Back to The Rules of Engagement

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Back to simple concerns to get a bit away from major choices that will impact forever the HR landscape. Halloween season is/was here. If you are like me, it might not be of great interest to you. But believe it or not, it could be a window of opportunity for you to reach some HR goals.  On this little side note, I would like to share my discovery of what it could mean to employees, and what you could make out of it for engagement.

Make Halloween or any Other Event Part of Your Community Engagement


Many businesses are so good at this: Community Involvement. Do you take advantage of the trend? Service Providers like to "put their names out there". Part of branding, part of Corporate Citizenship. Even in metropolitan areas, there is that sense of community: many people who work in some organizations have lived in that city for many many years, or have gone in schools in that city and stayed there. In a sense, those cities feel like a small town. Many are active in various organizations in the city. Do not  underestimate the connection between organizations and community. Simply put: your employee will feel more valued if he/she feels that his/her community group is recognized by the company. Think bike races, marathons, various fun fund-raising activities. It builds the community organization, the spirit, heart of your company, and definitely strengthens engagement. On the flip side, it could alienate those who cannot or do no want to participate in those activities, for a reason or another. This is why Internal Communication comes into play: share the news! People want to know and feel included.
So, what about Halloween? Same principle.

Simple Rules of Engagement


Some people love Halloween and others might not like it or are indifferent to it.  But, as for any other program, you need a sponsor, and you need a leader. Moreover, it could be Halloween or any other "celebration". Why not use it to "refresh" company spirit, employees' engagement? In the Service Industry especially, it is an easy, common roll-out of engagement. If you share your enthusiasm, it ignites the fire within the organization. And it can stay lit for a while.

Basic rules apply:


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  1. Communicate widely the program. Let employees know ahead of time. Get them excited: anticipation is key.
  2. Make sure execution is carried-out properly: do you have a "Task Force" who can roll it out? You need advocates, "teasers", leaders at the local level. That's your ignition key.
  3.  Follow-up, follow-up. Without follow-up it will be falling into the cracks of time and space: employees have metrics that they have to meet, and it is a daily concern to them. If you think otherwise, you live in an unrealistic world. Again, Wells Fargo is not The exception.  Also, in some organizations with rotating or flexible scheduling, employees are not always at the same place at the same time. Follow-up, and follow-up on Communication.
  4. Believe in it. Be enthusiastic and share the fire. Enthusiasm is contagious. Seating at the committee table and sharing ideas is not enough. Go out there, talk about it, share the enthusiasm, have some leaders push the execution of the project. Caution: let people express themselves; that is recognition of their values.
  5. You will not get 100% participation but 25-30% is acceptable. It will be enough to "fire up" other employees. 
  6. Enjoy the results: share them. Take pictures, publish them, laugh together at each other. Let employees celebrate in groups or on their social media of choice. Give them the reward of being truly recognized in something that they put their soul into: Halloween is about fantasy. Let it happen one time a year at work. Sometimes, we need to "escape" reality. 
  7. Do it again: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukah, End of Year, New Year, St Nicholas Day....you name it. Repetition is key, although scarcity adds value. Find the right balance.  Hopefully, employees will have something positive to share, talk and and laugh about in unison for a short while. Engagement is a never-ending process and sometimes takes little work, little money, a lot of communication and a bit of imagination. 
So, think out of the box and let your employees get your company out of the box! That big HR Communication Strategy  can be broken into small, enjoyable little pieces that will ignite a lasting engagement under sustained efforts. How is your local interpretation of the Company's HR Communication Strategy?

En Synthèse...

©Ted+HRComatrix_Engt
Halloween aux USA, c'est après tout un peu comme l'histoire de Cendrillon. Dans certaines villes, c'est un Rio de Janeiro en minuscule. Temps de reproduire une escapade, un rêve, quelque chose de magique, d’où peut-être une des raisons de l’omniprésence de la citrouille pendant la saison. En tous les cas, en Octobre, la citrouille, c'est partout, mais plus souvent sur le perron ou la pelouse que dans la marmite! La tarte de potiron, c'est la spécialité de Thanksgiving, mais la Crème de potiron, vous en trouverez en Octobre. Mon favori: celle-ci, dans un bistro, avec du curry et un rien de cannelle! 

Mais, pour ainsi dire revenir à nos moutons, et pour profiter de la saison pour travailler sur la motivation, je conseillerais de permettre une petite folie douce pour Halloween...ou la St Nicolas par exemple.  L’idée? Encourager les employés à participer à quelque chose de cool et zen pour eux. Ça aide pour la motivation et le climat social. 

Les règles sont simples :


(1) Planifier et communiquer le projet (2) Avoir un petit groupe de projet qui concoctera le comment des choses (3) Avoir des représentants et motivateurs sur place (4) Suivi, suivi et suivi (5) Aller sur le terrain pour motiver, infuser l'esprit participatif - oh! l'essentiel, c'est une petite présence, même furtive, mais marquée -  (6) Goûter les fruits du travail fini: partager des photos, vidéos, laisser les employés partager sur leur FB ou autre media à loisir (7) Répéter occasionnellement sur un autre thème.

Bien entendu, c'est facultatif! Si vous obtenez une participation dans l'ordre de 25%, eh bien, c'est parfait! Que la majorité participe ou pas n'est pas une question majeure: ils participeront en partageant le "répit", si bref soit-il, que l'on diffusera par les photos, les petites anecdotes ici et là, la "parade" de ceux qui décident pour une participation totale.  Ce n'est pas coûteux, et ça rapporte de bons fruits. On favorise aussi les interventions dans la communauté: laisser les employés faire du service communautaire, c'est valoriser leur présence sociale. On USA, ça marche parce que la culture le permet. Certainement un peu différent, mais à vous de trouver ce qui convient à la culture du pays, du milieu! Avec un peu d'imagination, vous trouverez la clef de la motivation. 



 

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