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G+Hangout : Success Factor for Employee Engagement

Wednesday, 31th, Bjoern was organizing a G+ HangOut with Luis Suarez, Anthony Poncier, Susan Scrupski and Greg Lowe about how to engage employees. Here is my summary.

1) A win-win relationship

Engagement is eroding. 7 out of 10 employees are disengaged in their job. Typically, there are people who do what they have to do, even if they may think it is not logical. They earn the money they deserve, that is the most important. If their company ask them to collaborate, be more transparent, share knowledge,... they may do, but only if they see how it is going to impact their wage and career.

One of the main problem is that HR is too far of these social business issues, which make the “2.0 ideal world” and everyday reality hard to connect. We have to go through that path if we want to make the big transformation we wish. It is not about engaging a small group who is going to be more happy when they wake up in the morning. This is not enough. The implication of HR is too weak at the moment. However, they have a fantastic opportunity to become a strategic unit in companies.

I am sure HR can help in switching from traditional business to social business. To succeed, one solution is to change the way employees are evaluated. Anthony said we have inherited organisation models from the Taylorism age. Most of the employees are evaluated for their individual performances more than the collective performances. This does not help people to help each others, or at least to know and care about what the other teammates do, as Luis said.

2) What is the business issue you want to solve?

We always remain to this basic question. If your 2.0 project doesn’t have any goal and purpose, you could still ask employees to use social tools, most of them won’t understand why. Vision, sens,... are key words according to Anthony.

Luis recommended to start step by step, looking at what are the tasks employees find hard to perform. Then try to find how you could make it easier using social tools. If you solve business problems with social technologies, it is a good way to make employees adopt them. Then it could be gamified or use whatever other trends, I does not really matter. What is important is how these tools help employees get their work done. Many companies want to see all their employees to use the ESN as soon as possible. But you have to go step by step, solving business issues after business issues.

3) UX matters

Anthony said “it’s not about having this and that feature”. It is more about “does these features help me in my job ?”. If the answer is yes, then it means you have the right tool. It is a non-sense to tell people to use tools full of features which are not really usefull when you look carefully at the needs.

UX is a key issue. In 5 seconds maximum, people have to be able find what they are looking for : an information or a button to make an action. Social softwares have to be user friendly. Do you still think you can be attractive to the young generation of workforce if you give them to work an email address and an old intranet ?

To conclude, and stay optimistic, I would quote Luis who said whereas Enterprise 2.0 has not reached all its promise, we have now the opportunity to learn from failures. It was not true 3 years ago. We had less cases to study, and by the way less convictions about what foster 2.0 project.


And you, what have you thought about this session ?


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