There are many names for the too-common culture of disillusionment that stagnates in many companies. There aren’t many remedies for it.
At some point along the line, preserving the status quo became an acceptable business model. The threshold for effort slagged to new depths, and that was fine as long as certain goals were met. All of the potential energy above that threshold? Ignored, or forgotten. Employees became accustomed to operating at a set level with no need to elevate their performance. Quotas were met — narrowly. The cogs were all functioning at acceptable levels. And that was fine.
Fast forward. There’s a new generation inundating the workforce: millennials. They’re not content with the status quo. They want to shake things up. Executives are finally glancing up from the slog and realizing that there’s a bounty of potential effort that their employees aren’t bringing to the table, because for so long there has been no reason to.
There has always been a reason to; it has just been been obscured in a haze of normalcy.
But that haze is dissipating. The winds of change are blowing on America’s frontline. Businesses are wondering: what if we actually tried to extract all that extra effort? What would our numbers look like then? Would our employees be happier? Would we be more successful?
Yes, and yes. Engaged employees are happy employees. They also drive more commercial success. This is the foundation of the employee engagement movement.
With the what and why of engagement established, we come to the obvious hurdle: how?
The strategies are numerous and expensive, but one of the most impactful is also the simplest — and it’s free. It’s so simple and easy, in fact, that most corporate workers will likely be surprised that it isn’t already happening on the frontline.
Kudos. It means celebrating achievement. In other words, recognition. In other words, “Hey, nice job!” Or, “I really appreciate your effort recently. Thank you.”
It doesn’t get more obvious. People want to take pride in their work. Recognition facilitates this, and makes workers want to do even better, so they can take more pride in their work and feel more appreciated.
It’s so obvious that everyone seems to just assume that it happens all the time, when in reality recognition of frontline employees occurs scarcely. Managers are buried under administrative work; no one has time to be the eyes and ears on the floor monitoring every customer interaction. Direct guest feedback to managers is often superlative — very good or very bad. And we all know which sort leads to more meetings.
The key to engagement lies, simply, in kudos. The implementation of a kudos strategy can take many forms — one of MomentSnap’s core features is the ability for peer-to-peer and managerial recognition — but at its simplest, it only requires thirty seconds a few kind words to a hard-working employee. The magnitude of the results is a testament to the power a simple thank you can have.