Beyond Kudos, Gold Stars and Gift Cards: A New Employee Engagement Solution

Sometimes we come across an idea that's really sound, increases workforce morale and productivity, and contributes to a company's strategy and bottom line – especially in today's market.

Last Friday I was forwarded a launch release from Brand Integrity, a web-based employee engagement software solution. When I first read the first paragraph of the release, my eyes glazed over a bit due to jargonography (similar to cartography, except it's the textual mapping of ambiguity and buzz):

Brand Integrity today announced the Potential Point™ Employee Engagement Solution, a combination of web-based software and services that transforms employee recognition into a pervasive leadership tool. The solution addresses the widespread business challenge of executing strategy effectively by aligning company goals with employee behaviors, and engaging individuals to share, recognize and repeat the best practices that deliver meaningful results.

What? But then the second paragraph came into focus:

During development, 20 companies tested the solution to measure its impact (for the past 4 years), with results showing cultural and business benefits beyond simply helping employees feel appreciated. For example, in the first five months of using the system, employees at Retirement Living Television (RLTV) now have 100 percent awareness and buy-in on the company's mission and strategies, and they've captured hundreds of success stories, with 30 percent identifying replicable ways to significantly impact business growth.

I was curious and wanted to know more, so I had the opportunity yesterday to talk with with Brand Integrity founder, Gregg Lederman. He gave me an overview and a brief demo and I was really impressed.

Basically we're talking about a web-based employee "kudos" system for employers large and small that go beyond gold stars, gift cards and Excel spreadsheets. But that's not what impressed me; creating nifty web-based employee-performance tracking systems of any kind don't take a lot of investment or time to get off the ground these days. It wasn't even the easy-to-use interface for adding employees, the employee/manager "nomination" process, end user data management – or any of that stuff.

It was four things:

Here were some success stories they shared with me from their beta customers to date:

Cowan, Gunteski & Co has been able to achieve 100 percent employee awareness and buy-in of the firm's brand and mission. Ninety-seven percent participation in the Employee Engagement System has also enabled the firm to capture and share more than 1,000 best practices with employees—15% having a high impact—and to provide more cost-effective training and consistent service delivery. This universal alignment is a primary factor in the firm's recent awards, including Accounting Today's "Best Firms to Work for in 2008," and "Best Place to Work in New Jersey in 2008." The EFP Group's more than 95 percent participation in the Employee Engagement Solution is leading to more collaboration at all levels of the CPA firm. The stories on how employees are executing the company's brand have had significant impact: 20% have had high impact on the firm, improving ability to replicate best practices for more consistent performance and business results across locations, 36% have uncovered ways to improve efficiencies and save money, 27% have detailed ways to enhance EFP's client service, and 24% have documented client retention practices.

The University of Rochester Medical's Strong Hospital needed to improve its process for educating and recognizing employees who contribute to enhancing patient care in order to move from its current 50% patient satisfaction rating to a goal of 90%. In the first six months of implementing the Employee Engagement Solution, the Hospital has already improved its turnaround time for processing employee recognition by 300%, reducing processing time for handling 400 nominations from four days to only one day. This efficiency will enable Strong to meet its goals for notifying employees of "Strong Stars" within 2 weeks (when the prior system was 8 weeks). In addition, the solution has improved accuracy by 40%, with nomination returns by supervisors now at 10% as opposed to 25% using the old process, the faster processing of best practices is speeding education and alignment around Strong Commitment and ICARE values, and the hospital now has measurement capabilities to regularly track participation, communicate results and measure business impact.

They get a gold start from me. Good luck to you, Gregg!

Post by Kevin Grossman (join me on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn)

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