Top Strategies for Best in Class Employee Engagement

Happy EmployeeAccording to a recent Aberdeen Group report fewer than 23% of organisations that were surveyed have a defined, organisation-wide employee engagement strategy in place, despite the fact that employee engagement is at an all time low.

The link between employee engagement and productivity has been firmly established but many organisations have struggled to align their employee needs and desires with organisational goals as the economic downturn has bitten.  The focus on productivity and profitability has pushed employee engagement down the strategic ladder.  According to reports, the numbers of employees who have said they are looking to change jobs over the next 12 months is rising sharply and this will impact employee costs and could mean organisations lose their best talent. A robust employee engagement strategy will help attract and retain the best people and make the most of every opportunity to improve productivity and meet organisational objectives for growth.

Unsurprisingly, when asked what the key elements of employee engagement were, these elements came out top in the report and are what best in breed organisations focus on when it comes to engagement:

  • Employee recognition
  • The cultural values of an organisation
  • Relationship and interaction with direct managers
  • Work-life balance

And what strategies work for successful organisations according to the report?

Great communication. Communication needs to be frequent, consistent and two-way. Organisations must be happy to receive communications and feedback from employees, stakeholders, leavers and job candidates.

Rewards and Recognition Programmes.   By demonstrating appreciation for employee contributions and rewarding positive behaviours, individuals will feel motivated to stay with employers and feel motivated to perform.

Process & Technology. It is important to have processes in place that enable organisations to gauge the success, or not, of their employee engagement strategies. In order to get senior buy-in, which can be challenging, the gains must be measurable. Technology can help both implement and measure engagement strategy and its effects on the organisation. In best of breed organisations technology goes beyond the usual employee survey and can include solutions that measure productivity as well as talent management solutions and employee self-service portals.

The low state of morale and engagement among UK employees was highlighted in a recent report, The Forgotten Workforce, commissioned by Kronos which was carried out to explore employee attitudes, across a variety of industries, to existing workforce management practices, and identify how companies need to focus their attention to engage their front line staff in a way that maximises productivity and business agility without undermining job satisfaction.

Further Reading:

Download the Aberdeen Report here: http://aberdeen.com/Aberdeen-Library/8648/RB-employee-engagement-strategies.aspx?camp=EXTR

Download The Forgotten Workforce Study here: http://www.kronos.co.uk/research/forgotten-workforce-survey-uk.aspx

The Future of Workforce Management & 10 Deadly Sins of Software Development

IMG_0161Sorry I have not blogged sooner, last week was a very busy time and our annual customer event was even more successful than ever with greater numbers of attendees and some really great speakers. We were delighted to welcome Kronos customers from across the UK and Western Europe. Aron Ain, our CEO kicked proceedings off with an insightful presentation about the future of workforce management. In his presentation he mentioned that Kronos will be investing $100 mill into R&D this year to ensure that our solutions continue to meet the growing demands of our customers; intuitive, easy to use solutions, delivered on mobile technologies, guiding management decisions and providing real insight into the business with Workforce Analytics – this speaks volumes about how important it is to continue to provide our customers with real competitive advantage. Aron went on to talk about how Kronos can help customers focus on what they do best by letting us run their Kronos solution in the Kronos Cloud.

Mollie Lombardi of Aberdeen Group gave a research analysts perspective on the impact that Big Data is having on organisations globally whilst Charlie DeWitt described how we eliminated the 10 Sins of Enterprise Software development over the last few releases, how we engage with customer advisory boards to ensure our solutions meet with the current and future needs of our customers and confirmed we are still searching for the book that describes all of the employment rules and practice around the world 😉 The key focus was on how we can provide solutions that truly help organisations achieve operational excellence and the “gold” at the end of the Big Data and Analytics trail.

Following those fascinating sessions I was delighted to be hosting the main discussion panel. Where valued customers like Duncan Rouse of Hall and Woodhouse, Jay Brereton of The Co-operative Group, Mark Wales of Ralph Lauren, Alan Murphy of Hozelock and Richard Baxter of Aramark bravely took to the stage, together with Mollie who spoke earlier. They gave us their reaction to the main themes of the day. All had valued input on how the changing demographics of their business and the demands of their employees could be better accommodated by workforce analytics, mobile workforce management and the Cloud. On each topic they even took questions live from the audience.

IMG_0224In the afternoon we held industry specific breakout sessions that allowed our customers to share their challenges and show their peers how they are using their Kronos solution to manage their workforce more efficiently and the impacts it has on their organisation – whether it is by reducing absence, improving scheduling efficiencies or reducing labour costs. Analysts, partners and sector experts also contributed their knowledge and views to the sessions.

All in all it was a fantastic day and we are already looking at ways that we can take the feedback and lessons that we have learned to make next year’s event even better. Here is a link to Mollie Lombardi of Aberdeen Group and Charles DeWitt, Kronos VP of Enterprise and Product Marketing’s presentations that will give you taste of the themes for the day and if you wish to know more please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

The Big Event!

It’s been a while since I posted as I have had a brief break on the boat (which was quite exciting as the weather was pretty awful on the south coast of England with rain and poor visibility making sailing quite challenging). I have then been busy preparing for our big customer event, KronosLive EMEA, which we are holding in London tomorrow. We are expecting over 200 delegates and it is our biggest event yet in the UK.

I really am very excited this year as I have been asked to chair a panel discussion which will comprise of customers from all industries including retail, manufacturing, hospitality, services and logistics.

The focus of the panel session will be around three key themes:

1) Labour related Analytics
2) The increasing need/expectations around Mobile data
3) Utilising the Cloud to offload the support and management of business applications from overstretched IT departments.

In addition I will be asking our customer panel questions related to opportunities for productivity improvement in their organisations from new functionality available in our Workforce Central Solution v7.0 such as Task Management.

Before the panel session Aron Ain the CEO of Kronos, Charlie Dewitt of Kronos and my good friend Mollie Lombardi from the Aberdeen Group will all be touching on the 3 key themes in varying degrees of detail and the way all of them can improve labour productivity within organisations.

Mollie will also be presenting at our Retail Executive Summit which we are also holding this week and I will be looking forward to hearing her views and opinions on; ‘The State of Workforce Management in Retail in Western Europe’.

I look forward to letting you know how the panellist discussions go and finding out more about how they are using their workforce management solution to meet the new challenges they are facing in each of their industries. Meanwhile if you have any thoughts on any of the topics we will be covering I would be very interested to hear them.