Employees Need to Feel Like They’re Contributing

How people feel about what they are doing (intrinsic motivation) is a key to sustaining their focus, energy, and commitment. One of the ways for companies to tap into this intrinsic motivation is to find ways for employees to feel as if they are contributing to the organization’s success (which is consistent with lessons from positive psychology).

As you can see in the chart below, people who believe they are contributing are:

  • More than twice as likely to help someone at work
  • Almost four times as likely to do something unexpectedly good for the company
  • More than twice as likely to make a recommendation
  • More than twice as likely to recommend that a friend apply for a job
  • 36% less likely to look for a new job
  • 30% less likely to take more than one sick day

1507_PowerOfContributing

The bottom line: When people feel like they contribute, they contribute even more.

Report: Employee Engagement Competency & Maturity, 2015

1507_StateOfEE2015_COVERWe just published a Temkin Group report, Employee Engagement Competency & Maturity, 2015. Here’s the executive summary of this annual review of employee engagement activities, competencies, and maturity levels for large companies:

Engaged employees are critical assets for any customer experience effort. Our research of more than 200 large companies shows that front-line employees are the most engaged, while back office employees are often neglected in employee engagement efforts. We also found that two-thirds of companies survey their employees at least once a year, but less than half of executives consider acting on the results as a high priority. We used Temkin Group’s Employee Engagement Competency & Maturity Assessment to gauge the maturity levels and efforts of these companies across our five competencies, called the Five I’s of Employee Engagement: Inform, Inspire, Instruct, Involve, and Incent. We found that less than one out of five companies have reached the top two levels of maturity, Enhancing and Maximizing. This percentage of very mature companies is about the same as in 2014, but the percentage of companies in the lowest two levels of maturity has dropped from 67% to 56% since last year. We also found that many companies face challenges when trying to make improvements. The lack of a clear employee engagement strategy remains the number one obstacle that’s been cited by respondents over the previous three years. We compared companies with above average employee engagement maturity with those with lower maturity and found that the leaders deliver better customer experience and also have better financial results than their counterparts.

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Here’s an excerpt from one of the 20 graphics:

1507_EECompetencyMaturityResults

Here are some additional highlights form the report:

  • The percentage of companies in the top two stages of employee engagement maturity has stayed the same since last year (19%), but the percentage of companies in the lower two sages has declined from 67% in 2014 to 56% on 2015.
  • Sixty-nine percent of large companies measure employee engagement at least annually, but only 45% of companies have executives that treat taking action on the results as a high priority.
  • The most common obstacle to success identified by respondents is the lack of a clear employee engagement strategy.
  • We compared companies with more mature employee engagement efforts with those that have less maturity. Seventy-two percent of the more mature companies have above average customer experience compared with 48% of the other companies.
  • Seventy-five percent of the more mature companies had better financial performance than their competitors’ compared with 50% of companies with lower employee engagement maturity.
  • Executives in companies with more mature employee engagement efforts are almost 3.5 times more likely to treat taking action on employee engagement studies as a high priority.
  • Companies with more mature employee engagement efforts are more than twice as likely to have their customer experience and HR organizations work together on their employee engagement efforts.
  • The report includes data for benchmarking your organization’s employee engagement competency and maturity levels.
  • Here’s a link to the 2014 study.

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The bottom line: Companies should invest more in employee engagement.

What Do People Want in a New Job? Flexibility

As part of our ongoing research around all aspects of employee engagement, we examined the things that people look for in a new job. No surprise, compensation is a key item. But it’s not at the top of the list.

As you can see in the chart below which is based on a study of 5,000 U.S, employees, people are most interested in finding a job that has flexible work hours. Compensation and location and are next on the list, with about the same appeal.

We also examined how the data differs across age groups of consumers. Compared with the overall U.S. average:

  • 18- to 24-year-olds want to enjoy life. They selected flexible work hours, fun work environment, and the opportunity to be creative more than any other group.
  • 25- to 34-year-olds want career growth. They selected the opportunity for professional advancement and working for a person they can learn from more than any other age group.
  • 35- to 44-year-olds want the money. They selected compensation more than any other group.
  • 55- to 64-year-olds want meaningfulness. They selected working for a person they like and an organization they admire more than any other group.
  • The 65+ group want convenience and training. They selected location, training, and vacation time more than any other group.

1507_NewJobGoals
The bottom line: People care about more than just compensation

Walmart’s Pay Increase Will Probably Lower Costs

Walmart recently announced that it plans to raise wages for more than 100,000 of its managers and employees in specialized departments. Why would the “everyday low prices” retailer add a ton of new costs to its ongoing operations?

I want to explore a hypothesis that this move will actually lower Walmart’s long-term costs. I know it sounds counter-intuitive; how do you lower costs by spending more? The answer comes from understanding the Employee Engagement Virtuous Cycle.

Temkin Group's Employee Engagement Virtuous Cycle

As you can see, a more engaged workforce can drive even better financial results. One of the reasons is that engaged employees are much more productive, they’re willing to work harder. While compensation is not the key motivator for engaging employees, it’s hard to engage employees who don’t believe that they are being fairly compensated.

As you can see below, 59% of employees who believe they are appropriately compensated are highly likely to do something good for the company even if it’s not expected of them, compared with 45% of employees who do not believe they are appropriately compensated.

TGVirtuousCycle

This move by Walmart will certainly get a lot more employees to believe that they are appropriately compensated. Think about how much value (and cost savings) those employees can create by doing good things for Walmart. I’d bet that it will more than cover the costs of the pay raises.

The bottom line: Sometimes you can save money by paying your employees more.

Temkin Group’s Engage Employees Challenge

logoJoin Temkin Group’s Engage Employee Movement and help raise the bar on employee engagement. We’re giving out $1,000 for innovative ideas, because great CX requires engaged employees.

Report: Activating Middle Managers to Drive CX Change

1505_ActivatingMiddleManagers_COVERWe just published a Temkin Group report, Activating Middle Managers to Drive CX Change. Here’s the executive summary:

It’s hard to get any group of employees to change their behavior when their managers are still reinforcing old processes, measurements, and beliefs. Middle managers show up in organizations under a variety of titles, but regardless of the descriptor, they are the ones who execute plans, lead teams, and direct collective efforts to produce results. Because of the importance of these responsibilities, Temkin Group made “Activating Middle Managers” a key strategy in its change model, Employee-Engaging Transformation. In this report, we examine five categories of best practices for successfully activating middle managers in organizational change efforts: Involve Middle Managers in Shaping the Change, Engage Middle Managers in Goal Setting, Train Middle Managers on Key Skills, Provide Middle Managers Tools to Engage their Teams, and Connect Middle Managers with Customers. In this report, we also describe the critical role that senior leaders must play across all of these strategies.

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The report contains details on 21 best practices across five categories:

1506_ActivatingMiddleManagers21BPs

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The bottom line: You can’t drive change without activating middle managers.

Report: Engaging Millennials in the Workplace

1503_Millennial Engagement_COVERWe just published a Temkin Group report, Engaging Millennials in the Workplace, which provides five employee engagement strategies for younger workers. Here’s the executive summary:

Common estimates predict that the Millennial generation—those born between 1980 and 2000—will make up 60% of the workforce by 2020. As with each previous generation, this group of employees brings its own set of expectations, attitudes, and approaches to the job, which creates both challenges and opportunities for the organizations that employ them. Temkin Group research found that compared to other generations, Millennials desire opportunities to learn and advance their careers as well as opportunities that allow them to be creative and work flexible hours. To engage Millennials more effectively in the workplace, companies should deploy five strategies across Temkin Group’s Five I’s of Employee Engagement. These five strategies are: Expand Job Descriptions, Create Connections, Make Work Matter, Allow For Flexibility, and Develop Millennial Leaders. We also added a checklist to help HR departments drive these five strategies across their core processes.

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Here’s an overview of the five strategies:

1503_MillenialStrategies

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The bottom line: Engaging Millennials is no longer an optional focus.

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