Tag Archives: employee engagement

Does March Madness Make a Mess of Your Business?

Does March Madness Make a Mess of Your Business?

Sports fans go nuts over March Madness, and productivity can drop from their watching games and getting too into the Madness on company time. You can try banning the Madness, but some firms have taken another approach -and found it successful.

The WSJ highlights how a telemarketing company made March Madness work for their business, instead of decimating it. They created their own pool and competition in the organization on sales calls, and put that obsessive, competitive spirit to work for them.

Before you try something like this though, they recommend laying down some ground rules:

– State what is, and isn’t, acceptable. Can workers watch games on the clock? Can they place online bets at work? Outline the guidelines before problems crop up.

– Offer specific suggestions as to how fans can show their support. Don’t want people coming to work dressed as the team mascot? Say so. No full-body painting? Tell them before they show up to work blue and orange.

Some companies go totally nuts and make March Madness an official company holiday and close altogether! If you’re not ready to go that far, you can have TVs in the break room for employees to watch games, and give them a place to relax, instead of over a long lunch break.

And for those employees who just don’t care? Make sure they can benefit from some of the perks too, even if they’re not fans. Let them take their chips and salsa and enjoy it in another, game-free area instead.



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10 Shocking Statistics About Employee Engagement (infographic)

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Better Productivity Through Technology

Have you considered tracking your employees? We’re not quite at the point of embedding a chip in them to monitor their activity 24/7, but that day is getting closer all the time.

Many companies are using devices to track employees and uncover ways to improve productivity. And their findings are surprising.

They’re seeing a correlation between higher productivity and face-to-face interactions.

This is something that can be hard for some managers to swallow. I had a manager once who would come upon several of us talking near our desks, and break up the conversation, sending us all back to our individual, sectioned-off cubes. Now, we may have been chatting about the latest TV show, but interspersed in the conversation was also discussion of our work, too. We were casually sharing ideas, strategies, and thoughts on how to improve, and all she saw was a big flashing light that said WASTING TIME!

I’ve often thought about her and her misguided management approach, and try to learn from her mistakes. Not only did she minimize our communication and keep us working separately, without sharing information that could help us improve, she damaged morale, which led to high turnover. She would have benefited greatly from the new technology and sensors out there.

In addition to increased productivity, individual data sensors can reveal who is likely to leave the firm, or get a promotion.

Of course, it’s not as easy as pinning on a sensor and improving productivity. There are privacy issues to deal with, and most importantly, you need to be prepared to make sense of the data you collect. Analysis of your findings is the most important part of the project- as always with data!

Data-Driven Officefrom the Wall Street Journal

Some insights firms got from tracking workers’ movements:

At lunch, size matters: Researchers found that workers at one tech company who ate at tables designed for 12 were more productive than those who used tables for four.

Togetherness builds teams: After a bank call center switched to group breaks, rather than solo ones, productivity rose at least 10%.

More, but smaller, spaces: Sensor data at a consumer products company found that, on average, three or four people were meeting in rooms designed to hold eight to 10, so the firm carved out smaller meeting spaces.


Tracking Sensors Invade the Workplace - WSJ.com

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Employee Engagement And Organizational Goals

Doing more with less has become standard with business organizations across the country. Corporations are dealing with fewer resources and increased competition. Many companies are realizing that their best asset is the people that work for them. Employee engagement will become an important feature in organizations.

Employee engagement is a business concept in which employees are involved in their jobs and have a positive outlook in where they work. It is how employees are committed their workplace and can be an indicator of future performance.   There are several things that guide employee engagement including job expectations, management feedback, and quality of a work environment.

A Financial Factor

Surveys on employee engagement have found that engaged employees are more productive. They are more e customer-focused, safer, and more likely to leave an organization. Engaged employees help the company achieve its goals and improve its competitiveness. Employees work harder, are absent less, and help the organizations return on investing in training and hiring employees through their work ethic.

Performance and Recognition Divided

A survey by the Society For Human Resources Management found while many companies recognize the value of engagement they lack policies to increase it. Seventy one percent of respondents in one survey track engagement levels through employee exit interviews. Many companies are only learning about engagement issues at the time employees voluntarily leave the company. Only 37 percent of leaders said they tie employee recognition programs to corporate values while 43 percent recognize employees based on performance related to the organization’s financial goals.

Steps To Enhance Engagement

There are ways companies can develop engagement and initiate a strong work environment:

1. Invest More in Employees. Provide incentives such as work-life programs, such as flex-time, health benefits, and employee perks.

2. Retain Talent Through Culture Development. Communicate the organization’s mission and provide career development opportunities to make employees feel a part of the company.

3. Everyone One The Same Page. Communication is key to all parties involved from shareholders, management and employees to know what the organization’s value is and to sustain it.


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Are Your Employees Engaged?

Employee engagement is an issue of great importance in the HR field. In fact, according to a recent Healthx white paper, the vast majority of organizations today consider employee engagement to be the top priority among their HR goals.  While employee engagement is an important aim, the Seattle Post Intelligence blog indicates that a recent Gallup survey found only 33 percent of employees were fully engaged, while a full 18 percent identified themselves as actively disengaged from their work.

The Importance of Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is defined as the level of interest and enthusiasm workers have for their jobs. The more engaged an employee is, the more excited he or she is about the job he is performing. Employees who are neither engaged nor disengaged, on the other hand, aren’t connected to their workplaces and aren’t likely to go the extra mile. Finally, employees who are disengaged are disconnected from their jobs and put both their own physical health and the ongoing success of workplace or team projects at risk.

As one might expect, companies with a greater percentage of engaged employees tend to be more profitable than companies with a lower number of engaged workers. Further, companies with engaged employees have higher retention rates (which means less money spent recruiting and training) and can have a better image with customers.

How to Increase Engagement

While employee engagement may be a top goal, you have to actively take steps to increase engagement if you want to achieve it. Engaging employees should be done on an organization-wide basis, and managers are essential in making sure employees remain engaged. Managers can work to increase employee engagement by:

  • Clarifying their expectations
  • Making sure employees have the resources they need to do their jobs
  • Helping employees to develop themselves professionally
  • Making sure employees connect to the company’s mission and purpose
  • Offering regular progress reports, rather than simply annual reviews.


When these and other efforts are instituted to help employees become passionate about their work, the efforts can pay dividends for your company. According to Gallup data, in world-class organizations, the ratio of engaged workers to disengaged employees is 10:1 while the ratio in average organizations is closer to 2:1. Increasing employee engagement is thus one of the best ways to help yourself stand apart from the crowd and to make the most of your human resources.

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