Engagement is a key indicator of an organization’s health. When it exists, it retains talent in the organization, attracts external talent, and results in employees that are engaged in the work they do.
It is also a vehicle for innovation. Employees are motivated to confront the company’s challenges because they regard them as their own. When they overcome a challenge, the company grows, but so do they.
Engagement and innovation usually go together and, as we already argued, for both concepts to exist it is crucial that the organization encourages an appetite for asking questions, and gives sufficient autonomy to find the answers.
For a company to be competitive in innovation, having two or three innovative minds is not enough. Innovation needs to be part of the organization’s culture, and must permeate from the top down across all levels.
Better engagement, more committed talent.
Engagement has measurable benefits–for the employee and for the organization–and a good eNPS makes a difference, because if an employee is satisfied in his or her workplace, it is quite probable that he or she will also wish to satisfy his or her clients.
Achieving this dual commitment requires every-day work, and a great effort on the part of organizations. In the case of Zurich Insurance Spain and their corporate program “From Employees to Customers”, which understands employee engagement as a first step towards offering customers excellence. The insurance company’s employees in Spain have access to a community where they can share their ideas, and where those ideas are heard, and they may also develop the best of them.
This corporate program–which has yielded a 34-point rise in corporate eNPS–addresses the steps that, Deloitte argues, promote committed talent; these are summarized as follows:
1. Connect with talent. Through peer-to-peer relations, based on sharing and mutual trust. Collaboration, between equals or not, enables organizations to face challenges with greater strength and from different perspectives. This benefits the organization, but also employees, who increase their engagement by participating and gain new skills.
2. Find their determination. Encouraging the autonomy of people and the will to cause an impact with their actions beyond their normal sphere of work. Behind this, there must be a culture of communication and transparency in the organization, greasing all parts of the machine to achieve common goals.
3. Nurture their appetite for innovation. Employees with the desire to question the status quo tend to go beyond the established. But for that to be possible, they need a conductive environment, as well as the necessary tools. As mentioned in the case of Zurich, technology has enabled a willingness for two-way action: employees and the company share and listen to each other.
The connection between these three points can bring about agility, sustained growth and continuous learning.
Today, a lack of committed talent is the Achilles’ heel of many organizations.
Hence the need to ignite the spark of commitment, before the flame slowly goes out.
Counting on employees as the basic pillar for transformation.
Apart from improving the eNPS, Zurich Insurance has used “From Employees to Customers”to produce over ten internal projects that focus on innovation. Silvia Heras, the Insurance company’s Director of Communication and Strategic Marketing in Spain, believes that to create this type of program, there must be a “vote of confidence” from the company’s management, and the firm decision to position the entire organization on the same starting point, since “everyone can have brilliant ideas, regardless of the area they work in or their hierarchic level within the company”. This commitment is reflected by the fact that 90 % of the company’s employees are registered in the program, which seeks excellence for employees as a first step towards transmitting that same excellence to clients.
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