Employee Engagement solutions in 2019

US Employees are Disengaged. Now What?

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Companies that fail to engage their talent, particularly diverse talent, can experience symptoms ranging from increased attrition to reduced company revenue, poor pulse survey scores, and more. Low employee engagement isn’t a unique challenge. In fact, more than half of employees surveyed report that they aren’t engaged at work. Even worse, disengagement is contagious. In the United States alone, disengaged employees annually cost companies over $500 Billion (that’s billion, with a B). This means that companies are losing money every day because employees aren’t showing up to work fully. Where is the room for improvement and what are some of the potential benefits companies can expect to experience from well executed Employee Engagement tactics.

From lower employee morale to reduced productivity, if employees aren’t engaged it means the company is at risk of losing key talent or having that talent “show up” for work, without gaining the maximum amount of productivity and ideation that happens when employees are invested in their workplace because they have a sense of well-being and belonging.

Companies are at risk but there is room for opportunity

According to employees in the U.S., almost 70% consider themselves anywhere along the axis of “not engaged” to “actively disengaged.” That’s a tremendous loss in terms of productivity and a delay in reaching company business goals.

Employee engagement has room for improvement in most organizations: just 12% of businesses report being happy with current levels of employee engagement. This means that low employee engagement scores can result in leaders being viewed as lacking the strategic team insight that leads to full engagement.

Employee Engagement Solutions

A culture of Diversity and Inclusion makes workplaces better for EVERYONE

Employees’ positive perceptions of D&I practices are positively related to employee engagement for all employees, not just minority groups. Perceptions in this case are derived from the actual ‘policies and practices that make up an organization’s diversity practices’ – the tangible actions taken for diversity. This means companies taking steps to ensure impactful D&I practices are in place, will benefit across all demographics.

When it all boils down, companies with engaged employees achieve an average of 21% higher profitability compared to those with disengaged employees. This means that companies that succeed in engaging their employees have a strategic advance over the competition. There is ample research that can more than validate the fact that engagement drives profits, and that a culture of diversity and inclusion drives engagement.

Our team addresses these topics and more during our open monthly Q&As, as well as during our quarterly webinars. The cost of employee disengagement and D&I as a solution to those costs is a discussion worth expanding whenever possible. Finally, see expanded stats and some of our favorite approaches to empower a culture of Diversity and Inclusion that promotes company-wide engagement on page 18 of our Lead Inclusively Whitepaper.

How Diversity and Inclusion Turbocharges Talent Acquisition

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One of the most frequently asked questions during our monthly Q&A sessions is why employees leave and how Diversity and Inclusion can help companies attract top talent. Here is how your organization can transform its brand and culture and forever improve Talent Acquisition efforts through Diversity and Inclusion.

Leading inclusively for employee retention

 

The war for talent starts (but definitely doesn’t end) with branding.

Companies around the world are increasingly leveraging their culture as a differentiating factor, ensuring their external branding reflects a culture that appeals to top talent. According to LinkedIn, 80% of talent acquisition managers believe that employer branding has a significant impact on the ability to hire great talent.

With that said, 50% of candidates say they wouldn’t work for a company with a bad reputation – even for a pay increase. Many companies fail to ensure their leaders are leading inclusively. This results in high attrition rates, particularly among diverse demographic groups, which quickly begins to undermine diversity recruitment efforts.

A Columbia University study shows that the job turnover at organizations with a strong company culture is a mere 13.9%. Compare that to the staggering rate of 48.4% turnover at companies with a poor culture.

Employee turnover stats

 

Good Talent Acquisition is the product of a strong brand that is upheld by a stronger culture

Research aside, it’s generally harder to attract top talent if an organization is struggling to retain its current talent. A positive external brand will only get you so far if organizational culture is not inclusive. Inclusive leadership positively impacts employee engagement, satisfaction, productivity, and retention.

Employees that are happy create the strong backbone of organizational culture. They become your organization’s most credible advocates and establish the authenticity of your external branding.

As always, we would love to discuss this topic with you and answer your questions in the comment section below. Our team also hosts monthly Q&A sessions where we go in-depth on a variety of relevant issues and give attendees the opportunity to share their thoughts and experiences with other professionals in the space. You can learn more, or sign up for updates via our events page.

Why Diversity and Inclusion initiative fail

Why Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives Fail

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Diversity and Inclusion can be instrumental in driving business performance. My team continues to expand its research and spread awareness on the business case for D&I, and if you are curious about this research, we invite you to download our Business Case deck to learn more. But that is beyond the scope of this article. Today we’re discussing why Diversity and Inclusion initiatives fail.

The challenge is that achieving meaningful results from your D&I strategies requires strong change management, the appropriate focus, and specific programs that appeal to your organization to build on their own momentum. Even the most well-intentioned organizations with a thorough awareness of D&I can misstep in their approach. Here are three reasons organizations miss the mark with their D&I strategies.

1. Leaders aren’t leading inclusively

Teams that have diversity but lack inclusion perform worse than even homogenous teams. In other words, you are better off doing nothing if your organization intends to attract diverse talent without ensuring its culture is inclusive. Culture is most impacted by leadership. If leadership doesn’t commit to being inclusive, then your organization has no chance of retaining its diverse talent and maintaining productive teams.

Lead Inclusively - Inclusion vs Homogeneous

2. Employee engagement isn’t the best barometer of your success. 

There is a direct correlation between inclusion, employee engagement, and productivity. Unlike other D&I metrics, employee engagement is already actively tracked by most organizations, which provides a good baseline when tracking the effectiveness of new strategies.

However, engagement doesn’t tell the whole story. Looking at metrics around diverse employees’ attrition and advancement can also only get you so far. That’s why my team focuses on identifying where the talent pipeline is leaking and why. Are you seeing Asian American women fail to reach the director level? Do you even know whether that’s the case in your organization? These are the questions you need to be asking and answering.

Employee engagement research

3. Relying on “best practices”

The ultimate outcome of an inclusive culture and successful D&I strategy is increased innovation. While it is easy to get caught up in best practices that produce incremental change, companies that want to be the employer of choice are moving toward innovative “next practices”, and more than ever they are using Diversity and Inclusion to do so. My company, for example, is innovating by applying machine learning to automate inclusive behavior coaching for everyone. Work like this is extremely exciting in the opportunity it presents in affecting tangible change that we haven’t seen in quite some time. The most exciting part is my work is only one of many around that is passionate and ready to affect change. The future of our workplaces is more promising than ever.

We would love to discuss this topic with you and answer any of your questions at my open Q&A sessions. Our team also host complimentary quarterly webinars where we go in-depth on a variety of relevant issues. You can learn more, or sign up for updates on both events via our events page.

If you can not, or do not want to attend, we still want to hear your thoughts! Leave us your comments below! What are new innovative ideas you and your colleagues are exploring or using to affect change? Which parts of organizational culture change are you most excited for in the near future? What are other reasons Diversity and Inclusion initiatives fail?

The Main Reason Your Company Can’t Retain Diverse Talent

Why Diverse Talent Leaves

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Company culture is the personality of an organization and includes the company’s mission, expectations, and work atmosphere. Culture is largely defined by two elements: the formal culture (the intended experience as it is written on paper) and the informal culture (how it is experienced on a daily basis by those who are in the environment). What does this mean and how does it impact why diverse talent leaves?

The primary purpose of culture transformation initiatives is to align the formal and informal cultures so that the employee experience matches the company’s stated vision and values. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done.

For diverse employees, this alignment of formal and informal culture is especially important. A lack of this alignment is the main reason your company can’t retain diverse talent.

Why it Matters

Poor culture is correlated with high attrition:

A Columbia University study shows that the likelihood of job turnover at an organization with strong company culture (as defined by job satisfaction) is a mere 13.9%, whereas the probability of job turnover in poor company cultures is 48.4%.

Executives don’t understand their organization’s culture:

Fewer than one in three executives (28%) report that they understand their organization’s culture. They know that culture is important, but don’t necessarily understand what their organization stands for or how their organizational culture is defined, much less how it is perceived by frontline employees.

There is room for improvement:

Only 12% of executives believe their companies are driving the ‘right culture’. The remainder feels there is plenty of room for improvement.

The Opportunity

Strong culture increases talent diversity:

Building an employer brand and positive company culture helps companies hire the right people (55%), get a greater number of qualified candidates (49%), increase employee referrals (41%), and have more diverse candidates (32%).

Culture is critical to success:

94% of executives and 88% of employees believe a distinct workplace culture is important to business success.

To learn more about specific approaches and best practices in culture transformation, check out page 26 of our Whitepaper.

I am hosting a complimentary webinar on June 4th where I will go more in-depth on the topic of organizational culture and culture transformation. You are also welcome to join me June 19th for our open Q&A round-table to ask any other personal questions on this topic, or any other relating to HR, Talent, Leadership, Culture, or Diversity strategies.

CHECK OUT OUR LEAD INCLUSIVELY EVENTS PAGE TO LEARN MORE

Three signs your company has a culture problem Lead Inclusively

Three Signs Your Company has a Culture Problem

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These days, company culture is more important than ever. It is instrumental in differentiating one company from another and bridging the gap between the c-suite to the entry-level. While most C-level executives recognize the importance of strong company culture, only 28% of executives believe they understand their company culture, and only 12% of executives believe their companies are driving the right culture. Here are three signs your company has a culture problem. 

                         

Team members are under-performing. 

Assuming that organizations are hiring qualified employees, a case of underperforming staff is an opportunity for leadership to better understand potential flaws in an organizations culture. Statistics show that lagging productivity is often tied to employee engagement, which results from a number of culture challenges. Failing to address the underlying factors at play can contribute to compounding issues in performance and culture alike. 

Leadership is not living up to organizational standards, value, or brand.

72% of employees are highly engaged in organizations with effective leadership. Leaders in a weak culture commonly don’t adhere toand often don’t even know, their organization’s values and leadership standards. This scenario can result in severe ramifications. Poor leadership can have a rapid trickle-down effect through an entire organization. It can erode talent and culture alike. Weak culture and weak leadership handicap an organizations ability to attract, retain and advance top talent, ultimately hindering its performance and growth.

Employee engagement is a lagging.

Employee engagement is a barometer of culture. 86% of employees in strong cultures feel their senior leadership listens to their employees. Employees that feel included and empowered are more invested, passionate and satisfied, which also reflects in innovation and output (link to leadership that unlocks innovation). Inclusive leadership is the foundation of a strong organizational culture and the primary force that upholds it over time.Lead Inclusively Inc.What are some other common leadership shortcomings that can damage organizational culture, employee engagement, and overall performance?  

Culture is extremely complex, but also absolutely instrumental in changing the way your talent, and teams perform over time. Join a more in-depth discussion on how inclusive leadership can be THE catalyst for a healthy organizational culture that drives employee engagement, retention, advancement, and team performance at this upcoming webinar 

 You can also share your D&I experiences and challenges with other professionals and receive expert insights in a more personal setting during this upcoming Open D&I Roundtable Q&A.

How Inclusion Can Drive an Innovation Culture in Your Company

How Inclusion Can Drive an Innovation Culture in Your Company

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In the modern world, impactful and prolific innovation is increasingly critical to company success. Some companies are learning that lack of diversity and inclusion in their ranks is inhibiting innovation. You’ve surely seen the headlines and statistics around the lack of diversity and inclusion in tech. For a shocking, real-world example of the result, check out the “racist paper towel dispenser” that was clearly an end-product of a team that lacked internal diversity and interest in the marketplace they intended to serve.

On the other side of the coin, there are also companies discovering that one benefit of becoming more inclusive organizationally is a corresponding improvement in the ability to quickly leverage the diverse perspectives and experiences of each member of the workforce to innovate new products and user experiences. Ultimately, a high-trust environment with significant diversity can develop quickly into a culture of meaningful innovation. An innovation culture is one in which employees feel that their company places a high value on the contribution of diverse ideas from everyone without placing blame on ideas that fail. Instead, all ideas are encouraged and employees are empowered to test those ideas in an atmosphere of experimentation and learning agility. Empowering employees to be experimental without fear of failure fosters even more employee engagement and organizational success.

So why does innovation matter? What are the opportunities that Diversity and Inclusion present? And what are some approaches your organizations can get started on?

Before you continue reading, feel free to sign up for our upcoming open office hours or our Lead Inclusively webinar where we will share a very detailed discussion on the topics of inclusive leadership, and practices that best harness team innovation.

How Inclusion Can Drive an Innovation Culture in Your Company

Why it matters

The need to innovate is higher than ever.

According to one study, 84% of executives say that innovation is important to their growth strategy. Industries, technologies, and economies are changing at exponential rates, making a company’s ability to innovate more important than ever. Workplaces that are both diverse and inclusive are associated with higher individual performance because employees are better able to innovate (+83%) and maintain engagement.

Non-inclusive companies produce less innovation

As mentioned in the 2017 PwC Innovation Benchmark, 54% of innovating organizations have trouble bridging the gap between innovation strategy and overall business strategy. Innovation occurs more readily in organizations and teams where everyone feels safe enough to share their ideas and debate the merits of ideas without feeling fear that there will be negative consequences for doing so.

Companies that do not innovate become irrelevant

In today’s world, companies must accept industry disruption as a given. In fact, according to a recent survey, 80% of executives think their current business models are at risk to be disrupted. Companies that failed to innovate include former monoliths of industry such as Blockbuster, which failed to innovate when Netflix came on the scene and was rendered irrelevant within four years of Netflix launching its streaming services.

The opportunity

Inclusive Behaviors Maximize Innovation.

Employees at companies with inclusive leadership are more likely than employees at non-diverse companies to take risks, challenge the status quo, and embrace a diverse array of inputs. They are also 75% more likely to see their ideas move through the product pipeline and make it to the marketplace. This means that a company’s ability to embrace inclusive leadership translates to its business results and can drive the level of innovative thought that leads to successful market disruption.

Inclusive companies are more innovative and reach more new markets.

One inclusive behavior is allowing teams a safe space to respectfully debate one another’s ideas. A recent Berkeley study found that teams that debate the merits of one another’s ideas (instead of brainstorming more collaboratively) come up with 25% more ideas. Additional research from the Boston Consulting Group found that Diverse and Inclusive companies were able to increase market share 15% more and capture new markets 20% more than the non-diverse workplaces.

Diversity drives increased revenue.

Companies that are more diverse than average have generated 38% more of their revenue from innovative products and services, compared to companies that are less diverse. These numbers demonstrate that bottom line dollars are on the table when innovation and inclusion are successfully embedded into the organization’s processes.

From intrapreneur programs to innovation labs, you can check out page 21 of our new whitepaper to see what some companies are already doing to meet the increasing demand for team innovation.