Engaged Workforce

Agile and social models are changing performance management, rewards, coaching, goal-setting and development. How you engage with your workforce will directly correlate with how to maximize the productivity of employees whilst giving the best possible opportunities for development.

What Gets Recognized Gets Repeated

Horizon achieves desired behaviors and outcomes through a values-based, social recognition program.

By Debbie Bolla

Ask Marie Crea, director of HR for Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, how she would describe the organization, and she would tell you that it’s employee-centric. The healthcare insurance provider is in the business of ensuring quality service for its members, and that level of service is literally in the hands of its employees. So when engagement scores fell a hair under benchmark level in 2013, Crea knew it was time for HR to step it up and roll out a modernized, socially-driven recognition program with the same name.

Employee recognition has been a part of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey’s core strategy during the entirety of Crea’s 12-year tenure at the company.

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Beneficial Strategies

Organizations need to adapt their approach to benefits to suit today’s changing demographics.

By Randy Stram

With the gig economy rapidly expanding, employers are focused on retaining and engaging employees. According to MetLife’s 15th annual U.S. Employee Benefit Trends Study (EBTS), more than half (51 percent) of employees today are interested in contract or freelance work. Not surprisingly, gig work appeals to millennials most, with nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of the generation interested, followed by Gen X (52 percent), and baby boomers (41 percent). Workers are drawn to freelance roles due to the flexible hours, the ability to work from home, and project variety. This is causing organizations to have a laser focus on retaining their talent—the top priority among employers, according to EBTS’ findings.  In fact, 51 percent of respondents plan to leverage benefits as a retention strategy in the next three to five years.

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Bon Voyage

Bringing a positive candidate experience to relocation assignments can be a key differentiator.

By Christa Elliott

Most HR professionals agree that creating an outstanding candidate experience—from recruitment through onboarding—is a great way to boost employee engagement and well-being. But relocated employees, whether they are new hires or transferees, will have a very different “candidate experience” due to the special circumstances of their employment and the careful planning that goes into a relocation. Done well, a relocation can illustrate that the organization is invested in the employee’s success and growth. But if the relocation assignment isn’t given special attention and care and becomes stressful for the employee, it can work against the organization.

A 2017 study by CareerArc found that 99 percent of employers believe that managing employer brand and reputation (including through candidate experience) is important to attracting top talent.

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Taking the Leap

Some organizations are moving toward total talent management. What are the advantages and challenges?

By The Editors

When it comes to implementing effective workforce solutions, some organizations are following the philosophy of “consolidate, consolidate, consolidate.” This may be driven by the growing number of worker classifications in the market today, as organizations want to attract both full-time and contingent high performers while remaining compliant. A total talent approach may be the answer.

Randstad Sourceright’s President of RPO North America Dan Oakes reports that 49 percent of C-suite leaders consider integrated talent as a way to build for the future. Technology will play a role in this workforce transformation. According to Oakes:

• 52 percent of HR professionals say that the digitization of HR has benefitted their company.

• 17 percent say that the digitization of HR has been the primary factor in bringing about HR transformation.

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Making the Connection

By calling out employee efforts that tie to company purpose, organizations can drive loyalty.

By Gary Beckstrand

When anthropologists evaluate groups of people and try to define cultures, the first characteristics they look for are mutual purpose and vision, and with good reason—a unified purpose is what connects people and separates distinctive groups.

Purpose is growing increasingly relevant, especially to corporations trying to define company culture. Today, purpose in and outside of the workplace is a large part of the collective consciousness. Millennials—73 million strong in the U.S. and the largest population in the workforce—are particularly focused on living purpose-driven lives and finding meaning in their work, according to a recent study from Gallup. They want to feel connected to a greater good that transcends a steady paycheck and health coverage—as do the rest of the generations in the workforce.

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Recognition for the Win

“What we need to accomplish as an organization is a challenge, and we know we have to do that through our employees.”

This is what Marie Crea, director of HR for Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, told me when we were discussing some of the drivers behind implementing their highly successful recognition program, “Step It Up.” Crea clearly has a solid understanding of the impact employees have on an organization’s bottom line and the impact that recognition has on the workforce. Research from Globoforce shows that 86 percent of employees feel recognition programs make them happier at work and 85 percent more satisfied with their jobs. Happy employees mean happy customers.

There are two keys to Horizon’s Step It Up program, which is delivered through the Achievers platform. One is its social aspect that allows peers to recognize other peers based on different tenants, including teamwork, problem solving, and everyday leadership.

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A Rewarding Experience

Organizations can maximize the impact of their recognition programs by offering experiential rewards.

By Christa Elliott

The research is clear—employees want to be recognized at work, and according to a 2016 Gallup poll, only 51 percent of workers are satisfied with the recognition they receive at work. But when approaches such as social recognition or monetary rewards aren’t resonating with employees, there is another option. Using experiential rewards can be an effective way to engage employees through a personalized approach, proving to them that their employer values what they bring to the table.

Often leveraged by the consumer sector to enhance loyalty programs, experience-based, non-cash rewards are now a popular employee recognition tactic. The Incentive Research Foundation’s 2016 Trends in Incentive Travel, Rewards, and Recognition study found that when it comes to large awards, most employees cited experiential travel rewards as their number one preference.

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Outside-of-the-Box Benefits

Seven perk-driven strategies to engage and retain employees. By Jeanie Heffernan A company’s greatest asset is its workforce, and that is why it is vital to equip workers with the best tools and resources to do their jobs. But today’s employees are also looking for benefits that help maintain a positive work-life balance. While traditional benefits such as medical, dental, and vision insurance might be what initially come to mind, many organizations are beginning to think outside of the box to foster a more engaged, productive, and healthier workforce. Recent iCIMS research found that 92 percent of full-time employees believe that companies offering non-traditional benefits are more likely to recruit top-tier talent. These benefits also serve as retention tools; a comprehensive benefits package gives employees a reason to stay with a company other than the paycheck. Outside-of-the-box benefits come in a variety of forms: from helping employees live healthier lives to providing opportunities for them to save money or remove some of the stress of daily life.

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Thoughtful Design

Five ways to create a workforce environment that can help increase employee happiness and productivity. By Marilyn Tyfting Think about how many hours one person can spend at work in a year or across an entire career. According to Psychology Today, the average person spends 90,000 hours at work over a lifetime, which equates roughly to more than 10 full years spent in the office. With such a significant portion of time dedicated to—and to being at—work, careful consideration should go into workplace design. When thinking about great places to work, iconic tech giant Google comes to mind for most people, with their cool primary-color-branded spaces and luxe perks that include free gourmet food, haircuts, and laundry services. But the company’s successful reputation isn’t solely based on unique benefits. Its top-employer status also stems from the meaningful support it provides its employees, and the easy access to the support that matters most to each individual team member.

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Reaching New Heights

Going through a company transition? Here’s advice on how to ensure the best from employees.

By Chatelle A. Lynch

When our organization made the decision to become an independently-owned and dedicated global cybersecurity company, we were given only six short months to transition. What made this situation even more unique is that just two years earlier, our employees had already undergone significant transformation. This was during a yearlong integration effort following an acquisition.

In April 2017, a new organization manifested with more than 7,500 employees that required new contracts, PCs, onboarding documents, benefit and compensation plans, and much, much more. I’d be lying if I said there weren’t a few sleepless nights during this period. How could HR make this as seamless as possible for employees and customers—again? Employees had just been through a significant transformation project a couple of years before. How could HR keep them engaged and focused on their business and limit distractions? In what ways could HR get employees excited about the opportunities ahead? Organizational culture—who we are and why we do what we do—served as the foundation for many of these decisions.

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