Tagarchief: English

Employee Recognition: 4 missers en hoe die te voorkomen

Randy Pennington op Hufftingtonpost.com, januari 2017. Uit je waardering voor medewerkers vaak én op een goede manier. Vier vaak gemaakte missers en hoe die te voorkomen.

Getting Recognition Wrong

Think back on your career. Have you ever received too much recognition for the good work you have done? Have you provided too much recognition for the good work of others? The answer to both questions is probably “NO.” Experience tells us that providing too much recognition isn’t an issue for most leaders.

The statistics support that conclusion. While 81 percent of companies reported having a formal recognition program, 82 percent of employees don’t think they’re recognized for their work as often as they deserve.Obviously, many leaders are getting it wrong. Here are four ways that might be happening.

Problem 1: Confusing a positive environment with recognition.

During a 360-degree feedback assessment, my administrative assistant indicated that I did not provide adequate recognition. I was shocked. Hadn’t she noticed the “Thank You” on every piece of work she produced? Didn’t she remember the encouragement on her personal growth and development plans? Didn’t she appreciate the flexibility she had with her time? Of course she did, and she was grateful to work in a positive environment. But that wasn’t recognition. Recognition would have been letting her know that she did a great job on a difficult project or even better, providing something of value to her in response to that performance.

Here is the news: Your employees want to work in a positive environment. That, however, isn’t the same as providing recognition. Your employees know it and want you to do the same.

Problem 2: Confusing fun and games at an off-site with recognition.

Off-site meetings can be very beneficial to your group’s success. And most – or at least some – of your team really enjoys playing those team building games. Who wouldn’t salivate over the opportunity to fire a paint ball gun at the person who consistently microwaves salmon and brings it to the desk to eat? From your staff’s point of view, off-site meetings can also be a pain. They involve arranging child care, pet care, or elder care. They cause stress from wondering how I’ll compete in the latest version of the corporate Olympics or get along with an assigned roommate who probably snores.

Here is the news:
Off-site meetings can be recognition if it is a reward that is earned and treated as such. The standard off-site working meeting is just that … work regardless of the games you play.

Problem 3: Confusing reward and recognition.

The old saying goes, “Behavior that is rewarded is repeated.” No wait. Its behavior that is recognized is repeated. Both are correct, and it contributes to the problem.We devalue the impact of recognition when we believe that tangible rewards are the only things that work. That might be true for some people. But, how many more coffee mugs, belt buckles, certificates, or coolers with the company logo on them do you need?

Here is the news: Recognition doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Rewards are nice, but sincere, specific, and individual recognition from a respected leader can be much more meaningful.

Problem 4: Failing to tie recognition to performance that delivers results.

This one can actually kill your company rather than merely hurt it.There is a persistent perception that the Millennial generation requires a continuous stream of recognition to keep them engaged. It’s true that there are those who have been told that they are great since birth. Characterizing an entire generation by the actions of the minority is a mistake, however. An even bigger blunder is assuming that you must provide recognition for the sake of recognition.

Here is the news: Your organization can’t compete if people are recognized for mediocre performance. Consider starting a “meaningless recognition withdrawal program” if you have adopted the philosophy that all recognition is good recognition.

Be actively involved in coaching and mentoring your team about the importance of producing real results. Recognize often, but be relentless about encouraging performance and behavior that contribute to your on-going success. It will take considerably more of your time. Get used to it and embrace it. It is a mistake you can’t afford to make.

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Impact of Bonuses on Employee Motivation

Andrea Stevens op chroniclegreatcolleges.com, augustus 2016. Organisaties spenderen elk jaar miljoenen aan bonussen. Maar is er bewijs dat een bonus de beste manier is om medewerkers te motiveren?

Impact of Bonuses on Employee Motivation

Conventional wisdom states that one of the best ways to motivate employees is by paying generous bonuses. The media constantly highlights the huge bonuses paid to CEOs and other top executives. Organizations spend millions of dollars every year on bonuses. But is there evidence that bonuses are actually the best way to motivate employees?

Bonuses and Motivation

While it might seem obvious that bonuses drive employees to work harder, the research on this point is far from clear. Recent findings suggest that people are more driven by engagement than by financial rewards. This is a paradigm shift for many business owners and managers. The perception is that it’s far simpler to pay someone a bonus than to analyze something like employee engagement.

Research has uncovered that, in certain situations, bonuses can actually be detrimental to performance. A large bonus may motivate people so much that it causes stress and less effective results. That’s because being overly motivated stimulates certain brain centers that cause people to make mistakes. In this type of situation, bonuses actually do succeed in motivating people but may decrease effectiveness.

Bonuses may also foster a competitive spirit in the workplace. This is a mixed blessing. While competition often helps motivate people to do their best, it can also create hostility and divisions. When people are competing for prizes such as bonuses, it’s natural to perceive others as competitors rather than fellow team members. While a certain amount of competition is healthy, when significant monetary rewards are at stake it may undermine other values such as team spirit and the good of the company as a whole. When people do their best because they feel engaged, there is more of a feeling of camaraderie among employees.

Why Engagement is Important

There are many reasons why businesses need to make engagement a priority. Engagement is difficult to quantify but easy to recognize in the workplace. While employees may say or even believe that they are mainly working to earn money, their performance shows otherwise. Studies show that companies with engaged employees have 51 percent higher productivity.

Both Engagement and Bonuses are Effective

Both bonuses and engagement are effective motivators, and the two are not mutually exclusive. The Havas agency network connected the two by tying executive bonuses to employee engagement levels. There are other innovative ways that bonuses and other financial incentives might be connected to employee engagement. For example, bonuses might be paid to the team rather than individuals, removing some of the unhealthy competition between employees.

True employee engagement is a complex web of small connections between an employee and an employer, including frequently discussed efforts like flexible work hours, entertaining company events or pet-friendly cultures.  These can all be important factors of engagement, but a true connection between an employee and his workplace comes down to communication: feeling heard and feeling empowered to speak up.

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14 Simple Expectations Great Employees Have of Their Boss

Bernard Marr op linkedIn.com, januari 2017. If you want to attract and retain great employees, it pays to be a great boss. Here are 14 simple expectations that the best employees have of their bosses.

14 Simple Expectations Great Employees Have of Their Boss

The goal of every manager is to have a team full of exceptional employees. Sometimes the problem is finding them, but more often I see that managers have trouble retaining the greatest employees.

But what if the problem isn’t them… it’s you?

Are you the sort of boss that great employees want to work for?

If you want to attract and retain great employees, it pays to be a great boss. Here are some simple expectations that the best employees have of their bosses:

1. Be consistent with meaningful communication.

Smart employees want clear expectations and communication when it comes to what’s expected of them. The No. 1 problem people cite with their bosses and managers is a lack of communication. If you can improve your communication skills and create a culture of open communication with your team, you will go a long way to creating an environment where the best employees will be happy.

2. Give recognition and praise.

Across the board, most people like to feel appreciated in their job. According to Entrepreneur, 65 percent of employees would be happier if they got more recognition at work, whereas only 35 percent say they would be happier if they got a raise. If you can build a routine of recognition and praise, you will encourage your best employees to be happy at work — and therefore stay. Don’t worry too much about awards or rewards; words go a long way.

3. Provide feedback, mentorship, and training.

The best employees want to improve and grow, and crave a development and mentorship role from their managers. Watch for opportunities to teach, to provide additional support, or to invite the right training for your employees. Making individual development a part of every job description is an excellent way to encourage and retain strong employees (and help them get even stronger).

4. Create a work culture by design.

Good bosses find ways to foster a sense of community at work. Great bosses build that culture intentionally. A big part of that is finding and attracting the right team members — and making sure that the wrong ones move on quickly. Nothing can hurt morale of your best employees more than feeling like they’re supporting a poor team member. Culture design is also about making sure those team members are in the right roles, the ones that make the best use of their particular talents and skills.

5. Create a safe space for failure.

Employees who trust that their failures will be met with constructive feedback and support are more likely to think creatively, work outside the box, and come up with innovative solutions to problems. It’s important to foster a sense that you succeed and fail together as a team, so that no one is thrown under the bus. If people are too busy worrying about losing their job to take chances, you’ll never get their best work out of them.

6. Provide strong leadership and a clear vision

The captain must steer the ship. If leadership doesn’t know where a project or company is headed, how can the employee know? This isn’t just about action steps or deliverables, either, but a clear vision of the department or company’s future that you can communicate to your employees. The best employees feel more confident when they feel that someone is steering the ship competently.

7. Hold yourself and others accountable

Many bosses hold their staff accountable, but the best hold themselves accountable as well. This means adhering to the same guidelines you set for your employees and taking responsibility for both team successes and failures. If your employees feel like you have their back, no matter what, they are much more comfortable and confident in their jobs, and will produce better work and stay longer.

8. Demonstrate good problem solving

Employees need their boss to be consummate problem solvers. You need to be able to not only spot a problem before it becomes a catastrophe, but brainstorm successful and innovative ways to fix it. When an employee comes to a manager with a problem, he or she needs to have confidence that they will get the help they need to fix it.

9. Avoid micromanaging

Learn to understand the art of delegation. One employee once told me that the best bosses have “fired themselves from their previous job” — meaning that they don’t interfere in the day-to-day and minute-to-minute workflow or processes. In essence, learning to delegate instead of micromanage is about trust, and the best employees want to feel trusted, and thrive in that environment.

10. Be an effective decision maker

Sometimes the worst position an employee can be in is when they are waiting for a decision from above. Effective bosses must be effective decision makers. You cannot vacillate over every tiny decision. Being able to make decisions quickly and decisively — and then take responsibility for the outcome (see number 7) — is an important business skill, especially when managing others. The more quickly and effectively you can make decisions, the better your employees can implement them, and that makes employees feel more efficient and effective.

11. Put people first

A great employee is going to want to find a job that fits his or her lifestyle and work/life balance needs. The best bosses understand that there must be a balance between the company or client’s needs and the needs of his or her employees. You must be willing to listen and talk about any issues an employee may be having and understand that a happy employee is a more productive employee.

12. Manage up, down, and sideways

Managers are expected to manage the people below them on the corporate hierarchy, but the best bosses also have ways of managing their superiors and coworkers on behalf of their team. This might mean effective communication, managing expectations, and requesting help in a timely manner. This sort of support is key from an employee’s perspective, who may not have any direct contact with those other partners.

13. Be honest

There’s nothing worse than a boss who says one thing and does another — and nothing will make a great employee start looking for a new position any faster than being lied to. Just as managers must trust their team, employees must trust their boss to have their best interests at heart. It’s always going to be in your best interest to be honest with your employees. (This is also a great way to ensure that they want to be honest with you.)

14. Be dedicated and balanced

The very best bosses I’ve seen are passionate about their work; they live and breathe their jobs and strive to do the best work possible. Yet at the same time, they have lives outside of work. They understand the need to balance family and work or play and work. And they set a good example of how to do that for their employees. Employees want to know that their outside lives are understood and valued because they can see that you value life outside the office as well.

Some of these expectations may seem obvious or commonplace, but I would challenge you to really look within and make sure that you’re demonstrating these qualities regularly with your team. If you are, you should have no trouble finding and retaining the best employees in your field.

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The 5 best speeches from our conferences on happiness at work

Alex Kjerulf, founder and Chief Happiness Officer of Woohoo inc and one, expert happiness at work, auteur en key note speaker deelt op positivesharing.com de beste 5 speeches van acht jaarlijkse internationale conferenties. Bij de conferentie op 18-19 mei 2017 in Kopenhagen geeft Gea Peper van het HappinessBureau een workshop Employee Experience.

For the last 8 years we have arranged an annual conference on happiness at work in Copenhagen. The next one is on May 18+19 2017 and for the first time ever we’re making the conference international, so the whole event will be in English.

We want to show you just how energetic, fun and valuable this conference is, so here are five of our favorite speeches from previous years.

David Marquet (2013): Happiness at work on a nuclear submarine

When David Marquet took command of the nuclear submarine the USS Santa Fe, he knew he needed to change a lot of things. It was the worst performing submarine, was never ready for its missions on time and was basically the laughing stock of the US navy. David came in with a plan to improve the results on the submarine and thereby make its crew happier. By accident, he found that he had to do it the other way around: Make the submarine a happy workplace and results would follow. The new plan worked, and the USS Santa Fe became the best performing submarine. In this speech from our 2013 conference, David Marquet explains how he did it and how you can create a happier workplace too.

Srikumar Rao (2009): The two traps that keep us from being happy

One of the highlights of our 2009 conference on happiness at work in Copenhagen was Dr. Srikumar S. Rao’s wonderfully inspiring and funny presentation. His presentation focused specifically on two traps you must avoid, that keep us from becoming happy. Dr. Rao is the man behind the pioneering course Creativity and Personal Mastery, the only business school course that has its own alumni association and it has been extensively covered in the media including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the London Times, the Independent, Time, the Financial Times, Fortune, the Guardian, Business Week and dozens of other publications.

The Free Help Guy (2015): Happiness is… helping others.

The Free Help Guy has devoted a large part of his life to helping others – free and anonymously. He believes in doing what you can for others, that value doesn’t look like coins and notes and that for every problem there is at least one solution. He also believes in anonymity rather than self promotion and in living by your beliefs, which is why you can’t see his face in the video. In this inspiring speech, he shares his story. Read more at www.thefreehelpguy.com.

 Steve Shapiro (2011): Personality Poker

Does your organization help every single employee know their strong sides AND apply them more at work? Do people know and respect their coworkers’ personalities and preferences? Do you know what makes your coworkers happy or unhappy at work?

Steve Shapiro, the author of 24/7 Innovation and Best Practices Are Stupid takes participants at our 2011 conference through a game of Personality Poker, showing the 4 main personalities at work and what makes each of them happy or unhappy.

Henry Stewart (2016): 3 advanced tips for creating a happy workplace

Henry Stewart is the founder of Happy, a company in London that does computer and happiness trainings. They are also (naturally) a very happy workplace.In this speech, Henry shares 3 advanced tips for creating a happy workplace:

  • Let employees choose their boss
  • Give pre-approval on big projects
  • Let employees set their own goals

Bonus video: The world’s happiest DJ (2015)

This isn’t a speech as such but it is one of our favorite moments from the conferences.This is a German DJ who became famous on youtube a few years ago for being incredibly happy while playing. He used that as a springboard to quit the day job that he hated and become a full-time DJ. In this video from our 2015 conference he plays a very short set and then shares his story. Meet a man who had the courage to go his own way and became world famous for being happy at work.

Does all of that look interesting? Then join us in Copenhagen on May18+19 for our first ever INTERNATIONAL conference on happiness at work.

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Trends in employee recognition

Post van Julie Feece, VP North America Marketing for RPG Card Services op HR trendinstitute.com, december 2016. Het belang van employee recognition neemt toe als geintegreerd onderdeel van HR strategie en er zijn 6 trends te ontdekken.

Trends in employee recognition

Employee recognition programs, once considered a “nice” but non-essential component of human resources, have changed dramatically over the past five years. This shift parallels a growing understanding of the importance of retaining top-performing employees and re-engineering employee recognition as a core business function.

What’s behind this change? Numerous studies demonstrate “that when companies include employee recognition as a line-item, employee behavior increases across engagement, productivity, retention, customer service, and morale.”

What trends have emerged in the recent past and what do they tell us about how employee recognition programs will be defined in 2017 and beyond? Here’s a look at how thinking has changed and the implications it has for your business today:

1. Employee recognition is being integrated into human capital management strategies

There’s a new strategic value being placed on not just motivating the team, but discerning more precisely the types of behavior that translate into business success. Increasingly, recognition programs are seen as valuable coaching opportunities that reinforce desired employee behaviors — which can result into more effective sales, enhanced customer experiences and longer-lasting customer loyalty.

2. Employee recognition takes place on a continuous basis, not once a quarter or at the end of the year

In past years, many businesses hosted an annual employee recognition day, in which prizes were handed out for individual achievements. Over time, thinking has evolved into a prevailing sense that frequent employee recognition is a much more effective tool for reinforcing the behaviors businesses desire. Consistent praise has a more beneficial effect than intermittent recognition.

3. Peer-to-peer recognition is on the rise

Employees value praise from managers and others high up in the organization, but they greatly appreciate peer recognition as well. Social media can serve as a useful resource for employees to recognize one another’s efforts (status updates on LinkedIn and Facebook, for example, where people can leave comments and words of praise). Peer recognition also leads to a stronger sense of being part of a hard-working and high-achieving team.

4. New talent looks for cultures of recognition

In the red-hot competition for qualified new hires, it’s becoming clear that jobseekers respond favorably to businesses that actively promote a culture of recognition. Businesses with cultures that “clearly value innovation, people development and strategic thinking attract higher quality employees,” notes business author Rob Peters. “Intelligent organizations utilize recognition as a way to regularly advance the aspects that make up a high performing culture.”

5. Recognition is becoming more specific and personal

Handing out generic-sounding awards misses the mark when it comes to motivating employees to higher levels of excellence. If the reason behind recognition is vague or ambiguous, the objective of encouraging similar behavior among fellow employees gets lost. People want to know specifically the types of positive behavior their employers value. Rather than handing out a one-size-fits-all employee of the month award, “giving a more specific reward for providing legendary customer service makes more sense,” contends marketing expert Amy Blackburn. “Other employees, upon seeing such recognition, may want to rise to the occasion, too, and provide excellent customer service.”

6. Employee recognition programs play up the “fun” angle

Recognizing employees for individual or team achievements shouldn’t be a staid or solemn affair. The goal is advancing employee engagement, which is far more likely to come about as a result of informal and upbeat ways of recognizing outstanding on-the-job behaviors.

According to information from Officevibe, businesses with “effective recognition programs have a 31 percent lower voluntary turnover than organizations with ineffective recognition programs.” This, in itself, is a compelling reason to find out more about trends in employee recognition programs and see how you can incorporate those trends into your own efforts to salute hard-working and dedicated employees.

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International Conference on Happiness at Work

Gea Peper van Happy People Better Business geeft op de ‘International Conference on Happiness at Work’ in Kopenhagen op 18 & 19 mei een workshop over ‘How to create a great Employee Experience’. Het congres wordt georganiseerd door Woohooinc en je kunt je hier aanmelden. En hier gaat de workshop over:

Create a Great Employee Experience

Many companies focus strongly on creating a great customer experience. But very few have taken the next logical step and focused on consciously creating a great employee experience.

woohoo-conference2017The employee experience is the sum of all the interactions between that employee and your company. It starts with the first social media post they see, the first job listing or the first headhunting email, and ends with keeping in touch even after they leave.

It’s about creating a place where people want to show up and are happy at work. Creating a positive employee experience is not about stock options or foosball in the break room. It’s about respecting the role your people play in representing your brand and building your business. When you give talented people the space to achieve and thrive, they’ll give your customers an experience your competitors can’t duplicate.

7 employee feedback and engagement trends in 2017

Blog van Axel Schiphof op effectory.com, januari 2017. De 7 feedback en engagement trends in 2017 als je je wilt ontwikkelen tot employer of choice.

As we close the door on one year and look forward to the next, the time to define your intentions for the New Year is here. If driving or maintaining high levels of employee engagement is one of them, we want to help you prepare by looking to the trends for the coming year. Throughout 2016, we worked with over 600 companies to provide them with direct employee feedback solutions, relating feedback directly to measuring employee engagement. Based on that experience, here are seven employee feedback and engagement trends to look for in 2017.

1. Being a sustainably successful company

Becoming a sustainably successful employer means looking beyond shareholders pockets, working to directly contribute to social initiatives, and maintaining a drive to become an employer of choice. Having success on a sustainable level happens when there is a balance between the individual needs of the employee, the requirements of the organisation, and the demands of the external market. Having these three factors in balance is the ideal, however getting there isn’t something that can be attained overnight. HR departments will be focusing on developing the individual needs of employees, pairing them with organisational requirements, and anticipating the demands of talent in their industry. Temporary focus can be put on one or the other factors, but as a long term strategy, the needs of all three factors should be in balance in order to reach this form of sustainability.

2. Self-initiatives for outward development

There is an intentional shift towards hiring talent with higher university degrees, and allowing talent to benefit from professional development in order to expand on role flexibility and freedom. In the past, growth within a role would follow a bottom-up trajectory, where educated graduates would enter the market in junior level jobs, and work and develop themselves with a purely functional focus. Growth would come with promotions, and moving up the proverbial ladder of the organisation. However, not every employee strives to be a manager. After all, only 1 in 10 individuals has the innate ability to manage people. We see a new sense of backing out of roles or organisations that constrain talent’s outward development, and push for upward (managerial) promotion. Outward growth, is when employees act on professional development opportunities, and is attained when an employee has the freedom to set their own professional focus, within their role framework. This is a direct contributor to engagement and it drives innovation. Companies that follow this principle, often reach a higher level of change flexibility and innovation.

3. Autonomous peer feedback

Another factor pertaining to the agility of feedback is providing individual employees with a level of autonomous feedback initiatives. Feedback given on an individual basis between peers, is often associated with a negative connotation, rather than constructive tips for improvement. However, continuous feedback is quickly being accessed as a conduit for improvement, and is key in expediting the learning curve between peers. Autonomous feedback gathering, allows for more frequent one-on-one quality feedback between colleagues, and helps to enable a practice of open culture and communication, and constructive feedback.

4. Team dynamics that work

Teams are looking for quick and dirty ways to monitor and improve themselves in becoming high performance teams. Team dynamics checks have a potential for gathering relevant feedback, and is directly related to team performance and energy. The pressure on teams to consistently out-perform themselves, can be taxing. We’ve seen a desire for project teams throughout organisational levels, to have a degree of de-centralization when it comes to performing team dynamics checks, by their own initiative and on their own time. By addressing the outcomes of the dynamic checks themselves, teams remove the need to involve HR departments directly in the process itself.

5. Expecting change and learning how to face it

HR managers are looking to get insight into their workforces’ willingness to adapt to change. Change can be very susceptible to internal resistance, and change also has a direct influence on cooperation. Adaptability is the illusive construct that we all want to achieve for our workforce. With the volatility of markets and business environmental changes, uncertainty is not only felt on the top levels of the organisation, but importantly, the willingness to adapt to change is held within the workforce itself.

6. Pulse measuring: listening to feedback faster and easier

HR departments are looking to gather employee feedback on a more regular, less strenuous basis than before. With an emphasis on the frequency with which information is gathered and shared, HR managers want quicker results from engagement surveys, produced more easily, and with fewer entry barriers. This is important as bottom up feedback is quickly gathered and follow up actions can be rolled out faster.

7. Becoming an employer of choice

At Effectory, we define an employer of choice as having a best in class ability to attract and maintain talent, and one who doesn’t hide behind employer branding to provide a mere perception of talent attractiveness. As an employer of choice, your best recruiters are your own people. There’s a war for talent going on. Standing out as an employer in a saturated market is key. HR departments want to retain the talent they have, and attract new talent to their workforce. To facilitate this, they’re utilizing tools to gather employee feedback throughout an employee’s life-time at a company. For instance, entrance and exit surveys, intention to leave measurements, and engagement surveys all contribute to gaining insights as to why talent joins a company, or feels the need to leave their roles.

These are the seven trends that we’re anticipating for 2017, but we’re always curious to know your perspective. Let us know your thoughts, and what you foresee on engagement in your industry regarding employee feedback, talent’s requirements, and organisational trends.

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Crafting the HR customer experience

Post van Michael Gretczko, Marc Solow en Maribeth Sivak, Deloitte, september 2016. Verbeter de HR customer experience in 5 stappen, op dezelfde wijze als je de customer experience aanpakt.

What if you could deliver an HR customer experience that is analogous to what big online retailers are doing to create a customized shopping experience, one in which HR customers are able to clearly see their options, access information, and take action more easily? What do you think the impact might be on your employment brand, retention, and engagement ratings? By applying design thinking to reimagine and architect the HR customer experience, companies can deliver an experience that feels more like a world-class retail experience—one in which HR customers perform activities digitally, both at their computer and on the go, in a way that can increase both engagement and satisfaction. Here’s an example of design thinking in action.

In business, the customer is king. Companies go out of their way to try to give customers the best experience possible, whether in a store, on the Internet, or through an app. The HR customer experience, however, is often very different. Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends 2016 report revealed that there are more than 7 billion mobile devices in the world,1 and more than 40 percent of all Internet traffic is driven by these devices.2 Yet HR teams are often behind in deploying mobile-ready solutions. Fewer than 20 percent of companies deploy their HR and employee productivity solutions on mobile apps today.3

Employees, particularly Millennials, increasingly expect to interact with their employers via their mobile devices and they may think it’s strange when there isn’t a mobile app for recording their time, submitting expenses or accessing HR.

In our example, design thinking is being applied to create a prototype for a new HR app. The app is designed to be a single destination for HR services that connects employees to what matters most to them—from pay stubs to performance management and even a self-service help desk so employees and managers can clearly see their options and take action. The prototype can then be used to build out the actual solution.

Applying the design thinking framework
Design thinking is a structured process that can help solve problems and identify new opportunities by combining empathy, creativity, and user experience. At its core, it involves studying people at work, and developing “personas” to understand employee demographics, work environment, and challenges. It relies on generating ideas quickly and testing prototypes that generate further ideas, digital tools, and solutions.

Prototyping the app

Step 1: Vision. The vision for the app is to improve employee engagement and satisfaction by taking the digital workplace platform one step further, allowing employees to cut the cord and complete HR activities when they aren’t at their desks. The team’s approach involved defining and designing a prototype over an 8-week timeline that included three “design sprints”—a time-constrained, five-phase process that uses design thinking to reduce the risk when bringing a new product, service, or feature to the market. At the end of the 8 weeks, the team delivered a prototype that defined, demonstrated, and acted as the basis for building out the new mobile solution.

Step 2: Look & listen to defined HR customer personas. With the vision in place, the design team turned to the HR customer personas that had already been defined, representing different HR customers. These included a new graduate (Madisyn), an experienced hire (Jason), a line manager involved in the recruitment of new talent (Susie), and an HR Ops service rep (Pete). The personas include descriptions of each of their behaviors, patterns, attitude, goals, skills, and environment, with the goal of designing the app to meet the needs of typical users.

Step 3: Understand & synthesize HR customer needs. Voice-of-the-customer interviews and customer stories gave insight into the moments that mattered most for each of the customer personas. New hires Madisyn and Jason shared the events, both positive and negative, that shaped their recent onboarding experience. Susie, a line manager, told the story of how she worked her way up to management and how her success had been the result of recruiting top talent. Susie shared that the first 90 days were critical to the successful transition of new hires into the company. Pete, the HR Ops service rep, spoke to the importance of bringing a human touch to the recruiting experience by engaging recruits with each interaction via ongoing communication regarding their application status and next steps.

Step 4: Generate and prioritize ideas. The team identified HR service domains and ranked problem areas that HR customers face across the domains. The team felt the top three focus areas for the mobile app should be onboarding, leaves of absence, and performance management, as all three had a preponderance of problems to solve and an opportunity to shape the customer experience as part of the app’s broader customer-centric design.

Step 5: Prototype, test, refine. During Design Sprint 1, the team reviewed process flows, wireframes (electronic sketches of screen layouts) and a prototype of the solution. The solution delivered an onboarding experience that integrated pre-hire, Day 1, and activities during the first 90 days on the job.

Design Sprint 2 integrated leaves of absence and performance management wireframes to the mobile solution. The team also got an early glimpse into the higher-fidelity onboarding solution. After more testing and more refinements, at the end of the 8 weeks the team delivered a prototype for the mobile solution that could be both vision and model for building the actual app.

This is just one example of how HR can apply design thinking to reimagine and architect the HR customer experience to generate higher engagement and satisfaction. The process can be applied to any number of HR processes, and doesn’t have to involve a digital solution. However, our Bersin by Deloitte colleague, Josh Bersin, recently shared that the $14+ billion marketplace for HR software and platforms is reinventing itself. This shift from cloud to mobile is disruptive—an all-mobile HR platform is not only possible now, but it’s also the direction to which the market is heading. Design thinking can help align your organization in the same direction to create a more satisfying HR experience for your people.

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‘Tough bosses’ creëeren gezondheidsproblemen en verloop

Travis Bradberry op huffingtonpost.com, november 2016. Dominante managers veroorzaken stress, hartkwalen en verloop volgens Amerikaans onderzoek.  Dienende managers leveren inspiratie, motivatie en betrokken medewerkers.


10 Reasons Nice Bosses Finish First

Many bosses assume that a leader needs to be aloof and tough on employees in order to be effective. They fear that looking “soft” will erode their employee’s motivation and respect for them. To prove their case, they cite examples of brilliant leaders who modeled a tough leadership style and low emotional intelligence, such as Steve Jobs, who berated his employees.

When it comes to success as a leader, radically tough leadership styles are exceptions to the rule, not the rule. Recent research has shown that overly tough bosses create significant health and motivation problems in their employees, which will make you think twice about taking the tough-as-nails approach.

Overly tough bosses create stress, and lots of it, as the research shows: A University of London study found an especially strong link between heart disease and boss-inflicted stress, while a University of Concordia study found that employees who rate themselves as highly stressed added 46% to their employer’s health care costs. Research from the Institute of Naval Medicine found that overly tough bosses cause people to seek jobs elsewhere, to perform at a lower level, to decline promotions, and even to quit. Finally, a survey from Randstad Consulting showed that most employees would trade in their bosses for better ones rather than receive a $5,000 pay raise. People don’t leave jobs; they leave bad bosses.

The thing is, nice bosses don’t just prevent health and motivational problems among their employees; they create massive benefits that hard-nosed bosses can’t. A California State Long Beach study found that leaders who treat their teams fairly have far more cohesive and productive teams and that the individuals in those teams perform better. Research from the University of Virginia found that leaders who were considered “self-sacrificing” and “helpful” were viewed as especially inspirational and motivational and their employees were more helpful to their colleagues and more committed to their teams.

So, what exactly does a “nice” boss look like, and how does one pull this off without being a push over? Let’s find out.

1. They’re kind without being weak.
One of the toughest things for leaders to master is kindness. It’s a balancing act, and the key to finding balance is to recognize that true kindness is inherently strong — it’s direct and straightforward.

2. They’re strong without being harsh. People will wait to see if a leader is strong before they decide to follow his or her lead or not. People need courage in their leaders.A lot of leaders mistake domineering, controlling, and otherwise harsh behavior for strength.

3. They’re confident, without being cocky. Confidence is about passion and belief in your ability to make things happen, but when your confidence loses touch with reality, you begin to think you can do things you can’t and have done things you haven’t. Great, confident leaders are still humble.

4. They stay positive, but remain realistic. The right combination of positivity and realism is what keeps things moving forward.

5. They’re role models, not preachers. Great leaders inspire trust and admiration through their actions, not just their words. Many leaders say that integrity is important to them, but great leaders walk their talk by demonstrating integrity every day.

6. They’re willing to take a bullet for their people.The best leaders will do anything for their teams, and they have their people’s backs no matter what. They don’t try to shift blame, and they don’t avoid shame when they fail. They know that an environment where people are afraid to speak up, offer insights, and ask good questions is destined for failure.

7. They balance work and fun.  It takes a kind, but balanced leader to know how to motivate and push employees to be their best but to also have the wherewithal to slow it down at the appropriate time in order to celebrate results and have fun. This balance prevents burnout, builds a great culture, and gets results.

8. They form personal connections. Even in a crowded room, kind leaders make people feel like they’re having a one-on-one conversation, as if they’re the only person in the room that matters.

9. They deliver feedback flawlessly. It takes a tactful leader to deliver feedback that is accurate and objective but also considerate and inspirational. Leaders who are kind know how to take into account the feelings and perspectives of their employees while still delivering the message they need to hear in order to improve.

10. They’re generous.  They share credit and offer enthusiastic praise and they’re as committed to their followers’ success as they are to their own.

“A good leader is a person who takes a little more than his share of the blame and a little less than his share of the credit.” – John Maxwell

Bringing It All Together

Kind leaders are dynamic; they meld a variety of unique skills into an integrated whole. Incorporate the behaviors above into your repertoire, and you’ll see immediate improvement in your leadership skills.

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Employee mood measurement trends

Tom Haak op HRtrendinstitute.com, december 2016. 4 trends in het meten van de bevlogenheid en stemming van medewerkers, zoals een hogere frequentie en vragen per mobiel, en waar je daarvoor moet zijn.

The traditional survey process

Both at Philips Electronics and at KMPG, where I worked at the end of last century, I was involved in the design and implementation of the employee engagement measurement process. These were the days of the big surveys. With the help of a prominent provider (ISR) we designed the survey, with certainly more than 100 survey questions (90% standard, 10% tailored). The wording of the questions was adapted to the vocabulary of the organisation. Many sessions were spend on getting buy in from management. The launch was postponed several times (“This is not the right moment for a survey”). Finally the questionnaires were mailed to all the employees worldwide, and around 60% took the time to answer.

A slow process…….

Analysis of the data took a couple of months. The reports were first reviewed and discussed by senior management. It was decided what kind of results the employees could see. Feedback sessions were planned per departments. After the feedback sessions focus groups were installed, to come with suggestions for action in the key areas for improvement (“Communication”, “Quality of Supervision” and “Reward” were always on the list). If you were lucky the focus group came with some concrete suggestions, which were then discussed in the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee made final recommendations for the Board, and then in was time for action. between survey and action many months had passed. Initially the plan was to have an annual survey, bit quickly it was decided to go to a bi-annual survey. The typical traditional survey process is visualised in the picture below. In summary the traditional survey process was very slow, very top-down and not very action oriented.  The engagement survey process (source: Employee Feedback)


Trends in employee mood measurement

Although many big organisations still conduct (bi-)annual big surveys, over the past years some trends have emerged.

  1. An increased frequency in surveying

    Many organisations find feedback once per two years not frequent enough. The trend is to survey more frequent. If you survey more frequent, you want shorter surveys, as you do not want to bother the employees with lengthy questionnaires. Frequent surveys with a limited set of questions are generally called pulse surveys. Gallup is a good example of a provider of a simple pulse survey. 12 standard questions that give a good indication of employee engagement. Although you can get a good indication of the level engagement by a short pulse survey, it is less possible to get a good insight in the drivers of engagement. What you see some organisations do is combining regular (monthly/quarterly) pulse surveys with more extensive annual or bi-annual extensive surveys.

  2. The survey is becoming less of an event

    In the traditional process the engagement survey was very much a event. the survey became an HR-intervention. The expectations were high: finally we as employees can express our opinion, and we expect that senior management will take action. Often these high expectations were not met. With more frequent and less extensive surveys (see 1.) the survey has become less of an event. It is considered normal that the organisational temperature is measured regularly, to check if the organisation and the people in the organisation are moving in the right direction.

  3. More passive measurement methods

    Most current mood measurement methods are still based on employees having to answer questions. Ease of use has increased. Mobile is becoming the standard. but still the employee has to answer one or more questions. More passive mood measurement methods are emerging. With current technology it is possible to analyse texts on emotions (e.g. with Tone Analyzer).  The e-mails of employees and the messages on internal social media like Yammer can be used as input and analysed with these advanced text analysers. A provider as Keencorp is providing this. Of course there are privacy and ethical issues. If you treat the data in a trustworthy and ethical way (e.g. no reports on individual level) these might be dealt with. The benefits for employees are also clear: they can provide input for fast feedback, without any active involvement. Recognising emotions in facial expressions is also possible. The providers in this area, as Affectiva, Imotions and nVisio still mainly operate in the marketing domain, but undoubtedly employee mood measurement can be a next opportunity.

  4. More advanced analysis techniques

    Most extensive  employee surveys have one or more ‘open’ questions. Like: “Do you have other suggestions that can help our organisation to improve client satisfaction or employee engagement?”. In the past you would have to read all the answers and find a way to categorise and summarise. Today software can do this and a lot better than you were able to do it. Making sense of the answers of open questions and drawing intelligent conclusions is made possible by many of the employee mood management providers (Workometry is a good example). Connecting mood measurement results with other important measures (client, financial) is also one of the focus points of the current people analytics teams.

Mapping Employee Mood Measurement providers

We tried to make an overview of current providers of Employee Mood Measurement. There are many, and we realise our overview is not complete. The providers are mapped very subjectively in the graph below. We used two dimensions: Active-Passive, and Slow-Realtime. Most providers require an active involvement of the employee (answering one or more questions). Most providers are moving to the right on the axis Slow-Realtime. Many providers use the word realtime, but this is more related to data-analysis and reporting than to data-acquisition. The overview does not give any information about the quality of the providers, as our research was not extensive enough to make any judgement about this aspect. It is also not our intention to communicate that realtime and passive is better than slow and active. There are very good traditional survey methods that give you high quality actionable information.


Five categories

The 27 providers mentioned in the overview can roughly be divided in five different categories. There are the ‘traditional solid’ survey providers (as CEB,Effectory, Korn Ferry Hay, Willis Towers Watson and Gallup). We also see a new group of modern employee mood measurent providers, often offering a platform where the different elements (surveying, analysis, reporting) are integrated (Company Mood, Culture Amp, Engagement Meter, Glint, Intuo, Peakon, Thymometrics, Vibecatch). A third group provides really simple feedback tools, often based on one question, asked at the end of a workday (Blogyourmood, Emooter, Limbi, MoodApp, Smiley, TryLikes). Impraise and TruQu are a separate sub-category: these solutions are mainly designed for employees to gather individual performance feedback and developmental suggestions, but they can also be used to provide more consolidated employee insights.

Measuring is not enough

Employee mood measurement is changing. The possibilities to really measure realtime are still limited, and privacy issues have to be dealt with. Today most employee mood measurement is still based on asking one or more questions to the employees. Instead of investing in measurement, you can also deal with the root causes. The most important driver of employee engagement seems to be supervisor behaviour. If managers/ supervisors/ bosses show a genuine interest in their people, and help them to develop and perform better, employee engagement is less of an issue. Some years ago Google did some thorough research that resulted in the eight rules for managers to follow (ref. 8 habits of highly effective managers).  This list makes sense. If you want your employee engagement to be high, you could invest in selecting and developing the best supervisors for your organisation.

Links to providers:

  • Affectiva ‘What if technology could adapt to human emotion?’ ‘Industry-leading science built on deep learning and the world’s largest emotion database’  Emotion detection software, not yet used for employee engagement measurement.
  • CEB ‘Workforce Analytics and Surveys’ Traditional engagement surveys and pulse surveys.
  • Celpax Smiley Active mood measurement in its simplest form: employees push a button when they  exit the organisation
  • Company Mood ‘Weekly mood reviews and feedback in less tha 30 seconds per employee vi browser, our apps or a stationary terminal’.
  • Culture Amp Find the insights you need to help employees succeed’. ‘We’ve brought together experts in technology, data science and organisational psychology to ensure you can get the clarity you need, when you need it. Measuring employee engagement, experience and 360 feedback is simple using Culture Amp.’ Survey based suite. There seems to be a focus on advanced analytics.
  • Effectory ‘To provide multinational organisations with innovative HR tooling and solutions to guide them along a journey that continually drives employee engagement. By using the power of employee feedback, we provide inspiring insights that create high quality dialogue and impact.’ Solid traditional employee engagement surveys and pulse surveys. Good benchmarking.
  • Emooter ‘A one-step happiness meter – for employees’. ‘Emooter is a place where you can record your every-day job satisfaction, anonymously and completely free. You can track your happiness, see how your company is doing, and find out how your company ranks up in happiness compared to others. Simple one question mood-measurement, using computer or mobile device. 
  • Engagement Meter ‘EngagementMeter is an employee engagement software that offers you real-time data on how your team feels. It’s a mood meter that captures anonymous feedback and identifies the main engagement drivers in your company’. Platform to collect and analyse employee moods.
  • Gallup Pulse surveys with standard 12 question set. Simple. Read the 12 questions here.
  • Glint ‘Illuminate your organisation’s future’.  ‘Understand engagement in real time’. Platform to conduct and analyse (pulse)-surveys.
  • Imotions ‘Human Behavior Research Software, Simplified. Synchronize, Visualize and Analyze your research in Eye Tracking, Facial Expression Analysis, Galvanic Skin Response, Surveys, EEG and much more in one software platform’. 
  • Impraise ‘Continuous feedback between c0-workers’.  Collecting and analysing feedback. More on individual level than organisational level. Using the tool for organisational surveys is possible.
  • Intuo ‘Measure employee commitment and well-being to prevent issues and improve engagement’. ‘Engagement is more about commitment, rather than general happiness. But the way employees feel plays a huge part in their motivation and performance. A good overview is crucial to make improvements’. Platform to survey employees and analyse the results.
  • Keencorp ‘Participating in employee surveys are costing your employees time and you money. Let alone the question whether results are reliable and not biased. KeenCorp measures engagement permanently and unobtrusively, so employees are not imposed upon. Their individual privacy is fully guaranteed’. Keencorp analyses expressions of employees (e-mail, internal social media) to measure employee engagement. Extensive analysis and reporting.
  • Korn Ferry Hay Group ‘People perform to their best when they feel good about their work, and have the tools they need to get the job done. Our employee surveys help organizations measure employee engagement. They help you work out what’s holding people back, and show them what they need to do to have maximum impact.’ More traditional engagement surveys. Standard (Employee Effectiveness Survey) and tailored. Strong  benchmarks.
  • Limbi What is your Limbi today?’. Dutch App targeted at consumer market. You can track your daily mood by answering three questions, resulting in a score between 1-10.
  • Mood App ‘MoodApp allows every company to get instant feedback from their employees. The HR team creates questions they want to pose to the employees and the employees respond on an iPad as they walk out the door in the evening.’ Simple exit poll, you just need an iPad and an account.
  • Niko Niko ‘Niko Niko makes it fun and easy to capture your mood throughout the day. Powerful analytics enable your team to know how everyone is feeling creating an open, honest, positive environment for peak performance’. Niko Niko was a neat app to capture the your mood and that of your team members during the day. On December 2, 2016, Niko Niko announced that Niko Niko is closing: “Even though Niko Niko is a product that a lot of users found fun and useful, unfortunately it has not attracted an audience large enough to sustain itself. And after a long period of experimentation and attempts we have made a decision to close the product”. 
  • nVisio ‘nViso provides the most scalable, robust, and accurate artificial intelligence solutions to measure instantaneous emotional reactions of consumers in online and retail environments.’ ‘Using award winning artificial intelligence and proprietary deep learning 3D Facial Imaging technology, compatible with ordinary webcams, we uncover the why and how of customer behaviour in real-time, letting brands make smarter business decisions.’ No application in employee mood measurement area yet.
  • Peakon ‘Peakon automatically collects employee feedback, analyses it, and then delivers you back the insights you need to improve your business. In real time.’ Platform to collect and analyse employee feedback. ‘Automatically’ and ‘real-time’
  • Thymometrics ‘Thymometrics is a ground-breaking employee survey platform that lets you continually understand employee mood and engagement’. Platform that enables to collect employee feedback. Employees need to complete questionnaire.
  • TruQu ‘Online feedback software suitable for all organizations. The best HR Tech solution to collect and analyze feedback. Give employees control over their own development. Use e-HRM to support your employees. HR analytics to make HR smart.’ Collecting and analysing feedback. More on individual level than organisational level. Using the tool for organisational surveys is possible.
  • TryLikes ‘Measure the experience of your visitors in real-time and create the best experience’. Hardware with simple exit feedback possibility. Applications more in retail.
  • Ultimate (incorporated Kanjoya) ‘Easily distribute employee surveys, gather input, and leverage analytics to assess the effectiveness of individual teams and managers’. Survey distribution and analysis platform.
  • Vibecatch ‘Use VibeCatch to allow everyone in your company to participate in improving your company’s productivity and work life quality. Spend only couple of minutes to set up the polls (no technical integration required!) and start receiving data automatically.’ Combination of pulse- and more extensive surveys. Including analysis and suggestions for action.
  • Willis Towers Watson Employee Insights ‘The right insights at the right time drive smart decisions about workforce strategy, programs and investments. Towers Watson’s employee engagement surveys help you reach those insights by translating direct input from your people. Through our employee surveys, we help our clients shape high-performance cultures, improve the return on talent investments and deliver measurable business results’. More traditional employee engagement surveys, with solid benchmarking.
  • Workometry ‘Workometry gives you the ability to capture and understand the thoughts, ideas and perceptions of your employees in the most accurate and actionable manner. It is particularly valuable to large, globally distributed organisations with complex needs’. Platform to gather employee input, with powerful analytics.

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