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Retail Sector at Risk Through Lack of Engagement, New Study Claims

February 21, 2012 15:30 by Ann Pace

(From marketwire) -- Employee engagement in the U.S. retail sector has sunk to its lowest levels since 2009, according to a new study which claims that engagement is directly linked to customer satisfaction, staff retention and financial performance.

The Kenexa High Performance Institute -- a division of Kenexa /quotes/zigman/7247347/quotes/nls/knxa KNXA -1.62% , a global provider of business solutions for human resources -- has conducted global, evidence-based research into employee engagement for more than 25 years. Its latest report -- "The World of Retail: How Employee Engagement Can Help the Registers Ring" -- examines employee engagement trends in the retail sector since 2007 in six nations: the U.S., Brazil, China, Germany, India and the United Kingdom. The results show a marked drop in employee engagement in all six nations in 2011. Retail engagement scores in the U.S. trail only the U.K. and Germany.

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Embracing Open-Book Management to Fuel Employee Engagement and Corporate Sustainability

February 9, 2012 15:00 by Ann Pace

(From UNC Kenan-Flagler) -- When John Case and Jack Stack first introduced the concept of open-book management more than 30 years ago, the intent was to unleash the entrepreneur in every employee and to spur them—and their organizations—to better performance. Since then, countless organizations have opened their books and engaged their employees in understanding the critical numbers with positive results to their bottom lines. Although the original goals of open-book management were improved profitability and productivity, organizations have realized other benefits from the practice. These benefits include improved employee satisfaction, engagement, retention, motivation, innovation and corporate sustainability.

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Retaining Employees: 5 Things You Need to Know

February 2, 2012 15:00 by Ann Pace

(From The Huffington Post) -- Even when the economy is tough -- and maybe especially then -- it's never a bad idea to show your employees appreciation. You may have a few knuckleheads you wouldn't be sorry to see go, were they to walk out, but the last thing you need is your best employees to leave you high and dry.

And they will, if you take them for granted. After all, especially in a world in which retiring with a gold watch is increasingly a fantasy, why should talented employees stick around if they aren't being treated like a best employee should be? It can obviously cost thousands of dollars to train a new employee, depending on the position, especially taking into account all the money a company can lose when its talent isn't around to land new accounts, maintain quality control and provide superior customer service. (There are a lot of employee turnover calculators online to prove this point, like this one. So if you want to keep your employees happy, in both good and bad times, here are five things you need to know.

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Employees as Marketers: Using Engagement to Build Brands

January 31, 2012 12:30 by Ann Pace

(From PRWEB) -- BI WORLDWIDE, a global business improvement company, recently released an article called Employees as Marketers discussing employee engagement's impact on building a solid brand. The article was written by Lorraine Frias, interactive promotions strategist at BI WORLDWIDE.

"Large companies spend millions of dollars annually building and maintaining their brand," Frias said. But sometimes they forget to acknowledge the connection between the employee experience and the customer experience. According to Frias, "organizations need to view employees as marketers of their product, service or brand, regardless of their position in the company."

Employee engagement programs can greatly improve the way employees interact with customers on the front-lines. Frias said "companies need to use both extrinsic and intrinsic motivators to drive behavior change and motivate employees."

Extrinsic motivation comes from influences outside of oneself such as an incentive program that motivates employees to sell certain products or rewards an individual for high performance behavior. This type of motivation also comes from the fear of a poor performance review or the threat of being laid off.

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Engaging Employees Pays Off

January 24, 2012 14:30 by Ann Pace

(From Human Resource Executive Online) -- Australian research has shed new light on the importance of employee orientation to a company's bottom line.

Employee orientation has more of an impact on a corporation's financial performance than a focus on any other individual stakeholder -- including shareholders, customers, suppliers or the community, according to Most Valuable Stakeholders: The Impact of Employee Orientation on Corporate Financial Performance, by Nigel de Bussy, a marketing and business professor at Curtin University in Perth, Western Australia.

The key managerial point to take from his work is "engage your employees [from the start of their employment], pay attention to your employees, and you'll make more money," he said in a July 14 speech at the BledCom symposium, a global gathering of academicians and practitioners exploring communications and public relations management issues.

In his research -- which encompassed two separate studies of 491 Australia-based chief financial officers conducted in 2004 and 2010 -- de Bussy measured how strongly orientation toward the different stakeholder groups influenced corporate financial performance, resulting in an employment-orientation coefficient measurement of 0.84, compared to 0.36 for customers, 0.32 for communities and 0.08 for shareholders.

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2012 Workplace Trends Report: Integration, Flexibility and Wellness Top Drivers of Employee Engagement

January 18, 2012 11:30 by Ann Pace

(From PRNewswire) -- Sodexo, Quality of Daily Life Solutions provider to more than 1,800 corporate clients in the United States, released its 2012 Workplace Trends Report today, offering a unique perspective on the workplace that combines insight from clients, academia, principal research, and leading facilities management and human resource trade organizations.

The research predicts continued focus on well-being and the ability to deliver a unique value proposition to business communities that focuses on not only integrated, effective and efficient use of space, but also the performance of human capital. Employees are looking to organizations for tools and resources to help them simplify their lives, stay healthy and balanced, and bring their "whole self" to work as these continue to be top drivers of engagement. Employee engagement, productivity, brand image and loyalty continue to be relevant measures of success.

"For any business wanting to grow, these trends show there is a premium on programs that are outcome driven and on sustainable results that address both people and physical space," said Michael Norris, COO and market president for Sodexo's Corporate segment.

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HR Will Have More Opportunities to Demonstrate Value in 2012

January 18, 2012 11:30 by Ann Pace

(From Bloomberg BNA) -- The U.S. economy, which is showing subtle signs of improvement, in 2012 once again will have a major impact on HR's ability to address hiring, employee engagement, compensation, and other key workplace issues, business and legal experts told Bloomberg BNA.

“The big challenge is still this question of uncertainty in trying to figure out where the economy is going,” said Peter Cappelli, a management professor and director of the Center for Human Resources at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School in Philadelphia.

“The big difference now is that there's some evidence—weak evidence—that businesses are coming back,” he said. “It certainly seems to be the case that some hiring will come back.”

At first glance, it might seem that the HR profession is facing challenges identical to those it confronted last year, but there are key differences, employment analysts said.

“In 2011, we were a lot more focused on restructuring, downsizing, rebalancing the workforce, consolidation of HR into smaller, more centralized groups, budget-cutting, and trying to prepare for the economic recovery,” said Josh Bersin, chief executive officer and president of Bersin & Associates, a research and advisory consulting firm in Oakland, Calif. “This year, HR organizations we talked to are increasing their budgets. This is more a year of building, and less of retrenchment.”

In addition to the economy, Cappelli predicted that employee engagement could be a major focus for HR in 2012 because, during the past three years, many employers asked workers “to do more, double-up on jobs, and work more hours.”

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Workplace 2011: Overworked and under-engaged

January 12, 2012 14:00 by Ann Pace
(From cbsnews.com) -- Think you may be working longer and harder? Recent surveys show that you are not imagining things.

A recent survey of 4,400 employees for CareerBuilder.com reported that one half of employees are taking on more work and 37% are doing the work of two people.
In a new book, The Enemy of Engagement, author/researchers Mark Royal and Tom Agnew report that nearly one third of employees lack resources and information to do their jobs. One half are bothered by "inadequate staffing levels in their work areas."
"Frustration isn't an 'employee' issue; it is an organizational issue," said Agnew, who is a consultant for the Hay Group. "Managers must listen for clues and serve as the voice for frustrated employees."
Bingo! So what's a manager who knows his team is overworked to do? Especially in these days when overwork is so common and the fear of getting downsized is so pervasive?

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Opinion: Measure employee engagement by staff actions

December 22, 2011 13:00 by Ann Pace

(From PR Week) -- Is employee engagement a useful goal for internal comms? The answer appears to be no.

This is according to attendees of Cohn & Wolfe's November “Dinner & Dialogue” reception at the W Union Square, where nearly 20 senior communicators from large corporations gathered to discuss engaging employees throughout periods of change. All of the guests were responsible for some form of internal communications, and all agreed that the metrics that gauge the function's effectiveness, where they even exist, are entirely inconsistent. Employee engagement, while a convenient, all-encompassing buzzword, is based on so many factors – from leadership to compensation to personal career goals – that it's rendered almost meaningless as a metric.

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Improving A Leading Indicator of Financial Performance: Employee Engagement

December 15, 2011 12:30 by Ann Pace

(From Forbes) -- I don’t think there’s any question that engaged employees are more productive. Research by the Gallup organization shows that they are also “…more profitable, more customer-focused, safer, and more likely to withstand temptations to leave. The best-performing companies know that employee engagement improvement strategy linked to achievement of corporate goals will help them win in the marketplace.”

Over the years Gallup has supported organizational efforts to improve the level of employee engagement and created some metrics that help business leaders determine their ratio of engaged vs. not engaged employees. According to Gallup, their “…engagement ratio is a macro-level indicator of an organization’s health…”

You might be interested to know that Gallup identifies that world-class organizations have a ratio of 9.57 engaged employees to every employee that is not engaged. The average organization is 1.83:1—that’s a big difference.

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