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Employee Engagement News & Analysis

Are Your Processes Customer-Focused?

2014-26-November-Nesting-Doll.jpgWhen business leaders turn their focus toward processes, they often do so with an eye on becoming more efficient in how they handle payroll, manage finances or generate and distribute reports.

While it’s true that these routine tasks need to run smoothly, companies that look at processes solely as a way to improve the quality of a project or improve lead time, are missing a golden opportunity to positively affect the customer experience and spark innovation within their company. So says David Hamme, author of the book "Customer Focused Process Innovation," and managing director of Ephesus Consulting.

3 Year-End Planning Tips for Stressed-Out CEOs

2014-24-November-Stress.jpgAs 2014 comes to a close, many business leaders are feeling the familiar strain of evaluating the past year’s successes, while planning for the year ahead. Did we meet our performance goals? Did we come in at or under budget? How should this year’s results impact our planning and budgeting for the coming year?

Kana Adds a Social Network to Its Call Center Toolbox

2014-07-November-Tangled Wire.jpgIt can't be easy to work in a call center, listening to gripe after gripe from customers. When they can't solve the case, agents tend to put customers on hold while they get help from managers or experts.

Kana, the customer service software company acquired earlier this year by Verint, claims it is making that job a little easier by adding an internal social network into the 2014 version of its flagship contact center software, Kana Enterprise, which rolled out today.

The social network, called Activity Streams, isn't the only improvement. The company also enhanced ways to direct known callers to specific agents, to monitor call queues, to conduct multiparty chats and to share screens with customers, according to Kelly Koelliker, director of product marketing.

6 Secrets to Happier Holidays for Employees

2014-5-November-shattered-holiday

According to the American Psychological Association’s annual Stress in America survey, the most commonly reported sources of stress include money (71 percent), work (69 percent) and the economy (59 percent). 

With people worrying about holiday spending, scrambling to wrap up year-end work projects and some failing to take vacation for fear of losing their jobs or getting too far behind, the holidays often magnify these statistics. 

But K. Palmer Hartl, author of the Ten Commandments of Management, said there are some things business leaders can do to help their employees get through the holidays without losing their cool.

7 Deadly Signs of Career Burnout [Infographic]

2014-29-October-career-burnout.jpgThank God it's Friday. Wait. It's not? It's what? Wednesday? Are you serious?

Fantasizing about the end of the workweek when you haven't even made it half way is a bad sign — about the state of your work life as well as your state of mind. Just ask executive coach and author Peter C. Diamond, the guy who came up with a list of seven signs of midlife career distress.

While premature evaporation of days or hours isn't included on Diamond's list, it should be. If you've ever glanced at a clock and wondered "Is it time to go yet?" then you'll understand. And you'll understand even more if your clock watching is accompanied by an even larger, harder to answer question.

What am I doing with my life?

Workplace Lessons From a Beehive

2014-24-October-Beekeepers.jpgWhat could a company learn from a beehive? After my first three months as a beekeeper and seven years in the CMS industry, I've found out the answer -- quite a bit.

Discussion Point: Is There a Secret Sauce for Employee Engagement?

Thumbnail image for discussion-pointHappy employees = happy customers. Yet we've all seen the numbers from Gallup: 63 percent of workers worldwide are not engaged at work, and a further 24 percent are actively disengaged. Businesses recognize the benefits of engaged employees -- for retention, for productivity, for increased customer satisfaction -- but struggle with how to create work environments that support this goal and in many cases feel unprepared to meet the demand.

This comes at a time when businesses are under pressure to differentiate themselves through customer service and at a time of increased connectivity, increased information availability, increased challenges in finding organizational information -- all of this resulting in "overwhelmed employees."

Something needs to give, but where should companies start? 

Why Collaboration Solutions Fail [Infographic]

2014-13-October-communicateGo ahead. Give your employees yet another state-of-the art, fresh off the cloud (or out-of-the-box) solution for collaboration and communication.

Odds are few of them will use it anyway … unless you do two not-so-shocking things. Can you guess what they are?

Here's a clue: the technology itself isn't the problem. 

A new study by Softchoice, a Toronto, Ontario-based technology solutions and managed services provider, confirmed unified communications (UC) and collaboration tools have the power to accelerate productivity, bring people together and increase employee engagement. However, most UC implementations fail because employees are left out of the process, the research found.

Here's why.

HR Intranets Go to the Next Level

2014-09-September-Donkey-Kong-Real-Life.jpgSince the early days of intranets, people-related processes and transactions have been one of the main use cases for the intranet. Employee self-service has helped to save real money with intranets improving processes, allowing employees to view payslips, book annual leave, select training and much more.

Too often, however, the HR section of the intranet feels more like a collection of links to other systems than a coherent and consistent digital experience. Leading organizations are now choosing a different path, by focusing on extensive integration with other systems to elevate the intranet user experience around HR processes and transactions.

This not only improves efficiencies and reduce costs, but also makes the employee aware of critical HR information around pay and benefits, recognition and more.

Want Happy Employees? You Gotta Work at It

Thumbnail image for 2014-30-september-dream-more-work-less.jpg

Your workforce is changing. But most businesses still don't understand how to motivate, satisfy and retain this increasingly global, diverse and, yes, demanding employee base.

That's one of the findings from a new study by SAP SE, a German software company that has invested in a number human resources-related companies over the last few years. Conducted by Oxford Economics on behalf of SAP, the study shows too many companies are still stuck in the stone age when it comes to everything fro salaries, flexibility and overall abilities to keep top talent.

Verint Marketing Exec Calls Kana Acquisition a Game Changer

Acquisitions in the customer experience arena are reshaping marketing communications as consumers grow more powerful, more demanding.

Consistency in communication across all channels is now a key factor in satisfying individual customers. Today, companies realize their employees must be in sync on the latest promotions when they connect with customers through mobile, email, contact centers, websites, in-store or other media.

Verint, a big player in employee optimization and contact center technologies, made news earlier this year when it paid $514 million for Kana, a customer engagement company with about one-fifth its revenue. The first fruit of that merger came this week at Kana's Connect2014 conference, where the companies released their first jointly developed product -- Engagement Analytics.

Transform Your Workplace for Millennials

2014-11-September-Transform.jpgThe millennial generation cannot be ignored: they are your employees, your customers and may even be your future employers. When you couple this generational evolution with the unfolding digital transformation, you see the heady mix that is transforming business models and activities.

For the millennial generation, work is what they do, not where they go. Rigid corporate structures are limiting factors that stifle creativity and innovation. Organizations have plenty of opportunities to learn from this digitally savvy generation.

Customer Experience Is Everyone's Job

Customer Experience, 2014-13-August-Pitching-In.jpg“That’s not my job.”

You’ve seen or heard these words before, probably more than you’d care to remember. When a project is kicked off or a favor is asked, many people blurt out this phrase without hesitation. For those of us who work in the trade of customer and user experience, these words open the door to a much larger issue. They are a crack in the foundational values of good customer experience.

IBM Focuses on 'Talent and Change'

Tools or no tools, we've been talking about people and talent being a hot commodity. IBM believes it has tools that can lead to the right people -- and keep those people happy

The Armonk, N.Y.-based software giant just released cloud-based software and a new "talent and change" consulting practice. IBM's goal is to help organizations use analytics and behavioral science to identify top talent.  

Part of the IBM Kenexa software offering, it is delivered through the IBM Smarter Workforce initiative.

"The offering bundles bring together new and existing software and services from across IBM's Smarter Workforce portfolio including our social collaboration, analytics, workforce science, digital experience, consulting and of course Kenexa's talent assessment and recruitment capabilities," said Zahir Ladhani, ‎IBM's vice president of its Smarter Workforce. "Delivered through the cloud and supported by the new Talent and Change consulting practice, they're designed to make it faster and easier for clients to implement and scale workforce solutions across the organization."

How to Build Company Culture - and Keep Great Employees

2014-4-August-crowd-of-people.jpgRazor Suleman knew he had a problem when he lost 40 percent of his employees in rapid succession. "I dramatically threw my keys on the desk of my second in command and tried to quit," he recalled. 

That was back in 2006, before Suleman transformed what he describes as "one of the worst places to work" to one of the best.

Nothing like a mass exodus of talent to force senior leadership to confront the obvious: You can't buy cool, you can't fake happy and a company can't survive without great employees. Just ask Suleman, founder of Achievers, a Toronto, Ontario- based employee success platform.

Achievers boasts that its cloud-based software helps companies "engage, align and recognize their employees, resulting in higher retention and improved business results." Engaged employees lead to happy customers, which are the key to continued revenue growth and profits, Suleman said.

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