The Power of Employee Engagement Strategies
This article is based on my presentation at The World HR Summit, Goa.
My topic was Explosion in Real Time Engagement Evaluation in Human Resources. Thanks Kashish for recording my presentation and and putting it in black and white.
As HR professionals, we all are aware of importance of engagement of employees. A lot of studies have been done which show that with right engagement, absenteeism goes down to 37% , 48% mitigation in safety events, 41% fewer product defects, 21% higher productivity and 22% higher profitability.
This info graphics shows Importance of employee engagement strategies for any organization but unfortunately many organizations don’t see engagement as business case , as something where they will invest and that would impact their bottom line. Studies show that these days, approximately 50% employees are not engaged , 20% are disengaged and only a mere percentage of 30 are engaged.
When employees were asked when did they feel engaged, 92% of employees stated that they feel engaged when talked about their progress level, 97% when encouraged for their development and 88% when they were being praised. This shows that praising them , talking about their development and encouraging them about their progress are the major factors in engaging the clients.
It has always been difficult to assess engagement, progress, development or any other HR process. But these days by the gift of technology, it has become easy which assess the same by sing real time evaluation applications.
Once we can assess the behavior or any other HR sub process, the magic begins. Because this completes the habit loop. This can help HR department in completing the habit loop by introducing right kinds of rewards and reinforcement scheduling. By the use of technology, HR department can find what cues elicit what kind of behavior or routine and how they can use reward or reinforcement scheduling to increase or decrease any particular behavior.
Some of the areas where Employee Engagement Ideas can be incorporated are…
The HR Professionals who want to Motivate their people for anything can see the power of right reinforcement scheduling in examples below..
- The best example of this can be the most famous game Pokemon. Millions of people are mad about this game named Pokemon Go. Pokemon creates a space for the players and works on the principle of virtual rewards and scientific reinforcement scheduling which keeps all the players hooked onto it. The game makers are able to take the players to theme parks or anywhere in physically.
- Facebook also works on the principle of Reinforcement Scheduling. It makes sure that people are engaged and are presented with the “engaging” information at the right time. This leads to building up of a syndrome known as The Fear of Losing Out. This syndrome comes out of addiction, people who are avid users of Facebook feel that if they do not check their feed every hour or every day, they will lose out on some vital part of their existence.
If you have 50 friends on Facebook and you upload a picture on Facebook, FB will not show that picture immediately to all your 50 friends in a time span of 30mins or 60 mins. It will very systematically show up that picture to all your friends in a gap of 3-4 days so that you always remain engaged. Facebook uses this strategy by the use of machine learning , AI and data analytics.
- Maybe the extreme example can be of “Blue Whale” which shows that by using right kind of engagement one can even push people to a limit of committing suicide.
- The same principles are used in casinos where people lose all there money. One of the recent examples can be of Politicians using the services of Cambridge Analytica, though it was designed with a bad intent.
Technology and RealTime Evaluation has Revolutionized the HR with RealTime Reinforcement Scheduling.
Real time evaluation and rewards help the HR Department of any organization To Turn Performance Management System to Performance Assurance System.
Instead of assessing the performance of past year, they can now assess and take required measures in RealTime.
The HR department can do something like PDCA through real time evaluation so that there is no surprise, recency effect or iegarnik effect. Real time evaluation equips the HR department with not only the power of measurement but also with the ability to take real time actions.
RealTime Evaluation shows the employees the true intentions of the HR. It is not only the formality to do the pulse surveys or engagement surveys at the end of the year rather HR department has positive and right intentions to understand the employees and take corrective measures. This will help the HR department to nip the evil in the bud if there is any.
Engaging Employee’s Families
Again using real time tools for engagement HR department can engage employees’ families at very low cost . Many of my clients do family engagement programs where they call families of 20-30 employees to the organization once or twice in a month and there is a program for whole day including music, competitions , factory visits etc.
This particular client told that they are involved in many engagement programs. They conduct 2 such programs each month. Almost 2,3 days each week the HR department keeps busy in making arrangements for the same.
The client was shocked when told that there is almost no engagement for the families, even though their half the productive time is being invested into this intervention. The reason being, it is highly likely that next time the same family will visit the company only after 3-4 years.
If we look at it from family’s point of view, there is no engagement but this engagement program is for the HR department itself.
But by the boon of technology and help of real time engagement tools the families can be engaged throughout the year at very low cost.
Another benefit of real time engagement is that there is no or very less recency effect. As HR professionals, we know about recency effect that while assessing any particular behavior or person we tend to remember the recent incidents as compared to the events that happened 8-10 months back. Many of us have suffered due to this tendency of the human brain. This can be usually sorted out by using real time evaluation.
Very few people know about ZEIGARNIK EFFECT which states that human beings tend to remember those incidents or tasks more which were incomplete or interrupted. It is more likely that the boss will remember those tasks of subordinates more which were not completed.
Best For GIG Economy
Real time engagement evaluation can equip HR department for gig economy. If there are lot workers working for any organization which are not on the role or are not available through contact workers, we hire them whenever required making it very difficult and is less very cost effective to engage them. But using technology it has become very easy to engage gig economy workers.
Most important thing about real time engagement evaluation is that millennial love it because they want immediate results , evaluation and feedback about how they have done and how it can be improved. They abhor waiting for one year to get the feedback about their performance.
As stated before, it helps in completing the habit loop. Also mentioned by Charles Duhigg in his book, The power of habit , ‘Once we can reward the right behavior in a particular way we can put our employees in the right kind of habit.’
Which Tools is Best For You ?
Now the real question is how to select the right tool, app or platform for this purpose ?
Any tool being used will be like 32 pieces of chess, each having multiple functions and features. But how good you play , depends on how good player you are.
Therefore, while selecting any software or app for engagement , you should go for what kind of support the selling company is providing to you in developing right kind of engagement programs. The same strategy which the Pokemon, Facebook and similar app developers use. They have hired a team of psychologist to develop different types of engagement programs which programmers code into the actual software. Even the game Blue Whale was developed by two Russian Psychologist.
HR Consultant, www.vats.in
Contact VATS Consulting for Employee Engagement Strategies and Ideas.