3 innovative employee engagement ideas – featuring Facebook and Google

Posted by Niall Sullivan

20-Mar-2017 08:00:00

Awarding-winning-kahootz.jpgWorking with unengaged people in an organisation isn’t fun. When you’ve got tight deadlines to meet and difficult stakeholders to manage the last thing you need is for team members to not be actively
participating.

The problem is not just restricted to the UK. Only 13% of employees working for an organisation around the world are engaged with the work that they’re doing.

That is why the biggest companies in the world are always looking for bigger and better employee engagement ideas to inspire their workforce. They understand that managing internal stakeholders, is just as important as managing their external partners.

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What are the benefits of employee engagement?

Before we give examples of impressive employee engagement, you should first understand how it could benefit your daily working life. ACAS, the employer and employee advice service, identifies four key attitudes that managers must have to engage team members:

  • Leaders with a vision who value how individuals contribute
  • Line managers who empower rather than control their staff
  • Values that are lived and not just spoken, leading to a sense of trust and integrity
  • Employees who have the chance to voice their views and concerns.

Pretty obvious, right? If you want your team members to contribute and to give their all to your project they will need to feel valued and that their voice is being heard.

So, how is it done?

A good question. You now have the ingredients in order to create an engagement strategy, but now you need context of how companies are putting these into practice.

Here are 3 of the best examples we could find. You might recognise some of the names….

Facebook

As a social network with £1.79 billion monthly active users, Facebook certainly knows a thing or two about keeping their fan base engaged with their product.

But how do they keep their employees behind the scenes happy? Clearly they are doing something right, as they regularly appear top of happiest employee polls.

Taking one look at their careers’ page gives you an instant sense of how much they value openness between themselves and their workforce. In fact, it is one of their core values.

facebook core values

They ensure that their employees have access to as much information about the company as possible. Keeping them informed this way empowers them to make better decisions and gives them an idea of how they are contributing to Facebook’s success.

ACTION ITEM:

When managing a project, ensure that you are as open about its progress as you can. Your team will certainly appreciate it!

Rather than sending long trails of emails to different individuals, use a secure project extranet to provide a platform to communicate important information about your project.  The best collaboration tools will allow you to host blogs and forums to achieve this and more importantly will give your team members the opportunity to give their points of view as well.

Google

For a lot of people, (including this 7-year-old girl,) working for Google is their dream. It is hard not to see why, with so many amazing perks of the job!

I don't know Google it

When you look beyond these benefits, (very difficult with slides and nap pods available,) there is something even greater that stands out. Flexibility.

28% of their employees work from home or telecommute some, most or all of the time. Although this doesn’t sound a lot, this is still a lot more than other tech giants such as Amazon, Netflix and Apple.

Having the freedom to work flexibly empowers their employees to work when they feel most productive and around other family commitments.

ACTION ITEM

With more and more organisations choosing to collaborate in the cloud, it is now possible for you to allow your team members to work remotely. By offering this you will gain their trust, by giving them the power to have personal control over their schedule.

One of the more common concerns that are raised is how to manage remote employees. However, by establishing open communication and setting them clear goals, you can keep them on track without them feeling like you are micromanaging.

Simply Business

Online insurer Simply Business are proving that you don’t have to be a company the size of Google or Facebook to implement innovative employee engagement ideas.

It appears to be working. The Sunday Times named them as 2016’s best company to work for. No mean feat for an award that has plenty of competition!

But how have they stood out from the crowd? There are of course the usual company benefits like working from home, childcare vouchers and auto deleting of emails when on annual leave. I liked the last one particularly!

On top of this, CEO Jason Stockwood also revealed that he wants his workforce “to feel they can do their best work, without going through hierarchies or command-and-control structures,” and has changed the company’s culture by putting the focus on his employees first, rather than his customers.

ACTION ITEM

Although leadership is still an important element of any project, a number of companies have gone down the non-hierarchal route with some success. The main factor being that employees feel as they are being treated like adults with the extra responsibility they have been given.

As a project manager, you clearly can’t change the structure of your company. Within your project team however, is a different matter. Using project management software, you can create different groups or teams of people to work on tasks and allow them to get on with their job without interference.  

How does your organisation try to improve employee engagement? Let us know by tweeting @kahootz

 

Topics: workplace innovation, improving productivity, project extranets, remote working