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4Cs Blog: Happy Employees = Happy Customers


Posted by Insightlink on 01/15/13

Send Your Robot to Work


Wasn't this a hilarious Big Bang Theory episode? You know, the one where Dr. Sheldon Cooper decides to send himself to work via a PC screen attached to a mobile robot. Double Robotics has created this novel device which allows you to turn your iPad into a movable virtual presence device just like Sheldon's making plain old teleconferencing look positively stone age.

According to the Double Robotics Web site: "Double is the simplest, most elegant way to be somewhere else in the world without flying there. The minimalist design and intuitive touchscreen controls allow you to freely move around without inconveniencing others. You can stay at eye level, whether sitting or standing, by adjusting your height remotely, which makes conversations fluid and real. Retractable kickstands will automatically deploy to conserve power when you are not moving around".

Check out the video below to see how it works.

Then check out the Big Bang Theory scene where Lenonard drives Sheldon's "double" to the office. Bazinga. This really could revolutionize the workplace.

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Posted by Insightlink on 11/14/12

How to Motivate your Employees


Here's an interesting TED talk on the puzzle of motivation from Dan Pink. Traditional rewards aren't always as effective as we think. In other words, carrots and sticks don't work. Hit the Read More link below to watch the video.

 

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Posted by Insightlink on 11/14/12

Hire Employees for Their Personalities


 Collaborative enviroments are an important factor in highly engaged workplaces. In this short video from Harvard Business Review, Robert Chavez, CEO of Hermès US, argues companies should consider the personalities of the people they hire as much as the skill sets they have. Qualities like a sense of humor, cheerfulness and easy rapport with others are a huge benefit to your organization as a whole if they come naturally to the people you hire. "We can't teach people how to smile." says Chavez.

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Posted by Insightlink on 11/06/12

Don't Tell Your Employees How To Vote


Election day is upon us! After what seems like an especially long campaign, it's finally all over but the celebrating (or the weeping). We've seen a number of stories come out during this election season (purportedly as a result of the Supreme Court's "Citizen's United" decision) that describe an increasing tendency for some employers to "encourage" their employees to vote for one candidate versus another.  Whether it's company-wide memos in favor of the CEO's favorite candidate, or "mandatory" participation in political rallies for one party over another, or even going so far as threatening job loss for a wrongly cast ballot, there's one thing we are certain of.  It's a very bad idea. By all means, encourage them to excercise their right to vote and participate in our democracy. Go the extra mile and allow them time off in order to do so. They'll think you're a hero! But please don't badger, intimidate or coerce your employees into voting the way you want them to. Then they'll just think you're a heel.

Jeffrey Pfeffer over at the HBR Blog Network agrees. Besides being just the wrong thing to do, it probably won't work (we think it will backfire big time) because as Jeff points out...

  1. You probably won't sway them.
  2. It diminishes your influence in other realms.
  3. It takes you off-message.

There are many challenges to running a company and maintaining a workforce that's both committed and engaged and rooting for your company's success. As Jeff says: "The last thing a company facing a difficult economy and competitive challenges needs is a CEO that uses communications channels with employees to introduce yet another distraction: Politics."  We couldn't agree more. Read Jeff's complete blog posting at HBR here.

 

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Posted by Insightlink on 10/22/12

57 Free Ways to Recognize Employees


Found this great list on the University of Washington's Human Resources Web Site. It has 57 ideas for reward & recognition that won't cost you a penny.

  1. Post a thank you note on an employee’s door.
  2. Take time to explain to new employees the norms and culture of your department.
  3. Give special assignments to people who show initiative.
  4. Arrange for a team to present the results of its efforts to upper management.
  5. Encourage and recognize staff who pursue continuing education.
  6. Create and post an “Employee Honor Roll” in reception area.
  7. Acknowledge individual achievements by using employee’s name when preparing a status report
  8. Make a thank-you card by hand.
  9. Give employees an extra long lunch break.
  10. Establish a place to display memos, posters, photos and so on, recognizing progress towards goals and thanking individual employees for their help

Click on the Read More link below to see the full list of 57 ideas.

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Posted by Insightlink on 10/09/12

9 Habits of Highly Engaged Managers


Based on our normative Employee Engagement database, there are a number of factors that have a powerful influence in building job satisfaction and engagement, including:

  •     The level of reward and recognition
  •     The opportunity to learn new skills and grow on the job
  •     The opportunity to make suggestions (which we see as an "empowerment" measure)
  •     To what degree their work is respected by their employer
  •     Satisfaction with the resources available to do their job
  •     Agreement that their job makes good use of their abilities and skills
  •     The effectiveness of communications within the organization
  •     Their opportunities for advancement

Click here to read the full article and learn the 9 habits that engaged managers exhibit to create positive cultures.

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Posted by Insightlink on 10/04/12

Is Having Fun at Work Important?


According to the 2012 Great New Zealand Employment Survey, yes it absolutely is! According to the survey, 50 per cent of employees list having “fun and working with great people” as the most important factor in their employment. We have found similar results here in the US in our Annual 4Cs Benchmark Survey.

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Posted by Insightlink on 10/01/12

The High Costs of Disengaged Employees


Much research into employee engagement has identified something referred to as the "Engagement-Profit Chain". Simply stated, engaged employees lead to higher levels of service, quality and productivity, which in turn leads to higher customer satisfaction, which results in increased business and higher levels of profit. The opposite is just as true. Disengaged employees pretty much guarantee lower levels of service to your customers and it's not a stretch to see how that will impact your competitiveness no matter what your industry. Let's take a look at some areas where improvements can have a significant impact on how engaged your employees are.

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Posted by Insightlink on 09/28/12

453,000 more jobs added in third year of recovery


This is much better news on the jobs front that we've been hearing for a while. In it's revised firgues, the BoL says that the U.S. ecomony added 386,000 more jobs that it's previous estimate. This means, of course, that the jobs picture over the year was not quite as bleak as we thought. It's also an important reminder that the monthly jobs number is actually just a rough estimate that maybe doesn't deserve all the fevered attantion that it gets.

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Posted by Insightlink on 09/12/12

Is It a Mistake to Pick an Employee of the Month?


Here's an interesting article in today's small business section of the New York Times. Many companies both large and small use something like an 'Employee of the Month' award as a way to both reward good employees and motivate others. But do these programs really work as well as we think? Many management consultants are not so sure. In my personal experince I've seen them lead to resentment and anger among those never chosen as "teacher's pet" and the feeling that these "attaboy" awards are often handed to the office "suck-ups" rather than the folks who work hard and go the extra mile without constantly tooting their own horns. Part of that, of course, is simply due to bad management, but even when it's not out-and-out favoritism driving these programs, rewards like these which highlight some employees while ignoring the contributions of others may not be the best prescription for overall employee engagament. Time to re-think perhaps?

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About

Insightlink Communications are experts in employee survey design, data collection and analysis. Since 2001 we've helped companies of all sizes measure and improve their employee satisfaction and engagement.



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