Organizations can expect a more engaged workforce when they understand what motivates employees both personally and professionally—from community outreach opportunities to career development initiatives.
At the 17th annual HR Star Conference in Atlanta, a panel of senior-level Human Resources experts discussed best practices to grow employee engagement. While the concept has been around since 1990, the effort remains a priority for employers, impacting everything from hiring to retention, productivity, and profitability.
To create a service mindset within a company’s cultural DNA, it is important to acknowledge employees who are engaged and build on that behavior. The first step begins with listening and awareness. “We regularly host employee roundtable discussions and town hall-style meetings in all our markets to help management stay in touch with what our teams feel are important,” said Hire Dynamics Chief People Officer, Sonya Buckley. “Once you have this feedback, you can’t just sit on it and do nothing.”
Let them know that they have been heard. Treating colleagues with respect and compassion, as well as being passionate and aligned with the organization’s shared values, naturally leads employees to deliver excellent customer service and focus on the importance of client relationships. This people-first mindset guides expectations across all areas of the business. Lisa Sullivan, Senior HR Business Partner at iVision, spoke to the idea of “white glove service,” treating one another the way they have committed to serving their clients.
Working together for specific causes near and dear to the hearts of employees is another way to positively influence and strengthen internal culture. At the beginning of this year, iVision joined Pledge 1% by promising to donate one percent of the company’s profit to charitable causes. The program also allows employees to volunteer 20 work hours for community service initiatives each year.
Internal recognition initiatives boost morale, decrease absenteeism, and impact productivity. Strategic messaging and communications can be amplified through internal email marketing that recognizes excellent work across the organization or slide presentations that feature outstanding employee results on closed-circuit TV or a company intranet.
Invest in learning and career development
Iman DeBerry, Senior HR manager at Dollar General, shared how her company supports employee engagement outside the workplace. Through its Digital Support System program, Dollar General offers thousands of educational resources, encouraging employees to subscribe to podcasts and e-books that they can listen to on their commute. Dollar General even created a mobile app for the program to increase employee adoption.
What can employers do inside the workplace, during work hours, to foster a culture that encourages learning and ultimately engagement? According to Jennifer Kilgore, HR Manager at Convergent Outsourcing Inc., setting this kind of stage can be particularly challenging within an environment such as a contact center. Agents are already occupied by talking on the phone or helping customers through online chats. The company designed a solution that could accommodate busy operators through a self-paced Learning Management System that employees access through the company’s internal network. This system not only helps contact center agents manage their own Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), it has also empowered them to take ownership of their own career development.
Build culture by making the right hires
Companies make the right hires once they acknowledge that cultural fit trumps technical skills. “It’s about the company as a whole,” said DeBerry who advised against hiring turnover. “Culture is important to why people leave.” Hiring people who fit cultural requirements in addition to technical qualifications can enable an organization to preserve its values while avoiding the costly impacts of turnover.
Building an environment that supports employee engagement as a key initiative is a commitment that must start at the top. This relational capital is the differentiator between filling a position and making a lasting hire that will positively impact a company’s bottom line.
To read more about creating company culture to attract quality talent, click here.
iVision is an Atlanta-based, privately held technology integration and management firm. We engineer success for clients through objective recommendations, technology and process expertise and best-of-breed guidance. Our infrastructure and application solutions are organized into Business Services, Technology Services, and Operations & Support. At iVision, we work with clients to architect, transform and support their technology — enabling them to realize their vision of a better tomorrow. Learn more about our company at ivision.com.
About Convergent Outsourcing, Inc.
Convergent Outsourcing has been operating in the United States since 1998 and opened its first International contact center in 2014 in Guatemala City, Guatemala. Since then, Convergent has continued to grow in the US and Latin America; the Philippines will now contribute to continued expansion. Convergent’s World-class omni-channel contact center operations deploy specialists managing customer engagement transactions, spanning the entire life cycle of the customer. Their services include customer acquisition, sales, technical support and revenue management transactions. Convergent works to empower its clients with an innovative combination of an adaptable workflow engine, technology-enabled operations, next-generation analytics and professional services to deliver superior financial performance and high levels of client and consumer satisfaction.
About Dollar General Corporation
Dollar General Corporation has been delivering value to shoppers for over 75 years. Dollar General helps shoppers Save time. Save money. Every day!® by offering products that are frequently used and replenished, such as food, snacks, health and beauty aids, cleaning supplies, basic apparel, housewares and seasonal items at everyday low prices in convenient neighborhood locations. Dollar General operated 15,015 stores in 44 states as of August 3, 2018. In addition to high-quality private brands, Dollar General sells products from America’s most-trusted manufacturers such as Clorox, Energizer, Procter & Gamble, Hanes, Coca-Cola, Mars, Unilever, Nestle, Kimberly-Clark, Kellogg’s, General Mills, and PepsiCo. Learn more about Dollar General at www.dollargeneral.com.