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Tools and Techniques for Supporting Employee Engagement

Employee Management
June 15, 2023

About the Webinar

Let’s explore the design work and management that goes into Employee Engagement Initiatives. This session is an organizational guide to creating meaningful and holistic employee experiences that is also purposeful for the business. In this session, we will examine content strategy and budget considerations.

What You Will Learn:

  • Content Strategy and Design
  • Budget Considerations
  • Format and Developing Experiences

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About your Hosts

Abraham Gonzales Pollick

Abraham Gonzales-Pollick

VP of Client Development

Abraham came to Vensure with a deeply rooted passion for client service, organizational strategy and building relationships. He started his HR career after 14 years of being an entrepreneur and running a successful General Contracting business.

He is a highly regarded keynote speaker and global facilitator on several developmental topics. Abraham has served on boards for non-profit organizations for over 10 years. Today, he mentors young entrepreneurs on building the future.

He holds a B.A. in Organizational Management and MPA studies in Product Development.

Vensure Coffee Talk Webinar

Tools and Techniques for Supporting Employee Engagement

 

Beatrice Runyan Good morning and good afternoon, I want to thank you all for attending this Coffee Talk titled Employee Engagement: Content, Strategy, and Considerations. As a housekeeping note, we will have some time at the end of the session to answer questions so you can put them in the Q&A and any that we don’t address we will to respond after the session. We will also be sending out a link to access the presentation and the slides.

 

I now would like to introduce you to Abraham Gonzalez-Pollick. He is our VP of Client Development for VensureHR. Abraham has more than 20 years of client service and product management leadership experience, 15 of which have been spent in the PEO space. Welcome, Abraham.

 

Abraham Gonzales-Pollick Thank you, Beatrice. Hello, everyone. Welcome to our Coffee Talk today. I am really excited to talk about this topic. You know, when we think about employee engagement and even thinking about employee experiences, there’s so much work and thought and strategy that goes into these concepts. And so when we started to do the research for this topic, we said we could probably turn this topic into several parts, a series, and multiple discussions. So, we really aimed to pack so much information in just a quick Coffee Talk. And so, this is really meant to be high-level and hopefully you will grab some really great ideas and thoughts as you start to dig deeper into your programs for employee engagement and creating your employee experience.

 

And so in today’s session, we’re going to specifically dive into content strategy and budget considerations. So come on, let’s unpack this. Let’s start here. Employee engagement matters, right? Gallup put some studies together and perspectives here to achieve organic growth and persevere through disruption. Organizations need more than sufficient work. They need exceptional performance, and they get there by engaging their employees. This is quite an interesting topic. When you think about, you know, there are so many strategies that are created to solve for either certain business objectives or challenges within an organization. And many organizations are really fighting to keep the best talent, retain the best talent, and really improve performance so that they can continue to be relevant in the business and relevant to their customers. And so when we think about creating these programs there are so many factors that go in.

 

So, let’s talk about this a little bit more, but let’s look at the differences first between employee engagement and employee experience. When we think about employee experience, employee experience is really about that whole journey that the employee is on, the entire journey and how they interact with you. From the very first phone call and the recruiting process through other milestones throughout their career with you and even through their exit. When we think about employee engagement, it’s a puzzle piece, right? It’s not really meant to be a one-time event. When we say, “Oh, we’re going to do employee engagement”. But what does that mean? It is a puzzle piece that helps create the whole journey. We’re going to talk about that in a little bit more detail in the slides to come. When we think about creating employee engagement programs or initiatives, here’s a really great way to think about these programs. You can break them up into two categories: one is a quick event and the other is more of a staple event and something more transformational.

 

Let’s look at quick events, for example. Quick events could be considered activities such as an internal training or a webinar, or creating an annual summit or a conference, maybe even producing a mega event, a wellness fair, for example, so on and so forth. There are some activities that take place within an organization that could be centered around a day, or a week, or a month-themed event. And these are collectively one-time events that, of course, a lot of work goes into planning. But when we start to think about transformational events or staple events, we’re looking at organizations, performance management programs, learning and development programs, onboarding programs. These programs that really draw your employees in and make them feel like they belong to the organization, make them feel like they have the resources that they need to connect with other people within the organization or connect to their purpose, connect to their community, or the work that they do. There are other transformational events or initiatives that an organization can put together, whether it’s helping break silos down between departments, building bridges, creating social and networking groups within the organization or outside of the organization.

 

Employee resource groups are another really great transformational employee engagement initiative. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Belonging programs help with creating employee engagement. And so, when we think about, again, employee engagement, these are all pieces of the puzzle. All of these can be felt throughout the employee life cycle, creating then that employee experience.

 

So let’s dive deeper. We think about designing content for your employee engagement and employee experience. There’s so many unifying factors on the screen here. You see these two categories, they’re broken down into business objectives. This is really thinking about your employee engagement initiatives and how they either align or complement maybe even propel your objectives. You know, it’s these business objectives or these initiatives in the way that they align to their business objectives. How do they draw people in to influence them to want to perform greater? When we think about purpose of your employee engagement initiatives, what is their purpose? What are they here to do? Are they here to transform your culture? Or is it perhaps, maybe you need them to help you rebrand your culture or your company culture? And another factor here to think about is your outcome. What is the result you’re looking for? What’s the play you’re trying to make? Are you trying to continue to stay relevant, be inclusive, tap into new markets? On the other side of the screen here, we look at our audience. Who’s our audience? What age groups are they following? Culture, gender, subculture groups, right? Another unifying factor to consider is your organizational value. What do you stand for? Will the engagement initiatives align with your brand in how you show up to your community, to your customer? And the opportunities, what are the other opportunities in the business that we are further trying to solve for?

 

And when you look at these two sides, you think that there are some leaders within the organization that probably naturally gravitate towards one category over the other because of their responsibilities perhaps, or because of their background. And all are relevant. And so when you’re thinking about creating your initiatives, it’s important to bring the right people into the room, right? Because they will all bring really unique perspectives. So whether it’s someone from operations, to finance, to creative marketing, comms, all bring these wonderful perspectives to really consider all of these unifying factors.

 

But now let’s go deeper. Let’s talk about creating the employee experiences in multiple areas of the employee lifecycle. We’ve broken these down into six categories. Here are the first four: recruiting and hiring, onboarding, performance management, and development.

 

Let’s dive into recruiting. Let’s think about this: when you have a candidate experience, you for the first time, they’re experiencing your brand, right? Whether it’s within the job posting or what you are putting on social media about your organization. Candidates are out there looking for a really great place to work and they want to belong to it. And so, based on what you’re putting out, your social media tells a story to that candidate. That first phone call that they have with a recruiter or a hiring manager also creates that experience. When we think about recruiting and hiring, you know, you think about your programs that you create and how much time between the application to the first phone call, how many interviews do you set up? Is it three or is it ten? Are all three panel interviews or all ten panel interviews or not? You’re creating an experience, an employee experience, even from those moments. They’re right there in those interactions. And as you see here, there are other areas where you can create employee experiences. And it’s all based on the programs that you design, the strategies that you put in place for these activities.

 

Now let’s look at onboarding. Think about that onboarding experience. There are many organizations out there, and studies have shown that a lot of work and strategy goes into the onboarding experience, right? Creating great programs, great introductions, welcome kits, creating good working stations for your employees, even a company swag and welcome kits. Really thought-out activities and learning activities in week one through week three, first 30 days, 60, 90 days, and so much work goes there. How do you then take that kind of attention and sprinkle that throughout the rest of the employee lifecycle throughout the year? So you think about, again, your employee engagement initiatives that you strategized on are creating the experiences within this linear.

 

Now let’s look at performance management, right? These areas where employees are experiencing the organization through reviews, feedback, coaching, mentoring, role clarity, and even scheduling. Are there equities here? Is there balance? Is there a forum in that to have really great one-on-one conversations with the individual and are they frequent enough? Again, how you decide to create your engagement programs around these categories that impact what an employee is going to experience and really how they’re going to walk away feeling about your organization or even about the leaders within the organization. And many studies show that employees who feel like they have the tools, the resources to be successful, they’re more likely to be a strong promoter of your business. They’ll tell their friends and family, “Gosh, I work at a really great place. I always feel successful. I feel like I’m getting the right feedback timely and I feel like I’m developing and I have what I need to get my job done”.

 

And now let’s move into the development section here. We think about upskilling, training, personal development, ongoing training, stretch assignments and so on. All of these development initiatives create that employee experience. There are other categories here, like strategy and initiatives, right? How you design your organizational structure, how you design reporting structures or jobs, or involve jobs, matter in the employee experience. And as you see here on the list, everything from how you perform audits in the business to incentives, the policies and the procedures that you put into place and how you communicate those policies and procedures or processes and procedures, role clarity within cross-functional groups. All of these matter, even your exit in off-boarding programs matter. There’s something interesting here about exit interviews. And a month or so ago, we put together a webinar on how to have stay conversations vs exit interviews. Those stay conversations are also a really great employee engagement initiative that can be felt throughout the entire lifecycle here with the employee.

 

So, many factors, again, go into building out and designing the content of your employee engagement initiatives. And the company has to also afford and allocate resources so that all of these can become really magical for your employees. So, let’s talk a little bit about budget considerations. But first, let’s talk about details right before we really dive into the numbers of what it’s going to cost you to create employee engagement initiatives for that experience that you’re trying to create. Let’s think about all these little details. You know, sometimes when you’re putting on an event and sometimes the details are in the lighting, right? The details are probably in the flowers, the color of the flowers that you put on the table, right.

 

So you start thinking about “What is our marketing plan going to be? How are we going to communicate our strategy? What are the takeaways that we want our employees to have? Is it something tangible? Is it a feeling? Is it an experience? Who are the speakers that we’re going to put in front of our employees? What kind of events will we have? Will we have surprise rewards in giveaways, even right down to the food that you have at these events? Will this resonate with everyone?” So, you start thinking about, “Okay, I have all of these programs that we have to create for employee engagement, onboarding programs, performance management programs. All of them have some kind of detail attached to it”. Well, let’s take it a step further. Some of your programs also need collaboration internally and externally. “Who are the subject matter? Experts that have to come in are coming to the meeting room to decide and help us ideate and help us create. You know, do we collaborate with cross-functional groups like performing art? Do we invite lecturers to help create our employee engagement initiatives? Do we bring in new technologies so that our employees can experience our culture and so on and so forth?”

 

You start thinking about all of these initiatives and they all have costs associated with it, whether they’re hard or soft cost. And so when you think about your budget considerations, “Can we afford it?” So, as you go to your design strategy meeting around employee engagement and you’re factoring in your business objectives, you’re factoring in the details of whether you want transformational events or you want quick events, there’s so many details that go into making those events meaningful, purposeful. And then you have to think about, “Can we afford it? Can we afford to do all those things, right, to bring all those people into the room?” You know, as you’re also designing out your employee engagement initiatives, are you planning into the future growth of your employee population? “Where is the organization going to be a year from now, two years from now? How much should we really be allocating a for engagement activities, a spend per employee, per year? What should we be thinking about in the full life cycle? What kind of activities do we want to do for onboarding experiences versus performance management experiences? What is the frequency and the variety that we’re trying to bring in? Can we do everything or can we only do two or three really great events throughout the year? What is the cost if we don’t do anything? What is the cost? Could employees start to disengage from the brand? Could performance start to suffer?”

 

Could your customer experience experiences diminish? If your employees aren’t engaged, your customers and clients may feel that, right? They may feel the passion or the lack thereof. “What is the cost of messaging and adoption? How much messaging do we have to do? And really, what is messaging? Is it just a communication piece? Or is messaging in our actions? What is the cost to clean up or do some damage control, right, if something goes wrong?” So always factoring in those contingent costs.

 

So, a lot of information, right? A lot of information when we’re talking about employee engagement. And again, this was meant to be a little high level and drill and to drill down into some specifics. And boy, does the time fly by. And so, we are continuing the dialog in our part two session here, on June 27th at 12 p.m. PT, we’re going to talk a little bit more about Messaging and Measuring Employee Success. Please join us, we’re going to continue on with the dialog here. Now, if any of you on the call want more information, please raise your hand. Please click on the QR code and you can learn a little bit more about our service offering and what we can do with our clients. We help design their employee engagement programs, and also, you know, I’m always here to serve as a mentor and a subject matter expert on these topics, they are my passion topics. Please connect with me on LinkedIn. Follow us, follow vensure.com. So with that being said, let’s open it up to some questions with the few moments that we have.

 

Beatrice Runyan Thank you, Abraham. We had some really great feedback and the questions that came through you answered during the presentation. We had a lot of people giving some great feedback and commenting about this being such a timely topic for them and being very appreciative of the information that was shared.

 

So, I want to thank everyone for attending this session of Coffee Talk, and we hope that you check out our upcoming blogs. There are great resources on vensure.com and past information, Abraham talked about some previous presentations that we had, there are recordings and the presentation slides for all our previous webinars. So please take a moment to go to vensure.com and then within the next day or two, we’ll also be sending out a link to access the presentation as well as the slides. And we thank everyone for their time and attention, we look forward to seeing you at the next webinar. Have a great day.

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