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Tag Archives: Employee Engagement

March 29, 2017

Unified SumTotal Suite Enables Digital Workforce to Develop, Lead, and Achieve

We just unveiled a range of new features and additions to our SumTotal Talent Expansion® Suite.


What do these enhancements mean?

As well as supporting our mission to deliver beautiful technology, they mean we can stay true to our commitment to empower employees – allowing them to become more informed, engaged, and better able to take ownership of their own career paths.


By giving you and your employees:

1.      Enhanced Career Planning and Job Matching capabilities.

Employees are a company’s single most important resource. With these enhancements, we’re introducing new capabilities which will enable employees to feel more engaged, while simultaneously making them their company’s biggest ambassador.

For instance, career maps are created which will identify the steps needed to be taken to progress and what, if any, gaps exist that could hinder such progression. We also added new dashboards, which provide at-a-glance competency metrics that highlight any areas that need developing in both the current position and any role targeted as part of their career path.

This enhancement is invaluable not only because it will help HR departments demonstrate their commitment to employee retention and progression, but it demonstrates it to their employees as well. This also feeds into the goal of encouraging internal mobility – employees will remain loyal if they can see a clear path for progression within and enabled by their organization.

2.      The full benefits of Mobility

With the new SumTotal Mobile App, managers and employees can learn, manage, and give feedback, anywhere at any time.  Accessible anytime is everything from a complete employee profile to compensation and performance details to the ability to provide continuous feedback to colleagues. What’s more, employees can now access content using Windows 10 on their laptop and Windows Surface devices either online or offline.
Gone are the days of yearly reviews. This is the era of mini-reviews.

This 24/7 accessibility means users- at every level- can easily request and provide feedback “in the moment” via a tablet, smartphone, or laptop, regardless of location or time. For managers, it means they have constant feedback at their fingertips on individuals – information that allows managers to have continuous conversations on both positive comments, but also improvements an employee can make. In real-time.  Talk about optimizing your workforce!

3.      A streamlined and unified Workforce Management (WFM) user experience

We’ve given our WFM a new appearance, making it easier to use with a single sign-on and a new unified look and feel. We’ve also made it easier to integrate daily shifts and schedule changes and given you a new single timeline for managing and completing tasks.

By giving everyone a single point to search for other employees, reports, or activities we are using technology to do what it does best – improve and increase efficiencies in workflow. This will then, hopefully, translate to a correlating improvement in the organization’s efficiencies and output. Making it a win-win for everyone.

Want to learn more? Turn here to review more of our enhancements.

April 4, 2016

How Does March Madness Impact Office Productivity and Engagement?

As “mad” as it sounds, an estimated 20 percent of the workforce followed the annual basketball tournament costing employers in 2016 over $3.9 billion in the first week of March Madness1!  Extra-long lunch breaks, streaming games and filling out brackets at work are fairly common. There are similar findings of lost productivity during the Olympics and the World Cup2, 3.

Before you close your browser for being called out, hear me out! I believe that the above findings are a bit short-sighted. What if you and your colleagues were encouraged to follow the games, participate in office brackets, and had the championship games streaming in common areas? You may find that you have common ground with your co-workers—not to mention customers—and lively conversation is easy where it was typically small talk. Imagine the workplace satisfaction you will have!

Channeling enthusiasm and energy with work relationships can bring a sense of camaraderie that overflows through the workforce. After all, we’ve all been taught that in business, relationships are EVERYTHING. Positive and supportive work relationships boost morale and increase engagement. As 78 percent of us spend more time with coworkers than we do with our families4, peer relationships are critical to our professional investments and career satisfaction. Further, take into account that only 51 percent of us use our vacation days5. This may help managers justify practicing more flexibility than normal during major sporting events. Particularly when intangible benefits include departments who rarely interact begin to have rapport and INCREASE in productivity. Engagement would be through the roof!

Why not leverage these moments of sporting competition and nationalism into a positive environment with lasting results?

Comment or send me a message! Let me know if your company encourages interoffice sport synergy or punitively frowns upon it.


September 5, 2014

How to Drive Employee Engagement

Almost every business report, article, blog (and maybe even tweet) you read today has one common thread: driving employee engagement is paramount to your success as a manager and an organization.

Empowering and engaging your employees is not a complex topic. It’s actually quite simple. However, there is still a huge population of managers out there struggling with the concept. Layer by layer organizations continue to pile on new technologies designed to engage, develop, train and retain top talent. But organizations often lose sight of the one commonality that we can all agree on – we are all human beings who desire constructive and meaningful face-to-face conversations.

That’s what it’s all about, right?

Earlier this week we sat down with the always insightful and very funny Fistful of Talent crew members, Kris Dunn, Paul Hebert, Holland Dombeck, and RJ Morris, to discuss the truths of driving employee engagement.  I could go on and on reiterating what they said, but the proof is in the pudding. Take 22 minutes out of your day and watch the video. I promise you that you’ll enjoy it, and in the event you don’t let me know, I am all for constructive criticism.

July 31, 2014

Help Wanted: Smarter Talent Management

Personally Engaging Leaders to Drive Employee Engagement

“Employee engagement” is a key concept these days, and while I will explore its origins and modern interpretations in my upcoming webinar, companies have to focus on literally engaging people on a personal level today just as you would “engage” someone in conversation.

Our research of nearly 5,000 workers worldwide showed that while one out of three people are engaged, less than half the time they are working, one out of two are actively or passively looking for their next job. Alarming, isn’t it? Employee Engagement

So to increase engagement and prevent exodus, every professional should ask does their company have the following four characteristics:

  1. Vision and values.
    Establishing the mission is critical to employee engagement and productivity today, not just serving a valued customer, but corporate social responsibility issues of treating the workforce with respect and engaging with ethical suppliers and business partners. This is increasingly true as many organizations specifically take on philanthropic causes as an outcome of the business plan — think Starbucks’ coffee farmers and Tom’s shoes and eyeglasses going to underprivileged children.This is true for both younger and older generations who seek a greater meaning in their work lives. And even if a company can’t find a noble cause to follow, creating a culture of teamwork and recognition of colleagues can be the value people find in their daily work.
  2. Transparency and trust.
    With the advent of social media and public forums such as LinkedIn and other recruiting networks, where anyone and everyone can find out who works for a company and what it is like inside the firm, companies have to be more proactive than ever in sharing information on how business is going, challenges they face, and how they are coming together as a team to solve them. The diversity in the workplace means people have less and less tolerance for the old top-down “do what I say and not what I do” management styles and are not motivated by heavy-handed policies and procedures in an age where agility and flexibility rule the markets.
  3. Communication and collaboration.
    New technologies have allowed more and more people the flexibility to work remotely, whether in a home office, on the road, or after hours, but they also allow people to avoid inter-personal conversations and discussions where ideas are generated and issues are addressed. Everyone has a story of how a single email has derail an entire day when a careless executive declares a new initiative or kills off another without giving people context or consideration of the decision. Leaders have to be thoughtful about not only what they are saying but how they are coming across or workers can easily tune out and turn off.
  4. Presentation and promotion. Offering workers the opportunities to present at internal client review meetings as subject matter experts and attend conferences for professional development are critical for establishing relationships, external brand building, and on-going education, but too often just top management goes as travel costs increase and budgets are closely watched. In the absence of this, individuals “promote” themselves and their expertise to peers and colleagues through social media tools, which can serve to supplement those hierarchical job promotions that may not exist anymore (or people do not want for work life balance these days). Building personal brand equity inside and outside of a company has always been at the heart of a successful career and companies should think about how they can help their employees in this regard or they’ll seek other ways to do it on their own.

In the Power to the People survey referenced above, respondents across the board said “smarter management talent” was the number one challenge to their engagement and productivity in business. To my mind, it is these very basic organizational people principles and practices around engaging with people as individual human beings management has overlooked or abandoned that has resulted in the pervasive lack of employee “engagement.”

To hear more, register for my upcoming webinar, Engagement vs Productivity? Chicken or Egg? Which Can HR Really Impact? on Wednesday, Aug 6, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. EDT.