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Inspiring Employee Engagement Tales


Posted by Insightlink on 06/18/15

 If your next project was to get your company added to one of the Best Place to Work lists one year from now, would you be able to do it? With employee engagement levels at an all-time low, that is a big mountain to climb for most organizations but it can be done! Employee engagement is our passion and something we want to help all our clients achieve, so we make it a habit to share good news! We know that when one company gets it right, their success could help others. Nick Otto from Employee Benefit News uncovered just such a story at the University of Washington earlier this year that had us clapping for their success. It seems the university was struggling with how to engage staff and faculty and now they are a Best Place to Work.

join hands

After recognizing they had a problem, deciding what to do about it was the next challenge. Their first step was the most important; they started with a survey and asked their employees to tell them what they really thought, so they would know what they were up against, and that made all the difference. Of course they did not sit on the results, they acted on them and came up with a holistic approach to allow staff to meet and begin building a sense of community, based on their personal goals. They created an employee engagement program called The Whole U, clever play on words don’t you think? The core of the program focuses on six pillars: staying healthy, being active, eating well, recognizing family life events, volunteering and engaging personal interest.

“UW’s president Michael K. Young suggested launching The Whole U while trying to break a world record to build some hype, so last year we launched the program while trying to break the record for the largest kettlebell [workout],” Mindy Kornberg, vice president for human resources at UW says.

With a staff of five, she says, The Whole U began leveraging events already happening around UW, essentially creating a central repository of information on events happening around the campus. Today, that Web site garners an average of 1,016 views a day.

The program has had a profound impact on the UW employees, and has helped with recruitment and retention, she says. In fact, she adds, UW was named one of the best places to work by the Chronicles of Education for the first time last year.
The engagement aspect means people will be more productive, have increased loyalty and less absenteeism if they feel a part of it, Kornberg says. The goal was to get people across the university to be a part of the system.

To mark their one year anniversary they decided to piggy back on the National Have Fun at Work Day and have more than 2,000 members of their community perform the world’s largest umbrella dance. It was a clever PR stunt but it also delivered on all 6 of The Whole U pillars.

We want to highlight that UW’s turnaround started with wanting to change and using a survey to get a clear understanding of what their people were thinking. Only then could they create and put a plan into action. Being chosen as a Best Place to Work is an honor. Congratulations University of Washington!

We have helped thousands of organizations make changes and we would love to help yours. To find out how our employee survey can measure engagement in your organization and provide you with the diagnostics to see what change is needed, give us a call at 866-802-8095 ext. 705 or send us an email at info@insightlink.com.

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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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