Chris DyerChris DyerMarch 20, 2019
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6min259

Happy employees who are engaged with their work try harder, so, how can we make work their happy place?

Think of it like gardening. Plants want water, fertiliser, and light, and it doesn’t hurt to play the equivalent of a little classical music. Positive, healthy surroundings and the sunshine of encouragement will help your company culture blossom.

1. Start with positive values

One way to avoid the drag of a negative mindset is to actively promote a positive one. Review your company values and operating policies looking for ways to make positive thoughts and acts the norm. If, for example, your mission is to provide great customer service, build on your strengths instead of making up for your shortcomings.

Suppose there’s an issue with a regular client getting the wrong merchandise one month. Instead of starting a team meeting by naming a culprit, begin by determining what is going well. Maybe that client has been with you for five years and recently upgraded their account. Ask the team how you can capitalise on that while solving the problem.

Someone might approach the client to thank them for their loyalty and let them know a revised order is on the way, promising a discount on the next one. The client can be reminded that the upgraded merchandise will better serve their purpose and drive their business, and they can be assured that the cause has been addressed so they won’t be inconvenienced again. 

2. Open communication avenues

When the cause and those responsible for screwing up the order are detected, you’ll have a valuable training moment for everyone on the team to observe. Make it a celebration, not an intervention.

A closed-door meeting with the culprits will affect only those people. A team meeting that debriefs all of the stakeholders opens up that audience, and a company-wide memo on what went on gives everyone the chance to learn from the episode. Maybe the order problem came from a simple misrouting of the request because someone didn’t know who was supposed to get it. Now, everyone will know.

Informing everyone, from executives to employees, about who does what in the company makes it easy to get information to and from the right people. This helps employees do their jobs well and serve the customer well. How else can you get important data to your staff when or before they need it? Tweak your file sharing and database access protocols to be as inclusive as possible.

Knowing who to ask for help or who to include in the information loop makes people proficient and brings them together. Knowing how to move on from mistakes does, too.

3. Cultivate team spirit

We’re all human, so why not acknowledge both the highs and lows of the job? Go ahead and welcome your order culprits into the Honest Mistake Club. A free latte will take some of the sting out of that error and make them want to try harder.

Or, maybe the supply chain glitch was a needed reminder to provide some group training. Learning together is a bonding experience. Train a direct report, and let them guide the rest of the group, managers included.

4. Satisfy emotional needs

Just as plants need water and sunlight to grow, employees need to be physically and mentally ready to do their jobs. Besides being fed and well rested, employees want a say in how they work, the chance to become really good at it, and a sense of belonging to something larger than the task at hand. According to researchers like author Daniel Pink, these things make them happy and more engaged.

This is the real fertiliser for a bountiful company culture. Offer a choice in scheduling or let teams design workflows. Increase responsibility when someone shows they have a knack for some job aspect or provide training for those who don’t. Reinforce that team spirit whenever you get the chance.

Happy is healthy! We can design a happy place enriched with the things that make our ‘flowers’ grow.


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthMarch 20, 2019
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3min180

UK Employers are being aided in supporting blind and partially sighted staff through a new suite of resources from the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).

The initiative is part of the Department for Work and Pension’s Disability Confident scheme, a nationally-recognised Government accreditation that supports businesses to attract, recruit, and retain disabled employees.

Now available on RNIB’s website, the suite was launched this month at an event hosted by insurance giant and recent UK Complaint Handling Awards winner Zurich in London. During the launch, employers such as Royal Mail, O2 and John Lewis & Partners were brought together to recognise the contribution that blind and partially sighted employees make to businesses. They also got an exclusive first-look at the new resources, which have now been shared with more than 10,000 Disability Confident members.

Among those at the launch event was Caroline Casey (pictured above), a blind disability activist and management consultant, who gave a keynote speech on what the new resources would offer.

They include a menu of webinars, good practice toolkits, guides for making changes, and blogs. Employers are also invited to take an RNIB Workplace Accessibility Health Check, which assesses employers’ knowledge of the reasonable adjustments a blind or partially sighted person might need to do their job.

David Clarke, Director of Services at RNIB, said: “Although employment rates are at a record high, just one-in-four blind or partially sighted people are in work, which is a waste of valuable talent and skills in the UK workforce. As well as helpful advice and best practice, our new suite of resources includes examples of people who are registered blind in a range of different roles – proving that people with sight loss can be graphic designers, film-makers and accountants.

“With the right support, visually impaired people can thrive in the workplace and make a significant contribution to businesses in almost all employment sectors. We just need employers to realise the unique commercial value that blind and partially sighted employees can undoubtedly bring to their businesses.”


Nicolle ParadiseNicolle ParadiseMarch 19, 2019
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9min224

This article by Nicolle Paradise was written in conjunction with Dr Kristin Walle, Division Vice President of Global Money Movement & Compliance/Shared Services Compliance Solutions at ADP.

 

Too sensitive? Just suck it up, buttercup. Too abrasive? Bull in a china shop.

And somewhere in-between these extremes, there’s us: you and me. We’re leaders, we’re employees, and we understand that at the most basic level, those who don’t know what is expected of them seldom perform to their potential. 

Astonishingly, Gallup research suggests that nearly 70 percent of all US employees aren’t working to their full potential in a given business day. 

To communicate what’s expected, is it as binary as: “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all” versus “You Can’t Handle The Truth!” (thanks, Jack Nicholson)? No, we disagree with this positioning and what lies in-between is what we will explore.

We believe leaders have a fundamental responsibility to create value through direct communication. This communication style benefits the Employee Experience and is good for business. Direct communication, defined as the ability to consume, interpret, and mirror back, leaves very little room for interpretation of the employee’s value, their value to the business, and value to customers. This process also subtly communicates the message of “you care about me”, from leader to employee.

With so much to gain then, why do leaders resist direct communication? According to a 2016 study published in Harvard Business Review, “69 percent of managers reported being uncomfortable communicating in general with employees”. If two out of three of leaders are uncomfortable with general communication, we begin to understand just how uncomfortable most leaders would be with direct communication.

To help bridge this communication gap between what makes most of us uncomfortable with what employees need to achieve their full potential, let’s examine a case study between Jack (SVP, Customer Success) and Oliver (VP, Customer Success), a direct report of Jack’s. 

Jack was frustrated with the number of escalations he was receiving from Oliver. He believed he had clearly addressed Oliver’s concerns around how to manage escalations and when that volume did not decrease, but instead the escalations increased, it caused several related outputs:

  • From a leadership perspective, Jack believed that Oliver was choosing to not follow the appropriate direction.
  • Through that lens, Jack interpreted the escalations from employees who were bypassing Oliver as being directly caused by Oliver’s choice to not follow directions.
  • Customers expressed concern at the increased amount of time it was taking to address their issues.

Observing the impact to both employees and customers, Jack decided to confront Oliver as to why he chose to ignore the provided guidance.

Oliver, however, was confused and himself, frustrated. He was a proven, competent VP within the organisation and asked his manager, Jack: “What specifically are you asking me to do differently? I thought I was following your exact direction this entire time.”

Why did this stark miscommunication happen? To answer that, we leveraged an Ishikawa diagram to uncover the potential cause and effect.

We first identified what specific areas, either internal (e.g: ‘personality’) or external (‘HR policies’) may be perceived obstacles. Then within each category we identified several potential reasons ( e.g: ‘I prefer…’) why this prevented the desired outcomes.

This diagram helped Jack get to the root cause of the disconnect. Jack, unintentionally, had concluded the root cause of the escalations solely through his own perceptions, not via direct communication with Oliver. By broadening his perspective and asking direct questions of Oliver, Jack was then able to provide clear, consumable feedback related to Oliver’s performance, goals, and associated metrics. This renewed clarity of communication benefited Oliver, Oliver’s team, and ultimately, the 10,000 customers that the organisation supports.

This diagram also helped Oliver contemplate his own obstacles. He realised that his assumptions prevented him from asking specific, clarifying questions to Jack. Understanding that Jack may not be skilled or may have his own bias around the interaction, Oliver learned to probe and paraphrase back to Jack in a manner so that clarity was achieved. 

Several iterations of the diagram are commonly needed to yield the desired clarity, so patience from both leaders and employees is needed until the skills have been developed. 

Additionally, we recommend the organisation ask itself a few proactive questions with a focus toward driving direct communication:

  1. How are we ensuring that the root cause issue is actually the root cause?
  2. What is the result we are looking for as an organisation?  Why it this important and how is it measured? 
  3. How does this connect to the overall organisational benefits? 

This feedback loop – comprised of the above proactive questions and the Ishikawa diagram analysis – position organisations to communicate directly regarding behaviours that contribute to achieving specific goals as well as identify which behaviours contribute to creating obstacles. From a communication perspective, this feedback loop helps balance the extremes of “too sensitive: suck it up, buttercup” and “too abrasive: bull in a china shop”.

Today’s leaders are investing in the leaders of tomorrow, ultimately yielding a richer and more developed employee, an improved experience, and thus higher employee retention rates. The stability that this feedback loop provides an organisation has a direct, positive impact on development, collaboration and creativity, delivering value for both employees and customers.

When we know what is expected of us, we can perform to our full potential. How might leveraging this feedback loop help your team reach their full potential?


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthMarch 12, 2019
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3min288

Gamified rewards and bonuses not only introduce an element of fun in to the workplace, but also increase employee performance, according to new research which also found that 52 percent of bosses are losing out on increased productivity by not making use of them.

A survey of 1,096 UK workers, by workplace incentives and rewards provider One4all Rewards, was published in the Workers on Top of Their Game Report.

It surveyed employees from different age groups, genders, and industries and revealed that almost one-in-two (46 percent) of UK workers would feel more motivated to work hard, and one-in-five (20 percent) would increase their performance if their employer introduced a points based rewards and bonus system.

Gamification is increasingly being used in workplaces, with Gartner reporting 40 percent of Global 1000 organisations are doing so to motivate and encourage positive behaviours. The technique works by setting small rewards for desired actions and then inviting workers to repeat that behaviour, which they do in anticipation of the same result.

Virtually one-in-three (32 percent) UK workers said they would work harder to unlock rewards and bonuses in this way.

There are also clear softer benefits of gamified rewards systems, with 37 percent of UK workers claiming this would also increase their happiness at work, while almost the same number (36 percent) said it would make them feel more engaged with their company.

Finally, tewo-in0-five (38 percent) of those surveyed said that working towards rewards and bonuses would make work more fun.

Alan Smith, UK Managing Director at One4all Rewards, said: “In SMEs, finding the budget for a rewards scheme can be tough, but gamified rewards can be more flexible in some ways and they don’t have to involve large budgets. While some might think that these kinds of rewards are more complex to implement, this isn’t necessarily the case and there are many companies out there that can help with implementing these rewards.

“As we can see from the survey data, and the sheer number of workers who said that the implementation of a gamified reward system would make them work harder, the cost of implementing this kind of rewards could soon be recouped by the increased productivity employers would benefit from.”


CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamMarch 7, 2019
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9min338

It’s no news that satisfied employees are one of the pillars of a successful company, but what makes an employee happy and motivated?

How do we know which processes are working well and which ones are criticised? What are the attractive factors of a workplace and what are the sources of conflict between team members? The answers to these questions can be easily found out by a suitable employee satisfaction survey and the responses can be evaluated within minutes with tools  like automated text analyzer systems. Here is an example, showing the whole process from data collection to the application of results.

To collect employee feedback quickly is a big challenge for most companies without the suitable tools, let alone the next part – the data evaluation and identification of the matching points of hundreds of responses.

However, nowadays there is no need for HR professionals to do the work manually, spending long hours with it. There are tools that cut down the evaluation time and effort, while the accuracy of the results are also better.

In this case study by media monitoring firm Neticle, we see how employee feedback can be processed quickly and easily, and how it can be used as an input for organisational development processes.

Methodology

Neticle used their own text analyser tool to uncover the opinion of every co-worker in detail about the most important factors:

  • atmosphere in the office
  • organisational structure
  • progress of the company (in business and in technological terms)
  • internal communication
  • the rights for decision-making
  • working hours
  • salary
  • tasks
  • the management

To let team members describe their opinion as accurate as possible, open-ended ones were included in the survey alongside multiple-choice questions.

To process the results, Neticle used Zurvey, an automated text analyser tool which identifies the tone of every text-based opinion as positive, negative, or neutral based on the phrases that occur in the text.

It also recognises topics, brands, locations, and persons in the text. Therefore, there was no need to analyse the survey responses manually and subjectively. The strongest and weakest points of Employee Experience within the organisation could be found out within a matter of minutes.

Results

Malfunctions in the operational processes – negative topics

The text analyser identified three critical points regarding the operation. The most frequently mentioned one was the office, indicating that that co-workers do not respect the common places in the office: they often leave dirty dishes in the kitchen, make too much noise, and speak loudly. Moreover, many complaints have been written about the office becoming “too small” for the fast-growing team.

The second pain point appeared to be the organisational structure. Many proposed the revision of the management processes and suggested that weekly status meetings could be more structured and time-saving if attended by relevant team members only.   

The other request was to have middle management. Given that Neticle is a startup with a non-hierarchical organisation structure, there is no-one between the C-level executives and other members of the team. As the survey showed, many began to feel the necessity of managers, who could coordinate within and across teams more clearly.

Besides the above, Neticle employees need more accurate briefs. As many people from different teams work on the same projects, the tasks are often fragmented and it is difficult to detect who’s in charge.

The well-functioning processes – positive topics

The average score for the question how employees like working at Neticle was 9.25 out of 10. Employees highlighted the importance of an assembled but open team where lots of friendships have been made and outdoor activities have been organised together. Because of this friendly atmosphere, employees start working happily, even on Monday mornings.

Effect came as second best, indicating that employees love being involved in important decisions because of the flat and democratic structure. This not only means that members are asked and informed about important changes, but they are also free to work from home flexibly and can turn to anyone in the team for help. The team also find it inspiring to work for a successful company where they can see the fruits of daily hard work through constant growing.

Application of the results: some examples

The honest responses made valuable insights for the process of development and helped the firm discover which areas are satisfying and which ones need improvement. Results were shared with the whole team as part of  transparent internal communication habits and solutions for the problems were discussed.

The survey data can be further used in external communication processes too. For example, the positive aspects can support the employer’s brand and attractive features can be highlighted in job advertisements also. Shared opinions of team members increase the authenticity and uniqueness of job posts, while it also can increase the number of applicants.

With a clear view of the weaknesses, companies can look for solutions, considering the workers’ suggestions. Identifying problematic areas will save time and make a HR team’s work more efficient and successful in creating an excellent Employee Experience within a company. 


Julie HayesJulie HayesFebruary 25, 2019
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12min346

Last year, it was recorded that household debt in the UK was ‘worse than at any time on record’.

The average total debt per household, including mortgages, was £59,288 in October 2018 – that’s over £30,000 per adult. 
 
It’s therefore likely that you as an employer will, at some point, hire someone who is experiencing financial difficulties. Despite this, around half of employers disagree that their employees’ financial wellbeing is their responsibility 
 
Employees who are worrying about money are likely to be stressed, and even anxious, compromising their focus and leaving them prone to making mistakes at work. As a result of the stress they are under, they are also more likely to take time off work for illness. 
 
Studies have shown that debt can actually trigger a mental health problem, or worsen an existing condition. One-in-four British adults with a mental health problem also struggle with problem debt, while those with problem debt are twice as likely to develop major depression as those not in financial difficulty. In the words of Martin Lewis, founder of Money Saving Expert: “Be under no illusions. Mental health problems can cause severe debt, and severe debt can cause mental health problems.”
 
With that in mind, here are our tips to help you support your people with money problems: 

1. Financial education 

Many adults struggle to manage their finances due to financial products, such as pensions and loans, becoming more and more complicated and a lack of financial education at school. About 17m workers possess the numeracy skills of a primary school child, according to research by charity National Numeracy, and estimates poor numeracy could cost the economy £20bn per year. 
 
Financial education can be as simple as providing leaflets, email newsletters, workshops or one-to-one sessions on basic financial management skills. Where possible, the rule of thumb is to offer employees a range of sources to get their information from. 

2. Consider paying a living wage 

With a 5.7 percent decrease in the average real wage, more people are struggling to make ends meet. Also known as the ‘real Living Wage’, The Living Wage Foundation offers accreditation to employers who pay an independently calculated Living Wage (this is different to the Government’s ‘National Living Wage’). It’s based on what families need to live and, as of January 2019, it stands at £10.55 per hour for London and £9.00 per hour for the rest of the UK. 
 
According to the Living Wage Foundation, 93 percent of Living Wage business have reported benefits since becoming accredited. Additionally, 86 percent of Living Wage employers reported improved business reputation and 75 percent said that staff motivation and retention rates improved. 

3. Create a culture of support 

Creating a culture where employees feel comfortable about seeking support can make all the difference. Recognising that financial stress is usually temporary and not a sign of the employee’s character is important, as is letting your employees know where they can turn if they are in financial difficulty.

Employees are the greatest resource of any business, and ensuring they get the financial support they need is an important step towards fostering a happy, healthy work environment. Being proactive in supporting your employees demonstrates your dedication to wellbeing in the workplace, making work a less stressful – and more productive – experience for everyone. 


Richard ChiumentoRichard ChiumentoFebruary 21, 2019
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6min577

The emergence of new roles such as Chief Employee Experience Officer and Director of Digital Workplace is the clearest indication yet to C-level leaders that a distinctive and noteworthy Employee Experience is a critical factor of business success.

According to Forrester Research’s 2019 predictions, Employee Experience is set to take centre stage this year, fuelled by low unemployment and high quit rates. There is also a single compelling reason why leaders must up their game in this respect: Employee Experience is intrinsically linked to Customer Experience.

The obituary for the psychological contract that once existed between employers and employees was written long ago and the concept of a ‘job for life’ is probably gone forever. Yet while such topics have been the subject of discussion for some time, the intervening years have failed to define a new kind of contract between the leaders and the employee that takes into account seismic changes that have impacted organisations.

Workforces are more remote, disparate, mobile, and in some cases far more contingent. Automation and artificial intelligence (AI) are changing what we do and how we do it and the incoming generations’ expectations of going to work are hugely different.

While employers can no longer rely on seeing employees every day, they must find ways of ensuring their people are highly engaged, motivated, fulfilled, and happy so that they perform to their best ability, are prepared to go the extra mile, and will deliver exceptional Customer Experience.

Hence one of the latest trends in HR is the concept of the “workplace as an experience”, where every aspect of work is carefully designed, arranged, and controlled to energise and inspire employees. The aim is to create a deep, experiential connection between individuals and their workplace that begins with onboarding strategies and continues throughout their employment lifecycle with the organisation – for the benefit of all stakeholders and especially customers.

To achieve this, organisations need to look at their people through the same lens as they do their customers and apply marketing and sales-oriented strategies to improve attraction, motivation, and retention. They must make greater use of data analytics, AI and machine learning, and techniques like gamification to learn more about their preferences and behaviours to create differentiated and high performing Employee Experiences.

Employees expect to use the same mobile and smart technologies in the workplace as they do in their personal lives and AI in the form of chatbots and virtual personal assistants (VPAs) are already being used to help remove distractions and to aid and augment employees’ tasks and productivity.

Employees also have high expectations of the environment in which they work and organisations are enlisting workplace design companies to come up with innovative spaces to simplify work and improve productivity. The Dutch office of professional services firm Deloitte is widely considered to be one of the smartest buildings in the world and allows employees to personalise the lighting and temperature at their individual workspaces using a smartphone app.

The Edge building, based in Amsterdam’s business district, is described as inspirational and fun. It’s no coincidence then that it has become an asset in terms of recruitment. Three fifths of candidates (62 percent) specifically state in their applications that one of the reasons they want to work for Deloitte is the possibility of being posted to The Edge.

It is evident that the Employee Experience is becoming more central to organisational success. If organisations are to attract, retain, and engage the talent needed in 2019 and the years ahead, C-level leaders must develop a new mindset and prioritise a new approach and type of contract and relationship with employees – one where the Employee Experience is viewed holistically and makes an emotional connection to improve engagement and alignment to the organisational purpose – thus improving innovation and the Customer Experience along with other key business metrics.

Article author Richard Chiumento is a judge at the upcoming UK Employee Experience Awards in London. Click here to find out more.


CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamFebruary 20, 2019
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10min501

Millennials have been dubbed the most ‘impatient generation’ in the workplace, with over 90 percent wanting ‘rapid career progression’.

Almost 70 percent of employers believe that this level of ambition and desire is the leading cause of conflict between generations – with a third of Generation X (34 percent) and a quarter of Baby Boomers (24 percent) and Millennials (24 percent) agreeing with this.

The findings come from a Robert Walters whitepaper, which surveyed over 2,000 respondents to find out what it takes to retain millennial professionals.

Chirs Hickey, UK CEO at Robert Walters, said: “According to our survey, almost 60 percent of workers have experienced intergenerational conflict in the workplace. As Millennials make up a growing part of the workforce, finding a way for members of different generations to work together effectively is an increasingly high priority.

“Making sure that managers understand what motivates workers from different generations, how they like to communicate, and identifying common sources of conflict is essential to creating a strong team of varied generations and diversity of opinions.”

Sources of inter-generational conflict in the workplace

1.Workplace culture

According to the Robert Walters report, three quarters of professionals (73 percent) have left a job because of poor company culture. Over half of Millennials reported that poor company culture was a source of disappointment in a new job, with 90 percent claiming that they research the culture in advance of taking an opportunity.

Whilst a third of Millennials felt that meeting their colleagues in a social setting was important, this contrasts with just 15 percent of Generation X and less than one percent of Boomers who value social outings with colleagues.

2. Technology

Millennials widely perceive technology to be at the root of workplace conflicts. Thirty-four percent reported that older workers not understanding new technology was the chief cause of these conflicts, followed by younger workers becoming frustrated at using outdated technology (33 percent).

Millennial professionals are also distinct from their older colleagues in their attitudes towards  social media. Almost 40 percent of Millennials felt that employers should actively encourage workers to incorporate social media into their work, compared to less than a quarter (24 percent) of Generation X and just 10 percent of Baby Boomers.

3. Tailored approach

Employers and employees from Generation X and Baby Boomers believe that Millennials are far more pampered than was ever the norm in the workplace – with their demands for time and a tailored approach way out of line with general expectations.

Whilst only 15 percent of employers believe personalised training programs to be necessary, over a third of Millennials rank this as one of the most important factors in retention. In fact, 53 percent of millennials have been disappointed by the lack of a properly implemented personal development plan or training program when starting a new job.

The demand of senior managements time is further exasperated by an overwhelming 91 percent of Millennials who would like to receive formal feedback at least every six months, with 60 percent stating that they would like this as often as every one to three months.

4. Experience

Given that Millennials have the most formal education of any generation in history, being likely to hold at least a bachelors degree already, the chance to earn qualifications on the job is their lowest priority – unlike fellow colleagues from older generations.

When asked what they believed employers value most in potential workers, 59 percent of Millennials gave personality fit with the team or company culture as a top priority. In contrast, 53 percent of employers felt that hard technical skills were highly important in potential employees.

5. International aspirations

Over half (52 percent) of Millennials said that the opportunity to develop their career abroad was important to them, compared to less than a third (31 percent) of Generation X and 15 percent of Boomers.

Chris states: “One of the side effects of growing up in the digital age is that Millennials often see themselves as ‘citizens of the world’, having grown up in an environment where access to the internet means that geographical boundaries are far less important than they had been in the past.

What do Millennials expect from their employer?

1. Salary

A competitive salary was rated important by all generations, but particularly for ambitious Millennials where salary is largely seen as a reflection of their status and success. In fact, 96n percent of Millennials rated a competitive pay and bonus system as important, and 25 percent stated that this would be the number one reason they would change jobs.

Chris said: “It’s important to note that during the downturn, over half (53 percent) of Millennials took a job with a lower salary than expected. As such, employers should be mindful that this may be a contributing factor as to why salary and remuneration are so important to Millennials.

“It also means that as we move out of economic uncertainty they will expect their salaries to catch up to their expectations.”

2. Progression

Millennials want more than just a job – they want a career, with 69 percent citing a clear path for progression in the business as the most important factor in keeping them engaged.

Chris said: “It is perhaps unsurprising that for Millennials at the outset of their careers, a clear path to progression is the most effective motivator. However, this reflects not just the youth but also the ambition of this generation. Millennials have grown up being told they are capable of achieving anything and this confidence means that they crave responsibility early in their careers.”

In fact, 54 percent of Millennials state that having the opportunity to ‘exercise influence’ in the workplace is a key way to keep them engaged and remain with their current employer.

3. Transparency

Millennials do not shy away from responsibility, and they want to know what needs to be done to earn it. Of all generations surveyed, Millennials placed the highest value on transparency over how they could achieve progress in their career.

Seventy-one percent of Millennials strongly agreed that their employer should provide clear guidelines over earning bonuses or promotions. However, 40 percent of employers do not currently do this.

4. Fulfilment

During the recession many Millennials struggled to find jobs that met their expectations. Thirty-one percent reported that they had taken work in a sector that they did not wish to work in. Now, as the economic outlook improves, many are ready to change jobs to find a new role that better suits their ambitions.

Chris advises: “Employers looking to retain Millennial employees should consider giving them the option to move around the business to find a position that better suits their desired career path, particularly given that 70 percent of Millennials consider job rotation within the business one of the most important aspects of their job.”


Josue Villamar CJosue Villamar CFebruary 18, 2019
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5min304

I was recently tasked with considering the possible challenges of creating a large-scale customer service centre.

I looked at how to combat these challenges and ensure a healthy balance between a traditional call centre and a start-up operation.

The ideal workplace

In my experience, having had the opportunity to have worked with both big corporations and start-ups, I would like to mention some of the characteristics that good start-up environments have in common

• Trust-based environment

• Open communication, a culture of collaboration

• Autonomy

• Innovation – promotes creativity

• Contributions have impact

• Meritocracy

• Casual yet energetic atmosphere

• Flexible hours

• Benefits and modern facilities

These points sound great, but this is not just how the environment is at a start-up – this is also the environment people would really like to have at any workplace. Who wouldn’t like to feel that their job has a great impact in the business?

Who doesn’t want the opportunity to learn new things every day, or to have the chance to own the process and be able to modify it as you see fit? Therefore, the challenge is not to maintain a start-up environment; the challenge is to create a work environment where people still want to be part of after a big scale-up.

Scaling is a big challenge that needs structure and organisation. The main challenge is to mitigate risks, and the faster the operations grow, the more challenging the risks will be. When we talk about risk, we refer to the risks of deteriorating the quality of service; the risks of the collapse of the infrastructure; the risk of burning out your team faster.

To mitigate these risks, it is important to create internal scalable strategy. Here are some recommendations:

1. Make sure you have the right tools

Helpdesk systems provide you with ticketing systems, support articles, reports, statistics, and so on. Do thorough research and tailor the helpdesk to your needs, and make sure you test it properly before you agree on a contract.

2. Define your metrics and get to know your customer more

The KPIs will be the navigator through this journey. Make sure you have a mix of KPIs that measure the performance of the group, the quality of the service, and the satisfaction of the customer.

To have the situation visibility that has already been mentioned, you need to have at least one of these three types of KPIs.

3. Make sure you have the right people

Once you have started the path of growth, you need to make sure that every addition to the team it is the right one. This will save the company so much time and money. Partner up with your talent acquisition team and go through the requirements and they will support you as you select the new talent. Make sure this person has the right mind-set, the right attitude, and lives by the same value standards as the company.

4. Documentation and automation

It is very important to have everything documented properly. This will not only work as a knowledge base for the future, but it will help develop so many other processes. The documentation needs to be accessible but should only be managed by a small group of people. It must be simple, precise, and well-structured.

5. The onboarding process must be well structured.

One of the most important processes that must be well thought out and able to be scaled is the onboarding of new talent. By the end of the onboarding, the agent should be ready to be as independent as possible.

A well-thought onboarding plan should include:

a. An extensive review of all the relevant documentation. Training.

b. A shadowing session with 1-2 different people to expose them to different styles.

c. A review of the Quality Program

d. A review of the company culture

e. A practice session

f. A coaching session with the Team Leader

g. A quiz/test to validate the learning.

h. Re-educate if necessary. Follow-coaching session.

 


Paul AddyPaul AddyFebruary 18, 2019
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5min339

We all hear CEOs, MDs, and leaders of companies saying that employees are their greatest asset.

Therefore, it makes sense to commit considerable resources into recruitment, training, and development. So, what exactly is the secret to attracting the right people and holding onto them?

Remuneration is an influencing factor, but people are growing increasingly more concerned about the overall benefits package.

Offering an imaginative benefits package, such as wellbeing programmes, will help improve the attractiveness of your organisation. These could include a gym, cyber cafe, incentive schemes (financial and non-financial), flexible benefit schemes, and flexible working schemes.

Getting these benefits out in the market is really important and using your company website is the best opportunity to do this. Make sure you utilise this external mechanism to sell the benefits of working for your company. Showcase to prospective employees the great culture you have. Consider setting up a careers microsite giving you the opportunity to create more positive content.

If you believe in your organisation and the culture, then use your current team to attract new employees by offering a recommend a friend scheme.

For most roles in an organisation you can look to recruit for attitude over skills. I am a real believer that if your employees have the right attitude then you can develop them to be great in their roles. It’s much easier to train skill rather than will.

What is really important is the period between the role being offered and the candidate starting with your organisation. Create an engagement process that makes the new employee feel special. Communicate with them regularly and reconfirm that the decision you and they have made is the right one.

If you are hiring based on attitude, then the key to the success of the new employee is the induction process. Ensure that it is thorough and provides them with the knowledge and skills they need to be competent in the role they have been recruited for.

Once you have recruited the right people, you’ll want to keep them. If you foster a great team culture and keep employees well-informed, involved, engaged, and recognised, then they will perform better, stay longer, and progress further. Develop initiatives that communicate your culture and how you engage with your team.

Regular reviews of performance is an important aspect of retaining team members. It is a way of ensuring that employees and their line managers meet regularly, that recognition is given, and development is discussed. If it is robust and is consistently applied, then your employees will feel that there is a culture of fairness across the business.

Ongoing development is important to people, particularly those that want to progress in the organisation, so ensure you have process for identifying these people.

Making your business a place where people want to work will attract a better calibre of candidate. Looking after your employees will not only improve retention but will also increase productivity; it’s better for them and better for you. 




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