We recently hosted a webinar called “Managing an Impactful Recognition Program.” It featured Minna Pomeroy of MGP Human Resources as the moderator, along with HighGround customers Cheryl Johnson of Echo Global Logistics, Kimberly Witt of VRI Monitoring Care and Janine Bradbury of Pomeroy IT Solutions. During the session we asked Cheryl, Kim and Janine to talk about their employee engagement programs.
In today’s post, we’ll share their insights about solving the employee engagement problem at their respective organizations, as well as the roadblocks they faced. Here’s what they had to say:
What business problem were you looking to solve?
Cheryl said Echo was challenged by two things: a geographically diverse employee base and a large Millennial population. Echo needed to ensure employees located outside of its Chicago headquarters understood the company values and felt connected to its mission. Furthermore, they needed a platform that offered the accessibility and usability of applications like Facebook and Yelp.
Kim shared that VRI faced a different problem. It already had a strong culture of recognition but wanted to instill a “see it vs. say it” mentality in its multi-generational workforce. Kim knew VRI employees needed recognition, craved meaningful connections with their managers and wanted a way to acknowledge each another. The organization wanted a solution that would empower this sort of consistent, visible recognition.
How did you solve it?
Before HighGround implementation, Echo turned to its employees to establish its corporate values. The program was branded “Echo Engage” and her team created excitement around the tool by rolling out the initiative one office at a time. It generated hype around the platform and encouraged employee participation.
Kim knew that bad news travels fast. She wanted to make good news travel even faster via the HighGround platform. Using the technology, VRI encourages a positive team environment by offering an engagement survey that regularly includes comments about appreciating recognition opportunities. Intrinsically, employees are motivated to continue the outstanding customer service that’s acknowledged in the platform.
What was the biggest roadblock?
Janine and Cheryl both agreed that executive buy-in was a hurdle for their teams. For Echo, the majority of its employees are Millennial while its executive leadership is not, creating a gap of understanding regarding social technology as a means to engage a workforce. Cheryl worked directly with her executive team — sometimes literally looking over their shoulders as they logged into the platform– to encourage participation.
Janine agreed that support starts from the top. Her team is working to create a communication campaign to drive more people to participate, especially senior leadership.
From the beginning, VRI’s engagement program received executive support, yet it faced a different challenge. Because it stressed a “see it vs. say it” focus, Kim wanted to ensure the badging within the HighGround platform immediately resonated with employees. VRI took the time to design badges that were reflective of the company culture, authentic and genuine.
During the webinar, Cheryl, Kim and Janine shared more about the business impact of HighGround, as well as how they’re keeping their engagement programs fresh. You can check out the second part of the recap here. If you’d like to learn more about Cheryl’s approach to employee engagement, you can download the Echo Global Logistics case study here.