Engagement is not just for Christmas

For some companies the Christmas period brings collaboration and forward planning, for others it’s a time of skeleton staff and lapsed productivity.

What separates the two is their approach to employee engagement, particularly over the festive period.

By and large, thought leading executives are realising that annual bonuses don’t really work.

Cash incentives do little for employee satisfaction and even less for performance. Studies have repeatedly shown that non-financial rewards are significantly more effective for improving engagement.

That’s because today’s employees are a smart bunch. They’re in the market for development opportunities, sustainable benefits, and support networks. Fortunately for employers, these can be catered for with longer-lasting effect and less financial investment than the traditional rewards of yesteryear.

Christmas is an opportunity to demonstrate genuine appreciation of your people, and show an interest in their wellbeing, on an emotional, physical and financial level.

That’s why revamping your employee engagement programme today will ensure your team returns from their festive holidays incentivised, focused and energised, rather than disengaged and distracted.

Elements of a successful employee engagement programme

The most effective programs align with organisational goals, which could be anything from improving skills or increasing retention. Demonstrating how your initiative will help meet these objectives will validate your business case, increasing the likelihood of buy-in.

Companies that excel in this space such as Google, John Lewis and Virgin are famed for their deep understanding of their people, something that fuels standout engagement initiatives.

That’s why conducting an employee survey is a good place to start. Perhaps it will uncover a widespread feeling that your existing benefits or training need improvement, whatever the results, and they will point you in the direction of where to start.

Here are some pillars of an innovative employee engagement strategy to consider, with a nod to festivities.

Health and wellbeing.

Gluttony has its way with us over Christmas. That’s why health and wellbeing incentives should play a role in your engagement initiatives from December and right through 2019. Offering discounted gym memberships and free wellness classes will make the strive for health that little bit more attainable. Think along the lines of gyms, yoga classes, even home cooking.

One of our clients offers paid time off as a reward, as long as it is taken as “health and wellbeing” related, and the employees are required to provide a “selfies” showing how they spent their time off. This has gone down really well with all the employees and created a competition within the program.

Regular communication

As hierarchies flatten, silos should be broken. Software can be used to enable top-down and peer-to-peer communication, even among geographically dispersed teams. With access to these platforms, both leaders and employees can routinely share feedback and recognition, while increasing transparency and collaboration.

Recognition and Reward

It’s important to formally recognise and applaud your team’s achievements. Gamification of recognition adds an element of fun and works particularly well when it can be shared peer to peer, as well as from managers. For example, software can facilitate company-wide sharing of badges and rewards.

Flexible working

For HR managers looking for an affordable and impactful way to show appreciation, relaxing rigid working hours over Christmas is an ace up the sleeve. This could mean anything from work from home days to stretched lunch breaks in exchange for later finishes – now’s a good time to work out which is practical for your organisation.

Christmas party

There needs to be a Christmas party – it’s often the only time of the year when the whole company can bond without worrying too much about work. Whether you decide to put on a lunch, dinner, evening or team bonding exercise, the Christmas do is a sure fire way to create company stories.

Employee engagement programs can transform your organisation

A good program will transform your performance on an individual, team and organisational level. Although the benefits stretch far and wide, the following have the strongest links to employee engagement:

  • Improved bottom line performance
  • Reduced employee turnover
  • Increased customer and employee satisfaction and loyalty
  • Reduced absence rates
  • Increased creativity and innovation

Naturally the ability to prove ROI from employee engagement initiatives is paramount as well as attracting and engaging key talent.

Getting started with an employee engagement platform

Harnessing the discretionary efforts of employees improves business performance. It’s clear from the success of companies such as Virgin, Purplebricks and Rentalcars that an employee recognition platform can play an integral part in an effective employee engagement program.

When people are recognised and incentivised, they work better together. For customers, this enhanced performance manifests itself in better services and more efficiency. An employee engagement platform isn’t just for Christmas, it’s a systematic tool that can help organisations reach long-term goals and achieve ROI.

At Brownie Points we believe recognising performance and giving positive feedback really works… and we can make it work for you.

Brownie Points is working with thought leading organisations around the world to tailor employee feedback and recognition programs that have a positive impact on the bottom line.

With our growing network of alliance partners, we are able to offer cost effective solutions for any business.

To learn how Brownie Points could make a difference in your business, call the team today on + 61 (3) 9909 7411 and book a free demonstration, or for more information email us at info@browniepoints.com.au