employee engagement Tag

This past August 8-9, Internal Communications professionals flew to Chicago to join the 2nd Edition Marcus Evans Internal Branding & Employee Experience Conference produced by Marcus Evans. While sponsoring this conference, OFC had the privilege of meeting many of these culture & communications professionals and discussing their biggest challenges & learnings; specifically navigating change management while winning employee hearts and minds around new initiatives and corporate culture change.At the conference, we spoke to Patty Rowell, head of Employer Brand for Amazon Web Services.Watch this video, or read below to learn how Patty masters the art of communication to connect with Amazon employees.“The art of communication is really this ability to connect with other people.My name is Patty Rowell and I’m the Head of Employer Brand globally for Amazon Web Services. Amazon Web Services is the Cloud Computing division that’s part of Amazon.I’m really lucky because at Amazon you’re able to take on lots of different roles based on where your career goes.  I’ve worked on both the Amazon side, with our operations, and our fulfillment centers, and customer service, and I’ve also been able to work with our team on the Amazon Web Services side.  I love talking about what I do because I really feel that I have the best job in the company.  My favorite part of the job is that I get to work really closely with lots of employees from all kinds of different countries, roles, levels, and I talk to them about why they like working there.I find this great commonality with them that they are drawn to our culture and that they like to do it. I capture it, I package it all up into, hopefully compelling, content that makes other people want to join our company.Amazon is a really great place to work because you do have so many opportunities. We’re in so many different types of businesses, and we’re growing so fast. You have the opportunity to almost create your own role in some cases.We like to hire builders. And by builders I mean people that are really energized by solving customer problems and creating things that weren’t there before, and building on it.  Whether it’s together with the customer or together with their colleagues.  The art of communication is really this ability to connect with other people and get to a shared understanding.And when you can accomplish that, whether your audience is shareholders, or executives, or employees, or candidates, or the press, or IT analysts - I feel like communications can be an incredibly satisfying way to contribute to your organization, or your non-profit, or wherever you work, but also feel like you’re getting some gratification personally.”You can watch Patty Rowell’s full interview here.See other Rockstars of Culture & Communication videos here.   ...

  Change is never easy. Especially when organizations have to make hard decisions involving cost cutting, downsizing and restructuring. Amid difficult transitions, it is crucial that employees are still engaged. However, as leaders struggle to build alignment with new directions and inspire employees to work in new ways that often involve doing more with less, this isn’t always easy. For the sake of your organization maintaining quality in products and services as well as laying a foundation for future growth, we’ve provided a few helpful tips. Read below to find out how to keep employees engaged and enabled amid difficult organizational transitions for a smooth transformation: Be honest and consistent. Don’t dance around issues when someone asks you a question. Be honest and genuine. Letting them know that you have their backs will make them feel safe. If you don’t have the authorization to discuss that topic, be honest and tell them that. Be consistent in the answers you tell everyone in order to keep your reputation and build credibility & loyalty. Meet in-person. In order to minimize rumors, have formal meetings with your department and share any insights you may have. This is also an opportunity to genuinely engage with your employees and evaluate their mindset. Take the time to talk things out and lighten the mood. By doing so, you’ll have a better chance at not losing touch with what matters to your employees in order to keep productivity up. Listen and pay close attention to everything that is taking place. Write notes down so you can refer to them during your next staff meeting with colleagues. By comparing and discussing collective knowledge that comes from all department leaders, you’ll be provided with greater insights that can help you neutralize tension from employees to keep engagement intact.   What big organizational transitions are you currently working through?    ...

  Every successful company has a strong, cohesive team behind it. It’s no wonder corporate culture is becoming top priority for corporations & small businesses alike. Here are ways you can make sure you’re building a strong team and a great work environment: Show your team you value them with unique rewards. Teams perform better if they know they are valued and feel the work they do matters. Come up with creative ideas to show your team how important they are and reward them for their hard work. Treat them to happy hour or take them to a nice lunch.Celebrate big and small wins. Recognize and celebrate small wins like positive client feedback as well as the big wins to boost motivation & performance.Encourage teammates to congratulate each other. Having teammates share wins and special moments with each other creates a positive work culture & boosts morale.Plan awesome team building events that people actually want to participate in. Think outside the box to come up with activities that are exciting, rare and special to make participating irresistible.Embrace Flexibility. Being able to work remotely or have flexible work hours boosts company culture, employee morale and promotes stronger loyalty to the company.Welcome honest feedback about processes. Send out a survey or hold an employee focus group where all employees are encouraged to share their honest feedback about which processes they find work and which ones need to be tweaked. Eliminating inefficient processes and listen to creative solutions from the ground up.  ...

Global communication and employee engagement leaders from across the world share their top tips & tricks for success in the internal communications industry. These professionals work at companies spanning from Amazon, HBO, Quicken Loans, MGM Resorts and PoliteMail. Read the top 8 pro-tips from these leaders to learn their successful tips of the trade:People “share” content from other people (not companies) online. Patty Rowell, a leader of Global Corporate Communications at Amazon says that you must find your brand ambassadors within your employees. Employees are more likely to share company content from colleagues- not company sites. Being generic will not attract great talent. When it comes to talent acquisition, highlight the things that make your company unique. Amazon highlights their “Bring Your Dog to Work” policy! Keep an eye on company referrals. Amazon leaders say that if employees are referring new talent it signifies you have a healthy and happy company culture. Create an employee recognition program. Rey Bouknight, Executive Director at MGM Resorts International, says that MGM spreads employee morale through their online recognition program. Colleagues can say “thanks” or “good job” by sending company funded gift cards to one another. Keep your messages simple and repetitive. The CEO of PoliteMail shares that no endless company memo is going to resonate with employees. Make sure to keep emails to the point and consistent for greatest impact. Highlight your diversity. Essilor company leaders love celebrating their “Diversity Day.” It’s a day employees set up different tables with food and music that represent all the different places they’re from. “The Toilet Paper” Margie Elsesser, in charge of Employee Branding at Quicken Loans, has company news posted inside Quicken’s bathroom stalls to grab employee attention. This initiative reaches all employees from upper management to frontline workers. Celebrate your wins with your employees. Reached a new company milestone? HBO leaders suggest to take the time to celebrate your organization’s wins with your employees to show their part in the success story. ...

Internal Communications professionals flew to Chicago to join the Marcus Evans Internal Branding & Employee Experience Conference on August 8-9 2018. While sponsoring this conference, OFC had the privilege of meeting many of these culture & communications professionals where we discussed their biggest challenges & learnings. A big topic was how to navigate change management while winning employee hearts and minds around new initiatives and an evolving corporate culture.We spoke to Natasha Harvey, Samsung’s People Experience and Talent Branding Specialist, who shared her perspective.  Watch this video, or read below to hear how this recent grad plans on making Samsung an employer of choice in the tech industry.“Take advantage of all the new people that you're going to meet at any position and any opportunities that they can provide you.My name’s Natasha Harvey and I work for Samsung. I'm the People Experience and Talent Branding Specialist.I essentially do marketing for the HR department, so I'm trying to make Samsung an employer of choice within the tech industry.The Samsung employees are just so authentic and so willing to help each other out. We are a little more corporate because we are an Asian tech company overall, but we're an American subsidiary, so we also have a little bit more of the techy atmosphere. Our goal is to try to put ourselves at the forefront of employees and candidates minds in order to potentially get them to work for us.Trying to differentiate what the customers see of us and what potential future employees see about Samsung is a really new field for us. Trying to jump in there and give ourselves an employer brand that we can actually capitalize on and we can actually control a little bit more.We can say this is what our company culture is like, these are the amazing events we have, the amazing people that work for us- I think it’s a really cool initiative.My advice for somebody who is just starting out their career, is to not get too caught up and stuck in your career path and where you think you should be going. I was somebody who was a little bit stuck on that when I graduated college. I thought- I'm graduating college I have to start out doing what I want to be doing and what I'm destined to do. What I've learned is that, you can learn so many great things along the way.You can gain all the skills that you need to gain through a plethora of different positions. So it's not necessary to just start out in the exact industry you want to end up in or the exact role you want to end up in.Don't get too stressed out about where you should be going and just do what feels right. Capitalize on any opportunity that you have.”You can watch Natasha Harvey’s full interview here.See other Rockstars of Culture & Communication videos here.  ...

This past August 8-9, Internal Communications professionals flew to Chicago to join the 2nd Edition Marcus Evans Internal Branding & Employee Experience Conference produced by Marcus Evans. While sponsoring this conference, OFC had the privilege of meeting many of these culture & communications professionals and discussing their biggest challenges & learnings; Specifically when navigating change management while winning employee hearts and minds around new initiatives and corporate culture change. At the conference, we spoke to Stacie Barrett, the Director of Internal Communications for Domino's. Watch this video, or read below to learn how Stacie develops a narrative that compels employees to embrace company values and drives the business forward:“Internal communications is a strategic part of any great and successful business. I’m Stacie Barrett, Director of Internal Communications with Domino’s.My job is to connect our franchisees and corporate team members with our brand’s mission and purpose.One of the amazing things about internal communications is that you get a chance to make an impact.Brands can’t achieve their success if everyone doesn't understand the why behind what they need to do. We started with a challenge and we decided to take ownership of what we could control and started to make change. Since we started, we’ve been on a roll- innovative and changing. We’re figuring out ways to make it easier for families to get pizza on the table for our franchisees to be more profitable.One of the most exciting ways that we get to tell a story is at Domino's worldwide rally, where we bring together thousands and thousands of franchisees and team members from all over the world. We have it translated into nine different languages.  We tell the story of the dream- which is something that we can deliver to people everyday. 93% of our franchisees started off as an entry level position. They can inspire the general managers that make up the bulk of that audience to achieve their own dreams.For young professionals out there, I would tell you to take a look at any company that you're interested in and look at the people. Everyone’s going to tell you that it’s about the people- but actually watch their interactions. That is one of the fun things that I love about Domino’s. We respect, we trust and we challenge each other. We grow together and we get better together.I’ve been with Domino’s for 11 years and I came for the pizza and I stayed for the excitement, it’s been a fantastic ride. A shout to my entire internal communications team, the larger communications team and all of those Dominoids out there! ”  You can watch Stacie Barrett's full interview here.See other Rockstars of Culture & Communication videos here.  ...

  Great internal communication is more vital now than ever before. With the workforce demographics quickly changing as baby boomers retire and millennials move into management positions, companies are finding the need to restructure their corporate culture to increase collaboration, transparency and feedback while limiting office politics and dated ways of operating. With so much changing, internal communicators are having difficulty prioritizing and clearly communicating the most important messages, which in turn, results in lower employee engagement. Your job as a communicator is to navigate the ever-evolving corporate culture and prioritize the clear delivery of important information - all while keeping employees informed and motivated. To help, we’ve created a free content calendar template  to help you streamline your planning process and ensure clear, effective communication for higher employee engagement. The purpose of a content calendar is to help plan your communications out in advance to stay organized and focused. This will help avoid the confusion and frustration that accompanies over-communication and mixed messaging.   Our free content calendar template provides the following:Full Year Calendar Template - Use this to template to plan out a high-level overview of your communications for the year. Break down your full year into quarters (Q1, Q2, Q3 and Q4). Jot down important dates, events, initiative rollouts and other special messages you need to communicate in each specific month. Monthly Calendar - Use this template to plan out specific messaging for each month in more detail. Weekly Calendar - Use this template to plan your specific to-do items for that week to make sure you have everything you need for each message. For example, identify if you’ll need to write an email newsletter, post an article on the company intranet or company website, post on social media platforms, etc.  Content Calendar Planning Tips:Focus on prioritizing key messaging to avoid over-communicating. Communicating too many changes or new initiatives at once can be overwhelming. Define the internal communications tools & channels you’ll use in advance. Email, intranet, company website, Slack, Yammer? Invest time and effort into researching your audience’s internal communications needs. What channels do they pay more attention to? Identify how you’ll track & evaluate the success of your internal communications activity. Define your target audience for each message. Will you be communicating this to different levels of management, or frontline employees? Or perhaps a specific region or office?  DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE CONTENT CALENDAR TEMPLATE HERE!...

It's hard to deny the fact that remote working is on the rise.  85% of millennials say that they want to telecommute 100% of the time, and 91% of virtual teams feel that they get more done when they're not tied down to a physical office. Of course, while there are plenty of benefits to running a virtual team, it's worth noting that the digital workforce comes with some unique challenges to face too.One of the biggest issues that leave managers biting their fingernails over the concept of remote work, is the question of how they can make their team feel connected and engaged when they're working in different parts of the world. After all, once you've assembled your ultimate dream team, you need to make sure that they know each other well enough to collaborate each day.The good news is that just because your employees are separated by borders, doesn't mean that they can't be connected. Today, we're going to look at 5 team-building activities you can do with your virtual team, to help remind your staff that they may be out of sight, but they're not out of mind.1.   Schedule a Weekly Video Conference While remote working might make your employees happier, it also makes it harder to ensure that everyone in your team is kept in the loop. For staff to feel committed to their employer, they need to feel as though they're part of a community. Unfortunately, virtual workers are often isolated from that team experience, because they spend their days alone, miles away from other professionals.The good news is that thanks to the rise in new conferencing technology, remote workers don't have to be as isolated as they once were. Video conferencing is a trend that's becoming increasingly popular for many companies, with tools that are accessible to anyone.A weekly conference allows you to make sure that everyone's updated on crucial brand information, and it also gives your employees a chance to speak out about their concerns. Additionally, because people are meeting "face to face" - even in a virtual format, they get to know their co-workers better. The key to success is creating ice-breakers that help your people to feel less camera shy. Ask people what they did this week or start with an interesting announcement that's sure to raise questions.  2.   Increase the Chit-Chat with a Virtual Coffee Break Conversations come in many different forms, and they're all valuable. When you're trying to improve the bonds between your virtual team members, it's important to remember that conversations shouldn't just be about work.One of the oft-cited disadvantages of a distributed team is that it can't benefit from the "water cooler effect" of a regular office environment. This refers to the moments that people spend in the office talking about things that have nothing to do with their career. It's these conversations that help to build comradery and bonds between employees. As trivial as it might seem, this personal chit-chat could be key to keeping your staff connected.Fortunately, you don't need a water cooler to embrace the water cooler effect. Get people together for a regular 10-minute coffee break, where people can sip on their favorite beverages, and enjoy friendly, informal discussions. To break the ice, you can always try adding a weekly theme to the mix like:Sharing a childhood photo Showing off something creative you did that week Sharing YouTube videos or favorite songs.  3.   Put Them on the Map Sometimes, it can be hard to connect with someone you've never met on a personal level. Whether your team members are in different cities, or different countries, a good way to bridge the gaps and make the world a little smaller, is to put them on the map. Use a virtual world map online and ask your employees to add a picture of themselves and their family to the place where they live.During your weekly coffee breaks, or longer video conferences, you can ask your employees to tell you a little bit more about the place, and what they'd recommend people do if they ever visit the city. This helps to give the team a better insight into the different places where your employees come from, and it can even help them to better understand how different cultures and backgrounds contribute to a professional's work-style.A person's background can have a real impact on the kind of personality they have. The more each of your staff members learn about what makes the others unique, the more they can begin to establish the bonds that turn strangers into team members and team members into friends.4.   Ask for a Tour Often, team-building in a virtual office environment is all about getting to know the people in your group as much as possible. A good way to help your staff feel stronger connections with each other is to ask them for an introduction to their life. Once a month, you could ask a new team member, or an existing employee to share a video or picture from one of their favorite places and tell the rest of the team a little bit about it.Thanks to social media tools like Facebook live, you could even ask your hires to get involved with some streaming if they feel comfortable with that. In between those moments when you're asking your people to go out and explore their local area on your behalf, you can always consider other "tour" moments too. For instance, you could ask your employees to give you a brief tour around their office.Ask your staff to show off the view from their office window or introduce you to the pile of healthy snacks they keep in their desk drawer when they're feeling peckish. There are countless of great ways to get to know your employees, one meeting at a time.5.   Enjoy Some Fun and Games Finally, remember that team building isn't just about making people more efficient and productive for work purposes - it's about building a connection. Sometimes, the easiest way to really break the ice between the members of your teams, and convince them to talk to each other freely, is with a game. One popular option is the game "Two Truths and a Lie".This game works when you instruct each member of your team to write down two things about themselves that are true, and another thing that is a lie. The fun part is that the lie should be completely believable, so it's much harder for other staff members to guess what's real, and what isn't when they're trying to get to know a new employee. Once everyone has written down their answers, go around the group, and have each person read out their statements, while the rest of the team guesses which claim is a lie.Game-based remote team building exercises add a touch of fun to the process of getting to know your staff. People start to learn more about each other while discovering opportunities to laugh and joke together too. Remember, it's best to play this game in a video conference, so people can look for non-verbal cues in their coworkers when they're trying to spot the lie.Building Your Remote Team While you might be comfortable simply leaving your virtual team members to work individually on their own projects, it's worth noting that connecting your staff on a personal level can lead to huge benefits for everyone involved. When your people feel connected, they can collaborate and communicate better over their work projects, leading to better efficiency and productivity for your company. Author Bio: As the founder and CEO of his own company, JavaPresse, Raj Jana knows a thing or two about managing and leading remote workers. When he's not looking for ways to delight his employees and bring them together on projects, Raj is investing in his coffee company and delivering delicious coffee to the world....

This past February 21-22, Internal Communications professionals flew to New Orleans to join the 7th Annual Internal Communications Communications & Situational Messaging Conference produced by Marcus Evans. While sponsoring this conference, OFC had the privilege of meeting many of these culture & communications professionals and discussing their biggest challenges & learnings; Specifically when navigating change management while winning employee hearts and minds around new initiatives and corporate culture change. At the conference, we spoke to Larry Galardi, the Director of Employee and Leadership Communications for Seimens Healthineers Laboratory Diagnostics Business. Watch this video, or read below to learn how Larry develops a narrative that compels employees to embrace company values and drives the business forward:“75% of any communications professional is passion. My name is Larry Galardi, and I’m the director of Employee and Leadership Communications for Seimens Healthineers Laboratory Diagnostics Business. This is about story telling, it’s about developing a narrative that compels our employees to embrace our company values and engages them to take those values to drive the business forward. My debate goes like this, yes it’s very important to do marketing communications so you can sell products. Yes, it’s very important to get into Wall Street Journal or New York Times for great strong PR so that you can build your reputational management. But guess what, none of that opinion making or opinion shaping can be done unless we buy the employees’ perspective and engagement first. So I’m trying to win hearts and minds. I realize I have a vast array of different media channels at my disposal. The one-and-done doesn’t work. If you can build a sustainable campaign of communications that shows the employees this is ABOUT them and BY them, the hearts and minds get quickly attached to that. You want the employees talking to each other, whether it’s online, face-to-face, through email channels, digital channels, social media..whatever it might be. We want to start a conversation. I think we’re starting to see incremental steps to that and I think the digital age has a lot to do with that. The millennials are embracing digital technology in a way we’ve never seen before. That digital technology gives new life to video platforms. And it’s even bringing to life a certain vibrancy with print technology. That excites me because it changes the media that we use and it changes the audience’s reaction to it. When you do that, you advance the company forward. You reshape the companies culture, hopefully you create more interest in the marketplace for the company’s products & services, and you grow your own repetitional management.”   You can watch Larry Galardi's full interview here.See other Rockstars of Culture & Communication videos here.  ...

This past February, OFC had the privilege of being a sponsor at the 7th Annual Internal Communications & Situational Messaging Conference produced by Marcus Evans. Culture & Communications professionals from global companies all flew to New Orleans to binge on sugary beignets and discuss their biggest challenges for fostering an empowered workforce while navigating change management and corporate communications. At the conference, we spoke to Joan Cronin, the Vice President of Strategic Communications at Citizens Bank. Read below to learn how Joan leverages strong relationships with colleagues to advance key communication initiatives."Hi I’m Joan Cronin. I’m a comms manager at citizens bank. I work with executives to help them get their messages out. I also help to communicate across our organization. Without question the biggest hurdle we have to overcome in communications is just the competition. Everybody wants to get their message out. They think that their program or project is the most important. It’s understanding that not every colleague needs to get that message. What has really helped me drive success with the partners I have & the projects I’ve lead is building strong relationships. As I’ve grown in my career and  grown to work with senior leaders, I really listen to them & share good solutions with them. I’ve built strong partnerships, and in turn, they see me as a strong parter, so they’ll head my recommendations. Most of them, I wish all of them, but most of them . I go to number of different sources for inspiration, for help, to ignite. We have a great team at Citizens. We meet for lunch a lot. We chat about personal stuff but we also do a lot of brainstorming and bring challenges that we have together. Then I think it’s about making sure that I’m seeking out diverse perspectives.  I don’t think I have the answer to everything and am always getting input from colleagues from all different levels & roles. Don’t ever think that you are confined to solutions. Always look for a new and different way to do it. Bring those ideas to the most senior leaders in the company because they’re open to them. Don’t ever feel like you don’t have a voice.” You can watch Joan Cronin's full interview here. See other Rockstars of Culture & Communication videos here....

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