Engagement As Energy: #TChat Lessons From #HRTechConf

“Employee engagement?”

She furrowed her brow and challenged our use of the term. And that’s when things got interesting.

Or maybe that’s when things got accurate. Historically accurate. Holistically accurate. Painfully accurate.

Meghan and Kevin LasVegas HRTechConf 2013 (2)“Why are we using that word? When employees meet each other in the hallway, do they ask each other ‘Are you engaged today?'”

All of us on the panel shook our heads and smiled. She continued, “No, they don’t. What we’re really talking about is improving individual and organizational energy, drive and focus.”

We all nodded.

The “she” in this story is Marcia Conner, collaborative learning thought leader, author and Principal of the SensifyGroup. She was one of five panelists at a very special “live”  #TChat roundtable in a jam-packed Peoplefluent booth at this year’s HR Technology Conference & Exposition in Las Vegas. (And by the way, thank you, Peoplefluent for hosting the event!) Others on this stellar panel included:

Employee Engagement: Why Should We Care?

TalentCulture at HRTechConfMy TalentCulture co-founder Meghan M. Biro and I gathered this panel of smart HR executives and industry influencers to look closer at employee engagement employee energy, drive and focus, which has become the holy grail of HR and business leaders, through every aspect of the talent lifecycle — from recruiting and onboarding, to continuous development and performance management.

Again we ask the question: Why? And why so much fuss over something so seemingly out of HR’s control? We’ve seen the dismal research results for years. We keep sharing industry jargon surrounding this issue. And yet most initiatives designed to improve the status quo haven’t moved the needle much, if at all.

Engagement — energy — whatever you choose to call it — is a problem that isn’t going away anytime soon. Nor is it likely to be resolved without continued awareness and dedicated effort. But there’s a lot at stake for those who crack the code, and that’s why the smartest employers remain focused on finding solutions.

So we shouldn’t be surprised that employee engagement is a top priority for all three of the practitioners on our panel. They recognize that emotionally connected individuals simply perform better, day to day. In turn, this increases productivity, improves performance, reduces attrition and boosts overall business results.

Employee Engagement: What Matters Most?

But clearly the best answers won’t come from a one-size-fits-all approach. We know that more emotionally committed employees invest more discretionary effort at work — and some individuals are more committed than others. It’s always been that way. A myriad of variables determine commitment. But if employers pay attention to the most important factors, perhaps commitment (and by association, energy, drive and focus) will improve. That’s the goal.

Meghanandfriend (2)All three of the practitioners on the panel shared examples of how they’re addressing key factors to influence engagement levels across their organizations. The initiatives range from community building, to culture immersion (at Buffalo Wild Wings, one restaurant at a time), to coaching and mentoring, to performance-specific rewards and recognition, to highly configurable collaborative communication platforms.

None of these ideas were lost on the TalentCulture community, as the #TChat Twitter stream lit up with questions and comments throughout the live discussion. It was truly an engaging meeting of the minds.

And that’s when Meghan and I suggested we focus all of that energy and drive into one grand, collective #TChat hug. A figurative hug of course — but a group hug nonetheless. C’mon, bring it in…



Experts On Engagement: #TChat Goes LIVE in Las Vegas!

(Editor’s Note: Looking for a recap of this live #TChat event? Read “Engagement as Energy: #TChat Lessons From #HRTechConf“.)

Employee engagement has become HR’s holy grail. Organizations are striving to strengthen engagement through every aspect of the talent lifecycle — from recruiting and onboarding, to continuous development and performance management. Why? HR leaders know that emotionally connected individuals simply perform better, day to day. In turn, this increases productivity, improves performance, reduces attrition and boosts overall business results.

Connecting The Engagement Dots

HR Technology Conference LogoWe’ve all heard Gallup’s bad news about the stagnant state of workforce engagement. But there’s good news on the horizon, too. CEOs and corporate boards are now taking aim and launching initiatives to turn these trends around. In fact, according to Conference Board research, CEOs say “increasing employee engagement” is their number one strategic priority for operational excellence.

So, How Do We Get “There” From “Here”?

In true #TChat style, we believe that better solutions come from the wisdom of the crowd. And what better place to share ideas than the HR Technology Conference?

HRTechMontage (2)That’s why TalentCulture co-founders Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman have gathered a panel of today’s smartest HR executives, analysts and industry influencers to look closer at factors that make engagement work. And we’re saving you a front-row seat!

You don’t want to miss this LIVE #TChat roundtable in Las Vegas! We’re even serving-up refreshments to keep the conversation flowing. So save the date, and join some of the best minds in business, HR and technology for a very special event:

Join The Conversation When #TChat Goes Live In Las Vegas!

WHEN: Monday, October 7th, 2:30-3:15pm PT (5:30-6:15pmET)
WHERE: Peoplefluent booth #1201 (And on the #TChat Twitter backchannel)

Meet Our LIVE #TChat Panel Of Experts

•  Steve Melamed, Senior Director, HR Organizational Effectiveness & Operations, Avaya

•  Mark Berry, VP, People Insights, ConAgra Foods

•  Tony Loyd, VP, Organization & Team Effectiveness, Buffalo Wild Wings

•  Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, Author & CEO of Xceptional HR

•  Marcia Conner, Collaborative Learning Thought Leader, Author. Principal, SensifyGroup

This a must-see event for anyone attending the HR Technology Conference and Exposition. So join us in booth #1201 for a lively and insightful conversation with some of the best talent-minded visionaries in business today!

Image Credit: Pixabay

Transforming Culture: The Force Within #TChat Preview

(Editor’s Note: Looking for a full collection of this week’s events and resources? Read the #TChat Recap: “101 Ways To Save The Day With A Paperclip.”)

With employee engagement seemingly stuck at perilously low levels, today’s employers are on a mission to reignite passion and productivity in the workplace.

Many seek fresh perspectives by looking outside their corporate walls. But what about reinvention that starts from within? Why not tap more deeply into sources of ingenuity that are already within you — and within arm’s reach?

How can business leaders make that happen? That’s the focus of this week’s #TChat forums, as our “Summer Restart” series moves from looking at the power of collaborative learning, to envisioning how creative thinking can play a larger role in transforming business culture.

Leading the way is an expert in workplace learning, collaboration and transformation, consultant and author, Marcia Conner.

Marcia briefly framed this topic for me in a recent G+ Hangout:

#TChat Events: Powerful Ways To Transform Your Workforce

This week’s topic is sure to spark new ideas for talent-minded professionals everywhere. So join us on Wednesday, August 7, for another dynamic #TChat double-header. Bring your best ideas, and let’s talk!

#TChat Radio — Wed, Aug 7 at 6:30pmET / 3:30pmPT


Tune-in to the #TChat Radio show

Marcia joins our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman  to explore how to kick-start cultural transformation from with an organization’s ranks. Listen live and dial-in with your questions and feedback!

#TChat Twitter — Wed, Aug 7 at 7pmET / 4pmPT

Immediately following the radio show, we’ll go wide with Marcia for an all-hands community discussion on the #TChat stream. We welcome anyone with a Twitter account to join us, as we explore the role that ingenuity plays in transforming organizational culture. Key questions:

Q1: Why do organizations struggle to retain talent potential?
Q2: How can listening and learning fuel employee engagement?
Q3: How can we, as individuals, develop workforce potential?
Q4: What can business leaders do to ignite workforce innovation?
Q5: What technologies foster workplace learning and engagement?

Throughout the week, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter feed and on our new LinkedIn Discussion Group. So please join us share your questions, ideas and opinions.

We’ll see you on the stream!