Wow! What an “engaging” session on employee engagement. Nugget after nugget of valuable tips and real-life examples shared about creating employee engagement value and overcoming challenges. Up your employee engagement game with these practical tips from JetBlue’s Icema Gibbs, Johnson & Johnson’s Susan Can, INPEx’s Mal Schwartz, and Realized Worth’s Chris Jarvis from the 2016 Cause Marketing Forum Conference Session “Making Progress on Employee Engagement.”
Here’s what the experts had to say:
1) There Are Two Key Components of Employee Engagement
Chris: When you think about “employee engagement,” recognize that there are two key components to be considered and measured:
- Positive Action: Are people showing up, participating, and taking action? How? How many? Who? Impact?
- Sharing: Did they tell anyone about their experience? Did they invite someone to participate based on their experience? Did they share a story or info? Sharing is key to a successful employee engagement program. If they didn’t share, it either was private OR it didn’t matter. Make it matter to them so they have a reason to share.
2) Employee Engagement Creates Business Value
- JetBlue can correlate a high % of Crewmembers volunteering together to their plane pushing off faster. Volunteering together supports key business goals.
- JetBlue “Speak Up Surveys” revealed a correlation between volunteering and higher Crewmember morale levels.
- When people love their job, it is infectious. JetBlue customers feel that. Happy Crewmembers create happier customers via happier customer experiences.
- Engagement is everything.
- Johnson & Johnson’s annual survey reveals that engaged employees are more productive, engagement supports recruitment, drives retention, and appeals to Millennials.
- Research by the Corporate Executive Council indicates a value of $2,400 per employee that participates in corporate community engagement activities.
Audience Members Also Shared:
- Employee engagement leads to better results in point of sale cause marketing programs
- Bringing employees together around a cause creates emotional connection and brand loyalty
- Volunteering creates company pride
- Corporate volunteer programs can help satisfy a basic human need of “purpose and meaning”
- Volunteer activities build trust and communication skills much better than “hokey” team-building exercises
3) Meaningful Local-Level Engagement Opportunities Are Vital
- Johnson & Johnson has 130,000 employees across 250 companies in many different sectors with very different priorities. Our challenge is to engage a very diverse, decentralized, global employee base around volunteering and giving.
- We encourage people to volunteer where their passions lie and we work with hundreds of wonderful organizations.
- We have also selected a few core cause partners and offer many different ways to engage with them around the globe. With our key strategic partners, we focus on a few big things from the corporate level, and then also empower our people to be as creative as they want with their local-level engagement activities – making the activities meaningful to the company, the department, and to the individual.
- At JetBlue, we poll our key stakeholder groups: Customers, Crewmembers, Community. Luckily, we have found that the interests of these groups align and so we have built our corporate programs around these causes.
- We let Crewmembers choose how they want to support their local communities, even if it is outside our corporate focus areas. For us, success is found in allowing Crewmembers to volunteer where they are passionate.
- More than ever, employees are key stakeholders for brands.
- Research shows that people are looking for brands to go local when it comes to community outreach.
- Recent research by HAVAS Worldwide, “Prosumer Report: Ten Truths Reshaping the Corporate World,” indicates: “Going local pays big dividends.”
- 55% of consumers and 72% of “Prosumers” want brands to play a bigger role in their local communities.”
- “Prosumers are today’s leading influencers and market drivers. Beyond their own economic impact, Prosumers are important because they influence the brand choices and consumption behaviors of others. What Prosumers are doing today, mainstream consumers are likely to be doing 6 to 18 months from now.”
- Download the full HAVAS study, INPEX’s Scale UP & Go Local Infographic & FREE Toolkit
4) Data Capture Is A Must & “Technology Helps!”
- Every company should be looking to capture existing behavior of your employees.
- Technology helps!
- One thing we know to be true is that a cumbersome logging process is a deterrent. Single sign-on is a necessity.
- Communicating about your programs is vital. It helps grow the program.
- Technology is now available so that you can find out what people are doing in their communities in real time, instead of waiting for delayed, less accurate input via annual surveys.
- If you understand what your employees are actually doing…not what they say they are going to do, or what you think they are going to do…but, rather, what they actually do – and you know it in real-time, that is game-changing, actionable intel you can use to make decisions about your community programs that make them more effective.
- Technology can help you get a pulse of the real moments your employees are experiencing. You can enable them to communicate messages, images, etc. about their community activities, like people of all ages are already doing every day already on Facebook or Twitter, etc.
- You can now use technology to collect data and tap into employee’s actual everyday behavior – in real time.
- At Johnson & Johnson, one important way we use technology is to create a communication loop – a way for a continuous flow of information about the causes, the opportunities, and the tangible results produced. This communication loop enables people to see exactly what they helped accomplish as well as the overall impact of the efforts of the company as a whole.
- We’re also leveraging this same technology to vastly improve our reporting process. For example, we’re replacing a cumbersome manual data roll-up process used for our global Operation Smile Week activities with a Tech-Touch module that rolls up global data into real-time dashboards for us automatically.
- With our Do Go Be Well health and wellness behavior change program, we use technology to trigger donations by offering choices such as donations to Save the Children as rewards and incentives for healthy behaviors.
- It is vital to have a technology platform activation strategy. People will not automatically begin using a platform just because it is new.
- Our deliberate approach to activating our new platform has been to start organically by engaging active volunteers in the platform first. A strategic marketing plan will we executed once our additional modules are implemented.
- Providing access to more non-corporate people to upload content really helps. We have a Liaison in every city.
- The JetBlue “Liaison program” is how we get people engaged and excited about what we’re doing. They are our ambassadors in the field. Our (volunteer) Liaisons promote what we’re doing locally and the things important to the local station. They promote what we’re doing around the world, or what’s happening locally, e.g. a local foodbank. We reward Liaison volunteers with an annual event…a little bit party, little bit education. They love it.
- Make it easy for real-time sharing. It is best to capture data and compelling story content immediately – while employees are still “in the moment.”
- The right technology enables employees to easily share data, images, stories -in the moment- while still on-site at the event, from their smart phones.
A big thank you to Chris for facilitating a lively, relevant and informative discussion. And a huge thank you to all the panelists for sharing their great tips from the trenches for making progress on employee engagement. OK, time to take action on all this great guidance!