Engage Technology and Marry Profit and Employee Happiness

Engage Technology and Marry Profit and Employee Happiness

Match Tools with Recognition to Cultivate Positive Office Culture

A lot of investment is made by organization to office perks to their employees: flexible workplaces, specialty foods and health focused amenities are used to attract talent. While just 35 percent of employees plan to look for a new job this year, down from 74 percent last year, only 21 percent report that they are “very engaged” at work; leaving 79 percent not very engaged or disengaged employees, according to “The Complacency Effect” report by Achievers. Disengaged employees, if left unaddressed, can be very damaging to an organization: 37 percent higher absenteeism, 18 percent lower productivity, and 15 percent lower profitability, according to Gallup. Employers cannot remain complacent: they risk losing customers, losing high performing staff and lack the impetus to achieve the company’s vision. Continuous Performance Management (CPM), which includes frequent check-ins, feedback and commitment to documenting priorities, can help turn around flat, non-performing organizations and employees, and transforming their organization and daily culture. Interestingly, the first step can be as easy as saying thank you.

The Rewards of Recognition

New research has shown that organizations that regularly recognize employees far outperform those that do not. Companies that scored in the top 20 percent for building a “recognition-rich culture” actually had 31 percent lower voluntary turnover rates. Most reward systems in organizations are based on tenure. A study from Forbes found that tenure-based reward systems have virtually no impact on organization performance. According to Gallup, only one in three workers in the U.S. strongly agree that they received recognition or praise for good work over the last seven days. To show recognition, employers need to be engaged with their staff frequently to be able to give appropriate, specific recognition and feedback. Remember Maslow’s hierarchy of needs? Two of the most valuable psychological needs as humans are to be appreciated and belong. These needs can be met in the workspace through peer-to-peer thanks and recognition and feedback from management who utilize CPM effectively.

Tech Tools for Traction

There are tools available for office leadership to begin a culture shift to one of gratitude and recognition. On an organizational level, regularly sent company surveys may be helpful to achieve an overall cultural picture. Here at MNS Group we have utilized Officevibe as a way to quantify anonymous employee feedback. Officevibe shares the results in a simple visual way allowing management to track engagement trends, make investments and change practices in a timely informed way – and test those changes. Officevibe is a free platform for those with 20 or fewer employees and is 
also available for larger organizations. Other platforms to consider are Achievers, Bonus.ly and Workhuman.

Recognitions’ Physiological Impact on Performance

Employers whose intention has been set to improve their workplace invest in the health of their employees and ultimately the strength of the organization. Historically, most conversations between management and employees regarding performance cause the brain to enter into a threat state, interfering with the ability to think clearly. Unsolicited or vague feedback where no context is given, or where there is no clear path on how to improve triggers the brain’s fight-or-flight response, impacting working memory, compromising abstract thought so they are not able to receive the feedback in a constructive way. CPM allows the employee to ask for feedback in a constructive and planned way. Neuro Leadership Institute Senior Scientist Tessa West and her colleague Kate Thorson of New York University studies employees and found that if an employee asks for feedback it is significantly less stressful, inducing a heart rate spike 50 percent lower than when feedback comes unsolicited. Utilizing Continuous Performance Management allows employees the ability to frame and collect the asked-for information and begin to apply it.

Engage Technology and Marry Profit and Employee HappinessEmployees who are appreciated at work have positive physiological impacts: they produce more oxytocin, the well-known “love hormone.” Research shows that people who work under the influence of oxytocin perform better and are more trustworthy at work. Improve your office culture, your employee health and your business overall through Continuous Performance Management, and more specifically a regular thank you.