This doesn’t mean putting an annual plan in people’s inbox and hoping for the best. It means cascading the strategic goals down through the organization so that people understand how their work fits into the bigger picture. Bonus points if individual workers have a chance to participate in the crafting of the goals that relate to them.

Free Webinar: Putting Strategy Back in Strategy Deployment

Take the Sting Out of Failure

One reason that people are reluctant to share their ideas is that they might end up duds. Not every suggestion works out after all, so why take the risk? Smart leaders work to overcome this mindset by establishing a culture of experimentation. When you make it OK to try something that doesn’t work, you allow people to “fail forward” and learn from each trial balloon.

Commit to an SLA

In software, an SLA (Service Level Agreement) is a contract between the customer and the vendor that establishes how, and how quickly, support will be provided. Why not set up an SLA for employee ideas? Establish a standard amount of time for managers to evaluate new ideas and provide feedback. Doing this is difficult without a technology platform for managing employee improvements, so consider putting one with notifications and alerts in place to support your SLA.

Make it Easy

We mentioned how technology could help managers meet the “idea SLA”; it can also make it frictionless for employees to submit ideas. They shouldn’t have to go to a suggestion box hanging on the wall somewhere. They should be able to enter them in your improvement platform right from their desk or their favorite mobile device. We’ve even seen companies that have technology restricted areas, set up a kiosk for this purpose. The easier it is, the more ideas you will get.

Ask Questions in the Workspace

It isn’t unusual for people to be so adept at working around problems that they no longer realize they are working around problems. That’s why we love a Lean management technique called Gemba Walks. Leaders go to the workspace, show respect for employees, and ask questions. It’s an excellent opportunity to observe people overcoming flawed processes. For example, you might ask a data entry clerk why she had to enter the order in three different systems. He may explain that the systems are not integrated. He might not have ever thought of that as a problem; it’s just the way it is. This simple conversation has revealed a potential opportunity for improvement.

Free eBook: Guide to Successful Gemba Walks

Recognize People Engaged in Improvement

This seems simple, but we can’t tell you how many companies fail to appreciate the people who are contributing to positive change. This may be because managers assume a tangible reward must accompany such recognition, but that’s not the case at all. As Zig Zigler put it, “Research indicates that workers have three prime needs: Interesting work, recognition for doing a good job, and being let in on things that are going on in the company.”

It does take some work and investment to start up the employee idea machine, but the results can be amazing. Our clients who’ve done it have found significant cost savings; they’ve increased revenue, blown the lid off customer satisfaction scores, and improved employee retention. What will the great ideas of your employees do for your organization?

Read More

Topics: Employee Engagement

Does Your Organization Need Employee Engagement Software?

Posted by Jake Sussman

Nov 20, 2019 2:31:00 PM

Employee engagement has become a hot topic lately. There’s a good reason for that. According to Gallup, organizations with fully engaged employees are 17 percent more productive and 21 percent more profitable. That’s the good news. The bad news is that only 33% of US employees are engaged in their jobs. Leaders are starting to recognize that enormous opportunity for improvement and do something about it.

One solution that is gaining traction is employee engagement software. It is designed to get people involved in improving the processes they operate and align individual goals to the strategic objectives. When people develop a more profound sense of purpose and realize how their work fits into the bigger picture, they become more emotionally invested in outcomes and willing to engage in voluntary efforts that go beyond the tasks outlined in their job description.

Could such a solution benefit your organization? You might need employee engagement software if …

Read More

Topics: Employee Engagement, Software

The Employee Engagement Software Buyer's Guide

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Aug 21, 2019 1:00:06 PM

The most recent employee engagement research by Gallup resulted in a "good news-bad news" situation for employers. The good news is that employee engagement is trending up. The bad news is that it is still pretty abysmal. According to the research, 34% of U.S. employees were engaged, while 16.5% were "actively disengaged." The remaining 53% of workers are in the "not engaged" category. Gallup says these workers, "May be generally satisfied but are not cognitively and emotionally connected to their work and workplace; they will usually show up to work and do the minimum required but will quickly leave their company for a slightly better offer."

Yikes.

Read More

Topics: Employee Engagement, Software

Recent Posts