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This Week in Employee Experience: January 7

Here’s our weekly roundup series to help you stay connected to the often overwhelming landscape of employee experience thought leadership. Start here to narrow down your search each week!

Stay connected with Maritz Employee Experience on Twitter and  LinkedIn. 

From Maritz Employee Experience (EX): 

12 Employee Experience New Year’s Resolutions Managers Can Actually Follow Through On — Not every resolution has to contemplate epic personal change. Your work life is much easier to navigate. With that in mind, here are 12 actually keep-able New Year’s resolutions that any manager can use to improve their team’s employee experience in 2019. They’re easy, because instead of expecting you to move (and keep moving) mountains, they only ask that you take a slightly different perspective on yourself and your team.  

New On The HRX:  

How to Get Your C-suite To Care About Culture — How can HR professionals help C-suite leaders care about culture? Or, even better, help senior leaders proactively engage in culture management? 

From the Web:  

The Cost Of Employee Disengagement In The Age Of The Customer — It can be hard in the workplace to balance a festive atmosphere with simultaneously keeping employees focused and productive. One recent study found that employee productivity drops by more than 50% around the holidays. What can we do to keep employees engaged when there are so many distractions?  

AI Is Coming — And HR Is Not Prepared — Employees need AI skills to thrive in the future, but they have little faith that HR will help them get there. 

It All Comes Down to Employee Experience — There is ample evidence that improving employee experience leads to better business results. Briefly, firms that improve employee experience find that they get better wok performance and more discretionary efforts form employees. Discretionary effort makes companies more effective and efficient, according to this study published in Harvard Business Review.  

Top 10 employee experience blog posts of 2018

The year’s not officially over until we publish our annual selection of our top blogs of the past 12 months. With 10 days to spare, 2019 can proceed on schedule. 

Our Employee Experience team shared many insights, suggestions and strategies on a number of workplace topics this year—as well as the occasional snark and an admiring tribute to the fax machine. Among them were a passing remark an astronaut never forgot, the subtle wisdom of a Buddy Holly lyric, and why when things are at their rockiest is the exact time to double down on appreciating your employees. 

Here are our favorite 10 posts from 2018, helpfully gathered in one place. Hope you enjoy. 

1. What Henry Ford can teach us about corporate culture—Henry Ford never heard of corporate culture and wouldn’t have cared much if he had. His job was churning out cars. But he had a complete grasp of company mission and vision; the effects of which are visible across the country to this day. 

 

2. Treat the cause of disengaged employees, not the symptom—Amazon received waves of praise earlier this year for its progressive policy of paying disengaged employees to leave. Yet the company never seemed to ask itself just how its employees became disengaged in the first place. Maybe there’s a better way of dealing with this issue?  

3. Engaged customers come from engaged employees—In the hospitality industry, stressed travelers going face to face with stressed employees is an everyday fact of life. The results may seem predictable, but instead of a recipe for disaster, it’s actually a great chance for the employee experience to elevate the guest experience. 

4. It won’t be because of me—What’s the best and most reliable motivation an employee can have? It could well be his or her own internal standards that require accepting responsibility for always doing the best work they can do. Win or lose, succeed or fail, they give everything their best shot. 

 

5. Why employee community service programs? Why not?—Corporate community service projects often get a lot more lip service than they do elbow grease. This is a huge miss, because such programs deliver tremendous value for everyone involved. 

 

 

6. The little things you say and do—Employee engagement is often described as “bringing your whole self to work.” OK, then. Bring it. Work is one of the main places you’ll live your life, so you may as well make it count. Start with a glass of buttermilk and not taking yourself too seriously. 

 

7. Employee engagement: Because 2018 isn’t 1990—Millions of words have been spent on the woeful state of employee engagement since it was first measured in 1990. But maybe it’s not engagement that’s off, but our way of looking at it? Perspective can be a very tricky thing: Everything’s changed, unless it hasn’t. 

 

employee experience sound8. The employee experience, in four minutes—As the industry shifts from employee engagement to the employee experience, it’s not always entirely clear just what the latter is. No problem, because you can learn a lot merely from the “sound” of yours. A pleasing melody, or nails on the chalkboard? 

 

9. 3 challenges facing employee engagement today—Where once HR had to conivince leadership of the need to invest in employee rewards and recognition, today’s challenges stemming from that success are much more complex and unwieldy. We deal with three of the biggest in our ebook, From Data to Direction. 

 

investing in culture10. Investing in culture is never more important than during times of trouble—When times get tough for a company, often one of the first things to go is the employee recognition program. This is entirely backwards. Rather than communicating to employees they’re expendable at crunch time, let them know they’re indispensable for future success. 

No need to wait for next year’s list. Read more Maritz EX posts and stay tuned for more to come in 2019!

 

This Week in Employee Experience: December 17

Here’s our weekly roundup series to help you stay connected to the often overwhelming landscape of employee experience thought leadership. Start here to narrow down your search each week!

Stay connected with Maritz Employee Experience on  Twitter and  LinkedIn. 

From Maritz Employee Experience (EX): 

Your Culture Under a Microscope: Align  — In this guest blog article (the second in a three-part series), Mollie Lombardi, HR influencer and founder of the Aptitude Research Center, discusses workplace culture under a microscope. Part three will be published on Tuesday, Dec. 18. 

New On The HRX:  

Five Ways to Tackle Bias ithe Workplace— When it comes to influencing how people act toward one another in the workplace, behavioral science gives us a general rule of thumb: Information doesn’t change behavior. Charlotte Blank, Maritz Chief Behavioral 

From the Web:  

6 Ways to Keep Employees Engaged During the Holiday Season — It can be hard in the workplace to balance a festive atmosphere with simultaneously keeping employees focused and productive. One recent study found that employee productivity drops by more than 50% around the holidays. What can we do to keep employees engaged when there are so many distractions? 

Personality Based Engagement: Tips and Tricks on Meeting an Employee’s Individual Needs — Engage with employees on their personality wavelength. Tailored employee engagement can help your employees feel more important and in tune with your company as well as lead to increased performance and better retention rates. 

12 Signs Your Employee Is Disengaged (And How To Respond) — It’s important to recognize the signs of employee disengagement as early as possible so that effective action can reverse the trend. In this article, 12 members of Forbes’ Human Resources Council share the signs of disengagement team leaders and HR need to watch for, as well as some tips on how to respond. 

This Week in Employee Experience: December 10

Here’s our weekly roundup series to help you stay connected to the often overwhelming landscape of employee experience thought leadership. Start here to narrow down your search each week!     

Stay connected with Maritz Employee Experience on Twitterand  LinkedIn. 

From Maritz Employee Experience (EX): 

Your Culture Under a Microscope: Diagnosis — In this guest blog article (the first in a three-part series), Mollie Lombardi, HR influencer and founder of the Aptitude Research Center, discusses workplace culture under a microscope. Part two will be published on Wednesday, Dec. 12. 

Your Patient Experience Will Never Exceed Your Employee Experience — Last month in San Diego, Maritz Loyalty leader Barry Kirk and Maritz EX leader Chris Dornfeld, had the opportunity to facilitate a conversation with a few dozen patient experience leaders from across the country. The discussion considered the numerous effects the shift to value-based healthcare is having on the healthcare employee experience. 

New On The HRX:  

Key Learnings OTransforming Leaders and Changing Culture — Often, the best way to help leaders or teams focus on realigning the organization’s culture with its vision, values and performance priorities is to reach into the recent past for insight, perspective and advice. 

From the Web:  

Improving Workplace Culture — S. Chris Edmonds is a speaker, author and executive consultant. He believes that we are in the midst of seismic change – in society and in business. In this three-minute episode of S. Chris Edmonds’ Culture Leadership Charge video series, Edmonds outlines how leaders must change how they influence others to leverage employee passions, creativity and productivity, no matter where they choose to work. You can find Edmonds’ Culture Leadership Charge episodes and more on his YouTube channel. Also read, Edmonds’ recent article, How to Get the C-Suite to Care About Culture.” 

How Recognition and Engagement Work in Tandem — While recognition sounds simple, it can get easily forgotten in the day-to-day whirlwind of business— and employers need it in order to boost employee happiness. 

To Boost Workplace Culture, Unleash Employee Curiosity — Once employees get over their initial hesitancy, getting them to ask questions can result in some of the most innovative initiatives your company will ever come up with – and your whole organization will reap the benefits. 

Secrets For a Successful Employee Experience Framework — The complexities of formulating a good employee experience strategy can be intimidating. Here are five tips to ease the process of establishing a great employee workplace. 

Your patient experience will never exceed your employee experience

A conversation with patient experience experts.

On a beautiful sunny afternoon last month in San Diego, Maritz Loyalty leader Barry Kirk and I had the opportunity to facilitate a conversation with a few dozen patient experience leaders from across the country. The venue was the Next Generation Patient Experience Conference, and the discussion revolved around the idea that a patient experience will never exceed an employee experience.    

We were gratified to find so many insightful viewpoints on this timely topic. The shift to value-based care is resulting in a more patient-centric focus, allowing them a much greater say in how and where their healthcare dollars are spent. If patients are now more like consumers, then healthcare employees are now more like customer service experts. This creates sizeable challenges for the healthcare industry—particularly hospitals—but also sizeable opportunities for those organizations able to put their patients first by putting their employees first.  

Here are some of the highlights from the session. 

How important are employees to the patient experience? 

On this question there was unanimous agreement, as 100 percent of our audience indicated the employee is a critical—if not the most critical—factor impacting the patient experience and patient outcomes. Almost every presentation at the conference addressing improving the patient experience centered on training, support or programs for shaping employee behavior. A presentation by the Patient Experience Institute even highlighted a patient experience model with the employee at the center. Yet surprisingly, no single presentation focused on the employee experience itself. 

Why does the employee experience receive so much less attention, when it’s widely believed to be so critical to the patient experience? 

The discussion around this question was much more divergent.   

  • We focus on what we measure. Because Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems is required by the government for funding, some of the participants felt this created disproportionate pressure on patient experience, in a way that reduced the emphasis on the employee experience. Even though the group acknowledged the role of the employee experience, several indicated executive leadership’s lack of support for employee programs as a limiting factor. 
  • More complicated to influence and understand. As each person is unique and there is a broad range of employee types within a modern healthcare system, participants viewed creating programs for diverse audiences and then determining how to measure the impact of those programs as a major challenge. One participant specifically noted that changing process is much easier than changing people, while recognizing people are just as important. 
  • HR in healthcare is tactical. Several participants indicated that HR, which is responsible for the employee experience, is focused on tactical issues like compensation, benefit management and recruiting. Many other participants indicated that HR was a good partner, but not leading in this area. About one third of the participants indicated they had some direct responsibility for the employee experience as it related to the patient experience. One shared they recently appointed a new head of patient experience and employee experience, who is also the head of HR. 
  • No clear owner of patient experience. Although many of the participants had some direct responsibility or influence, there was not a clear owner of the design, management or measurement of an employee experience strategy. Most acknowledged this was a gap in their organization, despite a recent survey indicating that more than 90 percent of healthcare organizations have a defined role responsible for patient experience. 

What is working well to improve the employee experience? 

Part of each of the discussion groups centered around what was working well to improve the employee experience. Here are a few of the ideas shared. 

  • The importance of listening. More than any other topic or conversation thread, the power of listening to employees produced results. Not only does giving people a voice produce a positive result with the employee experience (reducing turnover and increasing engagement), but employees are a consistent source of new ideas and feedback for improving the patient experience.

    Some participants talked about “diversified rounding,” as an extension of purposeful roundingmeaning everyone from medical staff to chefs to executives participated in patient and team rounding. This practice was identified as a great way to improve understanding and create empathy.
     

  • More frequent feedback. Traditional annual surveys do not provide timely information, and often that information is not actionable. People simply are not sure what to do with the data. Many participants discussed augmenting their feedback data with pop surveys or more informal but frequent information collection that could be shared more broadly and in real time.
     
  • Recognizing good behaviors. Although the mechanics are diverse, several participants shared stories of celebrating people and the behaviors making them successful. One healthcare system frequently tells stories about employees’ experiences as patients: humanizing employees, building empathy and highlighting successful behaviors.

    Another healthcare organization implemented peer-to-peer recognition and acknowledges employees on screens across the hospital. Several participants indicated they have recognition programs, but most indicated they’re not used strategically as part of driving patient experience outcomes. 

The consensus of the group was that the healthcare space is several years behind other industries in being strategic and purposeful in its design of the employee experience, even though it’s understood that the employee experience is critical to a successful patient experience. What’s needed are more clear examples in healthcare that demonstrate the impact to patient and financial outcomes in order to build support among a larger group of stakeholders. More progressive healthcare providers are starting to address this disconnect, but there’s a tremendous opportunity to apply best practices from other industries and significantly impact the patient experience and outcomes. 

For more information on the growing relationship between EX and PX, download our white paper, The New World of Value-Based Healthcare: The Patient Experience Begins With the Employee Experience. 

This Week in Employee Experience: November 26, 2018

Here’s our weekly roundup series to help you stay connected to the often overwhelming landscape of employee experience thought leadership. Start here to narrow down you search each week! Stay connected with Maritz Employee Experience on Twitter and LinkedIn.

From Maritz Employee Experience: 

Three Reasons to Foster a Culture of Gratitude Year-Round – While major calendar holidays always offer opportunities to show appreciation for employees and teammates, fostering a culture of gratitude should be a year-round investment. 

New On The HRX

How To Improve Employee Turnover – A common concern across all industries is employee retention. Though various factors may contribute to turnover among personnel, recent research may shed new light on practical means of improving retention and reducing the costs associated with excessive employee turnover. 

From the Web:  

Does the Employee Experience Trend Replace Engagement? – If you’re an organizational leader or if you work in HR, you may have noticed something recently — or even over the past few years now: Your organization can’t fake its employment brand anymore. 

The Experience Paradigm: Customer or Employee First? – The traditional HR function can learn a lot from the Customer Experience Paradigm. Since the Customer Experience practices and professionals have had a head start of roughly a decade or so, experts see huge learning potential for traditional HR departments to join forces, make internal handshakes, share CX capabilities and focus of combined digital platforms to optimize both the customer and the employee journey. 

What is Employee Experience and How to Improve It – Capturing the “employee experience” seems to be a thing of trends in the world of business at present, but the business case for employee experience seems to be popping up everywhere. However, might we want to better understand what it is? And why might we want to care? We need to examine the employee experience and improve it. 

Why You Need to Make Employee Experience a Priority Now – Employee experience isn’t just a buzz term. It’s a critical business imperative that can drive innovation, productivity, customer satisfaction, and revenue. In embracing digital workspace solutions, you can power a smarter, better way to work and get the right people in the right places to unlock innovation, engage customers and move your business forward. 

This Week in Employee Experience: November 19, 2018

Here’s our weekly roundup series to help you stay connected to the often overwhelming landscape of employee experience thought leadership. Start here to narrow down your search each week! Stay connected with Maritz Employee Experience on Twitter and LinkedIn.

From Maritz Employee Experience: 

When Slower is Faster: Considerations for Hiring for Cultural Fit – For the past quarter-century, American businesses have expended untold amounts of time and money trying to engage their employees and build a company culture on a foundation of core values and beliefs, attempting to drive passion, purpose and commitment. It takes such a concerted effort, because there’s no magic button to push for obtaining a culture where employees are focused, committed and intending to stick around for a long time. Building and maintaining a vibrant culture isn’t something you do can once and walk away from, unless you define once as “continually.”  

7 Last-minute Ideas for celebrating Thanksgiving In The Office – There are many ways to show your team you are grateful for the work that they put in all year round, but if you’ve caught the holiday spirit and want to share some last-minute festivities with your team, here are a few ideas for office celebrations that can be pulled off with little planning. This article gives you seven ways you can celebrate Thanksgiving in your office. 

New On The HRX:

3 Simple Ways to Leverage Social Proof and Attract Top Talent With Social Media – The concept of social proof is an age-old marketing tactic. It’s used by companies to ease the worries and build trust with consumers making them a trusted brand. It does this by speaking the language of their audience, using visuals and providing evidence to show credibility. Social proof has since expanded outside of the hands of marketing as the new generation takes over the workforce. 

From the Web:  

Does Your Employee Experience Strategy Improve Performance? – Being able to attract and keep the best people — people who are innovative, adaptable and motivated — has become a competitive differentiator for the best organizations.

Can AI Keep the ‘Human’ In HR? – Although artificial intelligence (AI) has become somewhat of an industry buzzword, there’s no denying that the technology is significantly transforming businesses. Despite the obvious benefits that AI can bring, there is real concern that the technology poses a threat to job roles such as HR managers. Learn more about AI’s impact on HR in this article.  

Measuring, Meeting and Succeeding at Employee Engagement – I recently moderated a panel for the Philadelphia Chapter of Association of Legal Administrators on how employers can measure, meet and succeed when it comes to employee engagement. The panel was engaging (pun intended) and full of information on why, as employers, we can’t seem to stop talking about employee satisfaction and engagement 

Keep an Eye Out for These Three Hospitality Technology Trends in 2019 – This article goes into depth regarding tech in the hospitality industry. To find the part that is employee focused, scroll to about the third section, “Employee-Focused Technology.” While hoteliers contemplate testing guest-facing services like texting, tablets and AI, another 2019 trend will focus on the other side of the hotel experience: the staff. While hotel technology advancements have primarily been designed for management or guests, it’s about time technology catches up with what hoteliers have always known: a happy staff makes for a happy guest.  

The Employee Engagement Crisis: How to Fix It In Your Organization – Sometimes people get corporate culture and employee experience confused, but they are really very different things. Companies talk a lot about corporate culture, especially when they’re recruiting top talent in a highly competitive job market or writing copy for their websites. But sometimes talking the talk about culture and employee experience is different than walking the walk. How are they different? Listen to this #FutureOfWork Talk with Shelley Kramer, serial entrepreneur, business strategist, nationally known speaker and technology expert. 

When Slower is Faster: Considerations for Hiring for Cultural Fit.

For the past quarter-century, American businesses have expended untold amounts of time and money trying to engage their employees and build a company culture on a foundation of core values and beliefs, attempting to drive passion, purpose and commitment. 

It takes such a concerted effort, because there’s no magic button to push for obtaining a culture where employees are focused, committed and intending to stick around for a long time. Building and maintaining a vibrant culture isn’t something you do can once and walk away from, unless you define once as “continually.” 

If the bad news is that there are no shortcuts, the good news is that there is one thing you can do to get a big leg up on the process: make a particular point of hiring the sorts of employees who are already on board with your values and culture. Taking your deliberate time to hire for cultural fit–and sometimes cultural un-fit–can save you worlds of trouble later. 

It’s not as hard as it may sound. In our new ebook, Want Engaged Employees? Hire Engaged Employees, we discuss a number of considerations for hiring for cultural fit, including whether cultural fit even accurately describes what you’re shooting for in the first place. In this guide, you’ll learn: 

The critical role of managers. Each employee’s experience of company culture is directly proportional to their manager. Your leaders are far and away your most important hires. 

Hiring for now, and not right now. Employees who stay with your company will likely fill a number of roles during their tenure. Even if you’re not hiring for a leadership position, assume that you are. 

Recognize your bias. It’s a natural human inclination to gravitate towards people who are most like us. When hiring, this is a positive thing to a certain extent, but it can go south on you, quickly. 

Interviewing with a purpose. The more carefully crafted the questions, and the more cultural takes on a candidate’s fit (both organizationally and even geographically), the better. 

Hiring for cultural un-fit. Is it possible to overdose on your own culture? It absolutely is. When is it time to go against the grain? 

Not fitting, but shaping. Hiring to support your values is only partially for the culture you already have. What sort will you need to have to meet future challenges and opportunities? 

Building a culture of lasting passion and purpose doesn’t begin with the people you already have within your four walls—it begins with whom you choose to bring inside those four walls. Download our new ebook to learn how to begin creating a culture that will ultimately create itself. 

The week in employee engagement – August 28, 2018

Here’s our weekly roundup series to help you stay connected to the often overwhelming landscape of employee engagement thought leadership. Start here to narrow down your search each week!     

Stay connected with Maritz Employee Experience on Twitter and LinkedInSubscribe to our employee experience newsletter.     

 

From Maritz Employee Experience: 

IRF: Transparent Corporate Culture Now an Imperative — Earlier this year, the Incentive Research Foundation released its annual trends report, including plenty of pertinent and interesting information. Among the 10 trends with implications for incentive travel and reward and recognition programs were two of particular note: the necessity for a brand-asset culture, and to no one’s surprise, the emergence of AI and predictive analytics. You might also like Jeff Beckner’s article on the IRF Incentives Study and this article.

New HR Blog: The HRX — The HRX is a new website and blog from Maritz EX. HR professionals from large organizations will find relevant articles on key HR topics and strategies, and explore workplace issues like employee engagement, employee experience and workplace culture. The HRX is a one-stop resource where you will find interesting and timely human resource articles and expert commentary from Maritz authors and HR industry experts across the globe. Subscribe to The HRX and follow The HRX on Twitter. Are you ready to join the community?  

 

What We’re Learning This week:     

Lead From the Heart Podcast — Listen to Gallup’s chief scientist and bestselling author Jim Harter discuss why employee engagement and caring cultures differentiate thriving organizations. If you enjoy that, hop over to YouTube to watch Harter’s TEDx Talk, which explores the critical elements of wellness and happiness.  

7 Tips to Engage C-Suite Executives — Whether you’re trying to influence your manager’s choice in HR technology or making a formal presentation, this article will teach you what it takes to gain buy-in at the executive level.  

Coach Your Team’s Strengths To Improve Employee Engagement — Actively disengaged employees cost the United States $450 – $550 billion per year, according to Gallup’s research. This article from SHRM discusses best practices to maximize employee engagement. Managers are not the only ones who influence employee engagement. Organizations as a whole, through both their policies and executive leadership, can also have a significant effect. 

3 Organizational Culture Mistakes to Avoid During an M&A — Business performance—and therefore merger and acquisition success—hinges on people. It’s your people who transform ideas into action and generate results, and i’s your people who fuel the genius of invention. And ultimately, your employees make a merger or acquisition valuable. Let’s learn how do you foster a positive, productive work environment before, during and after an M&A.

This week in employee engagement- August 14, 2018

Here’s our weekly roundup series to help you stay connected to the often overwhelming landscape of employee engagement thought leadership. Start here to narrow down your search each week!     

Stay connected with Maritz Employee Experience on Twitter and LinkedInSubscribe to our employee experience newsletter.     

From Maritz Employee Experience: 

10 Foolproof Ways to Take Care of Your Employee Engagement and Company Culture. Or Not. — Giving purpose to your employee experience and building a healthy, thriving corporate culture is hard work, man. Who has time for that? Soft work is usually plenty hard enough. What you need are some shortcuts. As a public service, we’ve compiled a list of methods to…to…well, to just get out of the way of your employee engagement and culture challenges and let them sort themselves out.  

 

What We’re Reading This Week:     

Want to Improve Productivity? Hire Better Managers — According to Gallup, 70% of a team’s engagement depends on the manager. The conclusion of Gallup’s No Recovery report found that real GDP per capita growth has slowed from highs of 3% in the 1960s to only 0.5% in 2016. What does that kind of slow economic growth mean for individuals? And what can be done to raise productivity?  

Caring About Engagement Isn’t Enough — You Need Tools to Create and Measure It — Do you believe that the employee experience is among the top challenges facing today’s business leaders? If you don’t, you may want to reconsider. Research compiled by Deloitte identifies EX as the fourth most critical trend facing organizations worldwide.  

Employee Engagement is So Over! OK, Maybe Not Quite — As new ways of working emerge, organizations will reshape their focus on talent to take a much stronger interest in the personal and professional growth and potential of the people who work for them (the emerging focus on “growth mindset” is a good indication of this). Organizations will also reframe how they think about engagement, focusing more on helping people feel a sustainable sense of vitality at work. 

Five Ways To Create Rockstar Employee Engagement — James Dodkins is the author of 136 Ideas for Rockstar Employee Engagement, and he has some great ideas to attain employee engagement, which leads to customer engagement, which is directly linked to delivering a better customer experience.