Contribute to a small e-book for 2013
The start of a new year is often a time when people declare big ideas and huge resolutions. Perhaps the big idea for 2013 is the small idea or action. Let's work with the power of the small in 2013. Just because the idea or action is small does not mean it won't have a big impact.
We will put a small e-book together based on our collective thinking and action to share with the network.
What is the smallest idea or action you have to improve employee engagement in 2013?
Small ideas are only small if you allow them to be small. For 2013, although a we bit behind in posting, here is my idea for engagement:
Depending on the size of one's organization depends on how often one should complete this but I would recommend for larger organizations to do this once a week.
If you have an organization where there are several departments, get employees engaged by placing them in a different department once a week for an entire year. Take Macy's department store for example. A customer service associate who works in young men's clothing should have the opportunity to work in shoes for one full day, along with four other people doing the same during that week. If an organization were to shift their staff to the various departments for one day to understand what is in that department and the clientele that they cater to in that department then the staff would be better suited to engage not only with the rest of the organization, but also they would have better engagement with the consumers. Now I know this doesn't do much but it is just the tip of the iceberg.
Now that these five individuals have worked in that new department, like was suggested before the shoe department, these five individuals would be required to come to work for a meeting for two hours to engage with each other and discuss what they learned from the shoe department that they had not learned from their own. What may better be serving the shoe department that isn't serving theirs, better display ideas, how customer service is viewed, etc. For about 90 minutes they would work together to engage about their experiences and what can help their own departments. After the 90 minutes, they would meet with their personal department managers, the department manager of the shoe department (or whatever department that they were placed into for this engagement experience), and store management such as HR and the manager who may be in charge of sales and customer service. At this point they would express the top qualities that they found that most helped them become engaged with the consumers and the ways that they feel can better their departments. [Now I understand many stores have several employees that they would need to conduct this with. For instance if young men's had four employees, they would need to conduct this for four weeks. While they were working with the shoe department, the shoe department would also be sending staff to the different departments to learn their departments as well.] Now that there are six departments that have done this, we have some new major engagement within the organization.
By conducting this engagement not only with the consumers, the organization is conducting engagement within the staff as well and allowing them to get to not only understand other departments, but getting to work with other staff members and building positive working relationships within the organization.
And although this could take well over a year to get everyone throughout the organization to understand every department, at least to some extent, this would build the companies engagement not only with their staff, but also with the consumers and thus allow the opportunity to build their organization.
We encourage our employees around the world to take and share photos of employees doing interesting work, engaged in hobbies, being recognized, etc. We use these extensively in our newsletter and/or company Facebook page. Walking the floor and talking to people is extremely important, but in a large organization bring your camera along as well and celebrate your wonderful employees.