Engaging employees is important. Pretty much everyone knows that these days and it’s consistently high on the enterprise agenda. Our sales team are constantly being told “we need to engage employees”, and it’s no wonder with research showing that organisations with a high level of engagement report 22% higher productivity. And as my colleague Rosemarie Diegnan wrote earlier this year, workers want to be engaged and excited by a job. I know that’s true for me!
But engaging employees is tough. People are working longer hours, juggling more tasks and being bombarded with more messages and content than ever. Capturing and sustaining their attention ain’t easy.
Many of our customers, such as Waitrose, have worked hard to implement employee-led idea generation and innovation schemes to ensure that their workforce is involved in strategic decisions within the business. Naturally when such schemes are launched, usually with a big fanfare, there is a surge of excitement, engagement and new ideas. But as the pressures of everyday working life creep back in, enthusiasm and engagement can drop. So it’s important to keep directing employees back to the task at hand to ensure value is seen.
Financial services company Aviva approached this issue in a particularly creative way, by building bespoke videos and emails to raise and sustain awareness of their employee-led innovation programme, The Customer Cup.
Aviva’s creativity and commitment to innovation, with help from collaborative idea management platform Idea Spotlight, allowed it to generate 680 ideas from its employee’s around the world, a 40% rise on the previous year’s Customer Cup. Social interaction on its online Innovation Hub also saw a sharp rise, with 156% increase in comments recorded. In business terms, these numbers then translated into annual savings of $60 million.
This certainly shows the kind of impressive results that can be achieved when employee engagement is directed at a specific business objective…and sustained.