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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.

[caption id="attachment_829" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Why Employee Engagement Strategies[/caption]

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.

[caption id="attachment_824" align="aligncenter" width="300"] How Engaged Are Today's Employees[/caption]

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...
[caption id="attachment_828" align="aligncenter" width="540"] Employee Engagement Ideas in Corporate[/caption]

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.

[caption id="attachment_825" align="aligncenter" width="540"] Power of Employee Engagement[/caption]


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.’

[caption id="attachment_826" align="aligncenter" width="540"] Advantage of Using Technology for Employee Engagement 1[/caption]


[caption id="attachment_827" align="aligncenter" width="540"] Advantage of Using Technology for Employee Engagement 2[/caption]


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.


Vikas Vats

HR Consultant,

Contact VATS Consulting for Employee Engagement Strategies and Ideas.

During my long stint of more than 1000 trainings I have been enormously interested in finding out why and how people learn and why they won’t. Based on my observations I have coined a term “The Power of -1” . Minus One has two very interesting properties. If multiplied by biggest possible positive number, it converts it to negative and if multiplied by biggest possible negative number, it converts it to positive.
I have been using this technique in my personal life, in my trainings and teaching to my participants.

No matter what I teach in a training or any participants may already know, only one doubt in his mind will make all the gyan useless. It will clutter his mind and give enough reasons to not to act on any of the knowledge he possesses. This doubt may be something like “It sounds good in theory but in practical life……” OR “If this is how it is then …..” OR “ This may be okay for others but we are different …..” OR “ hard work is ok but some people do have good luck…”.
The doubts are like dirt on all precious knowledge we may possess. It covers all the gems of wisdom and promotes inaction. Specially to the people who don’t have enough will power to change, doubts give sufficient reason to lay supine. Since the time I started devoting time to remove this dirt, I could see palpable results. Not only the trainings became more effective I am seeing more and more participants discussing during breaks, asking for contact details for individual sessions and increased queries through mails – depicting more interest in learning and putting that in action.
Interestingly I have devised a way to use this power of -1 for good. People usually talk about negative or not so supporting environment, boss, juniors etc. I use the power of -1 to convert this negativity to positive. Negative environment only means less competition for me. Instead of saying “ My boss never appreciates” I say “ I need to learn more on how to get appreciated” and I’ll read some good books, google on it and consult some expert. Any atonement shall be handy with many more people, throughout my life. My juniors are never useless, its me who has to upgrade “How to get work done” skills. That may also work in getting my kids study harder.
This is a simple change of perception. Abundance of energy is already there, but working against you, use power of “sublimation” to make it work for you, to motivate you and challenge you.
Hope you will enjoy converting all negative energies to positive using power of minus one.
DOUBT ? Don't Keep. Ask here
Vikas Vats



In a Recent Training on Goal Setting and Target Achievement ( During an Exercise ) I asked participants to set humanly impossible goals for themselves. This is what they had to do when I made them achieve those Goals. Now they believe they may not know how, may not know ever, may not achieve now or ever, but ALL Goals are Achievable.

 There was this king with his colossal army. The army was impeccable and won dozens of war for the king. This war was special as the opponents were almost double in number. The King was worried this time. At last, the strategy of the Army Chief and the power of the army prevailed and the King had another feather in his cap.
There was no end to King’s delight and in this mood he promised Army Chief to grant any wish he wanted. The Chief replied “With your mercy I have everything I could think, But there is only one thing I can never have. If you are happy my lord, then make me the king for one day”.
The wish did not amuse the King but he had to keep his words. The Chief was made King for one day.

No prize for Guessing the first order he gave ? Hang the actual King.
You are that king and your Mind is your Chief. If you can control your mind, you can conquer anything your want. You can win all wars and achieve anything. If you let your mind control you, You are doomed.
Our mind ( the software part of the brain ) works on two simple principles. Survival and Immediate Gratification. It is just not programmed for planning, strategizing and delay of gratification. Which is must to live the kind of life you’ll like to live.
Most of the times we know what is good for us, what has to be done for what we want. Its the difference between knowledge and action that that is keeping us. We all know regular exercising is good for us, but how many of us are able to do it? The course we wanted to do, book we wanted to write, business we wanted to do, skill we wanted to develop, hobby we wanted to pursue might be some of the endless examples.
The revolution in information technology has mitigated the importance of knowledge. All gyan is available on finger clicks. The one who can implement shall prevail. The one who has the control to concentrate all energies, focus all efforts shall achieve. Today is the time for “Karma Yoga”.
Never in the history was such a wonderful time to show the world what you are capable of. You just need to be better than others and your can show it. You cut grass, but wonderfully, and people will stop on the road to click your park and upload. The world will know here lives a person who is the best grass cutter.
Fix your goals, focus your mind, concentrate all your efforts and you will get it.