Tag Archives: engagement

Driving talent engagement through social

Talent is the biggest challenge organizations are facing in today’s environment where the millennials are taking charge. Employers all over the world are looking to find ways to keep employees engaged. Gallup research shows that only 13% of employees around the world are actively engaged at work, and more than twice that number are so disengaged, that they are likely to spread negativity to others.

If people are not engaged, how can leaders attain those business objectives that are critical to improving organizational performance? And, at the same, we need our leaders to engage employees.

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An engaged employee becomes an asset to the team, department, business unit and organization by continuously thinking about the bigger picture. In his book, Getting Engaged: The New Workplace Loyalty, author Tim Rutledge explains that the truly engaged employees are attracted to, and inspired by, their work (“I want to do this”), committed (“I am dedicated to the success of what I am doing”), and fascinated (“I love what I am doing”). Engaged employees care about the future of the company and are willing to invest the discretionary effort – exceeding duty’s call – to ensure that the organization succeeds.

Talent engagement is not a goal, it is a state of being; focus should stay on sustaining it.

Most organizations have an annual employee engagement survey which helps leaders assess the engagement levels but it’s…

Read the complete article on People Matters or on LinkedIn.

Are you a Walter Mitty?

Find that what makes you happy; work should always be a labor of love! – Khalid Raza

Think about this…80 percent of the 18-44-year-olds check their smartphones as soon as they wake up. It’s highly likely that your networks are reaching for their phones and scanning their newsfeed as they start their day. No wonder every Monday morning, the social networks are mostly buzzing with ‘I hate Monday’ posts. Today, of course was no different.

monday-bluesI, for one get seriously excited about Mondays. Productivity gives me a buzz and therefore the start of the week finds me bright eyed, raring to go.

And that makes me wonder, why is today’s workforce so disengaged? What is missing? It isn’t that the organizations do not have those fancy activities and programs to ‘try’ to make them happy. Organizations are trying to do everything under the sun to keep employees engaged and excited about work. For example: Quiz contests, team outings (the worst of all), cricket tournaments, some flash mobs (I seriously do not get it), potlucks, dance, fashion fests, so on and so forth. Do they work, maybe yes, maybe not! I am not suggesting all this is a waste of time, but what about before and after these activities? How would you sustain the buzz and the engagement?

I was talking to a few young millennials (Yes, I am a millennial too) and for us the ‘experience’ is more important than anything else. I asked this guy, “The org is doing so many events, why do you still want to leave your job?”, and he looked at me, wondering if I am from Mars and quipped, “Dude, my job sucks! And these events won’t take that away!” He was right. These wonderfully orchestrated colorful events are worth zilch when it comes to ‘real’ employee engagement. Employee engagement is not an event, it is a state of being, and you won’t get there with events! (Tweet this)

The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty SocialGlamorLast night, I was watching, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, a light but enjoyable film by Ben Stiller where the protagonist (Ben), a day-dreamer escapes his anonymous life by disappearing into a world of fantasies filled with heroism, romance and action. When his job along with that of his co-worker are threatened, he takes action in the real world embarking on a global journey that turns into an adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined.

I am not saying we all should become Walter Mitty (why not though) but why are we stuck in jobs which do not inspire us, but may have promised us fatter packages? Why is it that only compensation inspires us while we know that money would never be enough? Why do we want organizations to keep us engaged? Why can’t we be engaged at work?

I am interested to know your thoughts – Do Mondays make you happy or sad? There is a discussion happening on Facebook, feel free to add your bit.

Read this blog on LinkedIn

You can make your workplace ‘happy’

shutterstock_124097521My Sametime (IBM internal instant messaging tool) status says ‘Let’s interact’ as I feel the more we connect the more productive we become. I never liked the plain old vanilla ‘Available.’ I see the green button, I know you are available. I also like what Tim Collins, Director, HR Talent, Development & Resources, IBM and my manager has as his ST status, ‘How can I help you?’ In this era of virtual connectivity, the more genuine human emotions we express, the better it is for all of us. It goes a long way in bringing people closer in the world ‘w i d e’ web. Continue reading

Three steps to make your organization open/social

BrandingAll the leaders in Human Resources and Management are trying to tap into social as a means to get people engage better within the organization.

There are already big plans in place for engagement, a lot many are being hatched in Board (bored) room by leaders which are not really open or social. Well, that’s a topic for another day, let’s not focus on that as of now. So what is wrong in that?  It makes perfect sense to have ESN (Enterprise Social Network) and then get all your employees on it and voila! You have social happening. Beautiful decks, showing how ‘much’ is achieved – innumerable blogs by leaders, comments, likes… We nailed it! Just 18% of companies have an Enterprise Social Network (ESN) platform. Tweet this.

Wow! Everyone is engaged. Oh sorry, where are the employees? Don’t worry, employees should follow leaders. That has always been the norm – why should it change on social? But hey, there is a hitch. The communication watchdog team will not allow employees to blog or say something ‘honest’. Like the  watch dog, they will read each post and howl if someone says anything non-conforming to their agenda. We are nailing the coffin now. Continue reading

Three tips to engage your employees

I was recently engaged in a conversation on how IBM keeps its employees engaged, although spread across so many countries and geographies and as always I thought I would share my opinions with the wider world. I would not dwell on the details, obviously.

According to a report from Gallup 70% of American workers are either not-engaged or actively disengaged, which means they’re disruptive and undermining workplace productivity. And here’s a related stat: “Gallup estimates that actively disengaged employees cost the US $450 billion to $550 billion in lost productivity per year.” So imagine 7 out of 10 employees do not care, literally, what you do to engage employees.

A lot of leaders and program managers turned to Social Media, thinking this would be the solution and voila! They failed again. Gartner research estimates that 80% of social business initiatives would deliver disappointing results over the next three years.

So where are you heading?

A recent article by Gerald C. Kane highlights three reasons why our social business initiatives are failing:

1. Managers go into social business with unclear goals.
2. Initiatives start as pilots, and then fizzle out due to modest participation.
3. Companies expect social initiatives, even pilots, to deliver a financial return on investment.

So the question boils down to – how do we engage our workforce? Let’s watch this video which highlights what could be the solution: Continue reading

Does Social Media help in Recruitment?

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Find Jobs in IBM

The time is here, now, when Social Media (SM) is transforming all the work processes, internally too, and Human Resources (HR) is in the middle of it, leading the transformation. While CHROs and other HR Leaders are getting to the grips of it, SM is beginning to not only amplifying the benefits; it also presents some challenging turfs.

The key ingredient in applying SM to internal processes is people/employees who lead this transformation (supposedly). Lot of organizations are jumping on the band wagon and forgetting to address this inevitable and pivotal element – the employee workforce. Successful implementation of SM thrives on the understanding of capabilities SM brings. One size fits all, calls for the dooms day.

Let’s look at SM in recruitment. This comes naturally to all organizations and helps them tap talent using various tools and portals, allowing amplified reach through passive talent hunting. A new opportunity for companies to engage in a mutual, two way communication, is the new normal, allowing not only information dissemination but also a way to listen to what is being said.

In a recent research, Universum highlights, “Companies have yet to realize the promises of social media. Building followers and likes becomes simpler every day, but building engagement and community is undervalued. There is still a limited focus on the internal aspect of social media, i.e. using it to build engagement among employees and find ambassadors.”

Trends that impact talent attraction and employer branding

Trends that impact talent attraction and employer branding

IBM is leading in this space, once again, and is using existing employees to act as ‘ambassadors’ in attracting talent. IBMers across the world are actively engaged in not only growing their own careers but also helping attract talent within their networks and communities. Read: Recruiting Socially! How IBM is hiring.

In his recent article, Steve Hewitt, head of HR at Lumesse, highlights the challenges of using social media for recruitment purposes. He quotes a recent global research report by Universum of 19,000 students which found that most do not apply for jobs through social media channels but through a company’s website itself, raising the question as to whether social media is a destination or direction for hiring the most talented graduates. In fact, the survey found that only 13% of students received a job offer through these channels and that, in the UK, many students (36%) thought that live webinars with hiring companies worked better as an engagement channel for students than social media channels (28%).

So the question remains – is SM the solution to the recruitment challenge or a strategy to find the solution? Does your organization use SM to find talent? If yes, what are challenges being faced. If no, then you have a bigger monster to tackle!

Everyone around me is stupid!

Everyone is stupidAah it’s Monday and the first day of the week – the most loved one by all office goers and people like me who work from home – thank you IBM (I miss going to office sometimes…not always but sometimes. Also read how working from home can work against you). Going to office is fun, especially when you have a good crowd around you (now this is subjective). The definition of good is debatable, so let’s not focus on that.

We all whine that everyone around us is stupid and how impossible it is for us to work  productively. We tend to forget that these stupid people are the ones we have to work and live with. I always laugh at the perception and more so when I came across this fascinating article by Suzanne Lucas – 5 Signs That You’re the Problem.  It made me realize that people are never stupid, our perceptions are. We always try and measure people against our capabilities and our expectations.

We always brush a speaker aside if he/she makes a mistake while reading out news, but we wet our pants if are ever asked to speak in public. 🙂 The bigger problem here is that this unwilling and unwitting ‘perception-rollercoaster’ makes the work environment unhealthy. We start judging our colleagues and eventually feel that we need to move out/away, not realizing that we will be encountering the same species, everywhere!

People will always be stupid and “I” will always be smarter, Tweet: People will always be stupid and but we need to work in teams and we need compassion and understanding to deal with others. Think beyond your ego and see how good everyone is. Otherwise we get stuck in a vicious ‘everyone is stupid’ spiral.

The question that comes up here is of course is what can organizations do to create an engaged workforce who is productively active at all the times. I feel ‘social’ has the answer. The differences or perception of friction appears when people stop communicating. Social platforms like communities and forums allow people to communicate constantly while harnessing mutual knowledge and promoting collaboration at all times. Whiners are always shunned away!

But the answer to the question lies within each of us – how we treat others when they are not watching us. Are there people around you who you think are stupid? Are they really stupid? What impression do they have of you? I will be interested in knowing more about your stupid bunch – do share through comments.

Edited by: Vanitha Poojary

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