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5 min read

It's been an insightful and inspiring year, but it's not over yet. 

As the year wraps up, I thought now’s a perfect time to look back at some of the tips from the HR and business leaders who’ve generously shared their insights with us.

Every encounter brings new lessons that have helped us help others in their employee engagement journey. Here are some of the top employee engagement tips we’ve come across that we will gladly carry into 2020:

Start with employee input

There’s the gap between employees and employers; a report by Willis Towers Watson showed that while 67% of employers think they have a comprehensive benefits offering that their employees value, less than half of their employees actually agree that their current benefits meet their needs. There’s also the gap between how much employees want to be recognised, versus how often their managers successfully do it.

That gap between the employer’s perception and the employee reality is a big opportunity.

Earlier this year we had Choice, Passion, Life (CPL) join us on a live webinar where they shared how they sought employee feedback as a key part of the process of bridging that gap. CPL ran employee focus groups and communicated the results back to their people to refine the approach to designing and delivering an employee engagement platform.


Allowing their employees to drive and direct the process meant they got buy-in across the business and that increased adoption and ongoing participation long after launch. In just one year, the overall engagement score at CPL rose 4%, employees’ satisfaction with benefits went up 16% and communications 7%.

Download our eBook to discover to bridge that connection between employer and  employee»

HR’s real competitors are companies like Netflix and Spotify

No, it’s not because you’re employees might risk being distracted by movies or music at work. It’s because companies like Netflix and Spotify provide a hyper-personalised service that is easy to connect to, works on multiple devices, is available on demand, and has so much choice that there is literally something on these platforms for everyone.

70% of employees expect a personalised experience at work. But what level of choice or personalisation do our HR platforms provide, if any at all?


Marea Phillips, Director of People and Culture APAC at Insight Enterprises, a tech company with over 7,000 employees globally shared how her team works to continually update and refine its offering, so that employee benefits offer personalisation and choice.

Providing opportunities to pursue professional development, save on everyday expenses, build meaningful relationships, and support with ideas for work life balance, are just a few examples of what sets Insight apart from its competitors.

Marea introduced Insight's employee benefits program because it provided instant access to discounts at hundreds of retailers, saying it has been a success because makes a tangible impact to employees across her entire workforce:

Sometimes I introduce a high-impact benefit at a low cost – it’s not always about increasing the benefits budget, but looking at the buckets of money we have available and changing what we invest it in according to the needs of the team.


To stand out from competitors, you’ve got to be a little rebellious

At Reward Gateway’s first Engagement Excellence Live event in Sydney, Maree Morgan-Monk, Head of People, Culture and Capability, and Danica Vujic, HR Specialist, talked about how Peoplecare - a 200strong not-for-profit health insurer became the first in its industry to make it on the AON Best Employer List in 2017.

They pulled a risky move and removed Peoplecare’s discretionary bonus program, replacing it with a reward and recognition program that enables employees to celebrate achievements throughout the year and reinforce the culture and values (or “True Loves”) that make Peoplecare so unique.


A “set and forget” strategy doesn’t work for effective employee engagement

When Cuscal first introduced peer-to-peer recognition on a standalone platform, the response from employees was incredibly positive. But after a few years, the company almost doubled its headcount, making it increasingly difficult to connect with dispersed teams. The standalone R&R platform was one of several disjointed systems and was either forgotten or diluted.

Employee Experience Manager, Jennifer Bass, joined us on a live webinar and talked about how Cuscal evolved its reward and recognition strategy to align with the business' digital-first strategy, consolidating it with its communications, benefits and wellbeing hub to create a unified and exciting hub.

Taking time to assess the needs of their people and invest in redesigning the framework and platform meant they could deliver something fresh and relevant for their people. Participation in the R&R program tripled in the first year!


Being proactive about the employee experience enhance the customer experience

In another webinar, Employee Experience Manager, Chloe Morley, talked about Cover-More Australia’s proactive approach to improving the customer experience, saying:

If we want our customers to feel valued and confident with us and understood, then we need to make sure that our employees feel that way as well so they can deliver on the brand promise.

Because Cover-More has a high proportion of millennials in the workforce, they know providing a sense of purpose and a connection to its brand values was key, so they created a peer-to-peer recognition program that enables employees to recognise each other for living the values and behaviours that perhaps sit outside of procedural manual; things like the emotional intelligence and intuition, looking at a holistic sort of mindset. This not only reinforces Cover-More’s mission, it has proven to be a good motivator for its people.

Discover how to improve the customer experience by investing in the employee  experience  »


Josh Bersin’s secret to creating a business where people thrive

In his latest research report, independent global industry analyst Josh Bersin said:

As today’s workplace environment becomes increasingly automated, dispersed and diverse, employers need to do more to improve employee engagement. Strategic employee engagement and recognition programs, when developed properly, are significant drivers of the authentic engagement the modern workforce is expecting.

In fact, he goes on to show that strategic employee recognition programs that are social, timely and transparent are 12x more likely to generate strong business results.

Hopefully there’s something in these 6 tips that inspire you to make a move when it comes to improving employee engagement at your organisation! The best part is, because so many HR leaders are willing to share what they’ve learnt as they’ve embarked on their journey, you’re never alone in yours.

We’ve got a big calendar packed with events in 2020, so be sure to say hello and join us as we make the world a better place to work! 

Evan Smith

Evan is one of our Employee Engagement Consultants. His passion for people means he is always leaning in to share, listen and learn stories form HR leaders around the country. To relax, you'll find him walking his dog and on the hunt for good food.

Employee Engagement Consultant

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