Motivating Employees: Share Information, Encourage Innovation, Show Respect

Published on October 17, 2017

Corporate Employees: What It Takes to Unlock Employee Engagement

Highly engaged employees are 22% more productive than disengaged employees, said John Frehse. A company’s success is intrinsically linked to employees’ well-being and motivation. What can companies do to increase employee engagement? Five panelists at the Quality of Life Conference offered some answers: provide access to useful information, improve work-life integration and respond to other Millennial needsoffer respect and recognition, encourage innovation, and build trust through authenticity, logic and empathy. 

Companies should empower employees by giving them easy access to information in a useful format, the way Google does, Frehse said. Thanks to Google, people are used to getting the information they want easily and effectively outside the workplace. Providing easy access to information within the workplace would make employees feel like they are winning and would make them more effective. “Google is the coach for all of us,” he said.  

Give Millennials What They Want  

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is remarkably successful in attracting and keeping young workers: 84.9% of its employees are Gen Y-ers, and the attrition rate is less than 10%, said Dr. Ritu Anand. What is the secret of this success? TCS listens to Millennials, noted Anand, and tries to give them what they want: a sense of purpose, societal impact, global experience, mentors, mindful learning and work-life integration.  

Recognition and respect are very important for today’s workers, said Mia Mends“Employees want relationships,” she explained. “They want to be validated. They care about being recognized, about learning, and they want to be heard.” To increase engagement, she said, it is important to reinforce positive performance – for example, by praising employees immediately for their accomplishments and by posting this information and sharing it with their peers.  

Innovation Needs Less Resources, More Attention 

Encouraging ongoing innovation not only increases employee engagement, but also ensures companies’ survival and success, said David GramWhat hinders innovation? “The challenge is the fear of failing,” he said. To make people comfortable with innovation, he noted, it is necessary to eliminate the possibility of a big failure. If companies throw a lot of people and resources into a project, he explainedit becomes too big to fail. What works best are small, agile projects and experiments. It is important not to pump too many resources into a project, but rather to lavish it with attention and to nourish it.  

Frances X. Frei stressed the importance of trust in retaining and motivating employees, especially when the bonds between the company and employees have been damaged. “To get employee engagement, we need to have a foundation of trust,” she said, adding that trust requires authenticity, logic and empathy. Authenticity is at the top of the trust triangle: To trust you, people need to feel you are authentic, she noted. Leaders need to identify their strengths and address their weaknesses in terms of authenticity, logic and empathy in order to build or rebuild trust within a company.

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    Left to right: Mia Mends, David Gram, Dr. Ritu Anand and John Frehse.

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    Frances Frei

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