Day by day fresh graduates are forming an enormous number in the entire workforce. With organizations are in the midst of catering to the needs of the fresh graduates across the globe there seem to be a strong demand for internships and graduate development programs as well as a concrete framework in hiring the best graduates. The next in line challenge that appears is the retention of these graduates and ensure they are happy and engaged with the organization culture, work and environment. Certain organizations managed to champion this whereas the remaining may struggle badly or at average level or eventually they may find a best solution to overcome the situation.
‘More than 13,800 students and fresh graduates from local universities participated in the annual Singapore Graduate Barometer survey, which ran from April 2018 to February 2019. According to the survey, the top five key factors that influence students’ selection of employers are (as quoted in an article released in Tech in Asia by Cheryl Tan on fresh graduates working preferences, July 2019)’. The results is based on annual national graduate careers survey by GTI Media Singapore.
(5 Key Factors as quoted by the article)
1. Good career prospects: Seeing the promise of promotions and professional growth opportunities
2. Positive employer leadership: Knowing that they would be working under effective, principled leaders
3. Personal development opportunities: Being able to grow their personal skill sets beyond the realm of work (e.g., soft skills, personal interests, etc.)
4. Being appreciated at work: Having visible recognition for work done and knowing that their efforts have an impact
5. Friendly colleagues: Working in a positive, collaborative environment that’s free from workplace politics
SelfDrvn Key Offering in line with the 5 Key Factors
Positive employer leadership: Knowing that they would be working under effective, principled leaders
SelfDrvn services and offerings empower organizations to achieve most of the above mentioned key factors. Firstly, taking into account the empowerment of leadership traits and organization embracing digitization and combining engagement, learning and technology, we have successfully implemented the gamification concept. It strongly supports leaders to be role models and capitalize on opportunity growth in five key areas namely, gamify leadership task, recognize employee’s positive behavior changes in the rewards system, simplifies feedback for both leaders and employees, empower coaching with employees’ Artificial Intelligence Word Cloud to create a transparent goal setting for performance management purpose.
SelfDrvn empowers leaders with gamification and becoming role model with the features introduced by us. The gamification tool also increases the motivation level of employees and engagement level as they absorb and able to view the real life work scenarios. On top of that, data extracted from the gamification exercise can be a great source for leaders in identifying employee gaps and managing them effectively.
Personal development opportunities: Being able to grow their personal skill sets beyond the realm of work (e.g., soft skills, personal interests, etc.)
Next is the personal development opportunities in which mobile learning, also known as m-learning upkeeps the learning with the needs and gives fresh graduates the flexibility to learn at their pace and ensure learning becomes more interactive and engaging. SelfDrvn has designed the development program in m-learning platform in a way that most of the tasks and communication efforts with their colleagues can be done electronically, at their own speed and preferences. All these aims to capitalize on digital learning heading towards better engagement and learning management.
Another development of learning option that we have introduced to our client is aligned with the need with current generations, a bite size learning such as Podcast and Vodcast, quizzes, case studies and tool to provide feedback and blended learning. Fresh graduates will then clearly understand learning is in their hands and just a click away. SelfDrvn solutions connect the power of an engaging learning platform with anytime and anywhere access. No more classroom based training only for 8 hours, but we have injected a blended learning approach, they can learn on the go with mobile application during the break and free time and engage closely with their colleagues.
Being appreciated at work: Having visible recognition for work done and knowing that their efforts have an impact
Lack of engagement exceedingly backs up a high employee turnover especially among newer generations, Empowerment and inspiring are two important words for them and failure to have this leads to low engagement levels gearing towards unable to foster talent and unleash their true potential. Gamification is one of our solution for this in which employees tend to love the content and wants to come back for more as they seek to top the Leaderboard with points and several badges that creates strong competition.
From the recognition point of you, we drive motivation with rewards and feedback in promoting job well done, positive behavior changes through timely recognition, acknowledge High Performers with Real-World Rewards, publicize Achievements (Employee of the Month) to create multiplier effect. On top of that, Leaderboard enables achievement, transparency and healthy competition among as well as provide incentives to employees with real-world rewards. As for the non-rewards recognition and feedback as highly preferred by many, the platform exhibits the association between employers and employees by enabling powerful feedback features.
Friendly colleagues: Working in a positive, collaborative environment that’s free from workplace politics
Our content creator option provides knowledge sharing platform in getting the best from all generations and subject matter experts (SMEs). The platform allows employees to contribute contents in spreading knowledge within the organization and information dissemination to all. Another option of allowing employees to collaborate and share knowledge with the rest as well as reflects the participation rate of each employees. This can be a perfect for fresh graduates as they enjoy sharing news and contents besides other social media platform such as Facebook and heading towards higher happiness and collaborative environment within the workplace.
SelfDrvn broadcasted a single platform for two-way communication channel, built effective communication that energizes motivation and performance with easy information sharing. Employees are now able to connect directly with any units, teams and departments for inquiries and it notifies employees with real-time functions Employee has easy access to all applications and latest company product updates and promotion can be shared or announced in a single platform. The platform provides opportunity for employees to voice their opinions such as ideas related to customer relationship management, new product offerings, employee engagement efforts and etc.
In a nutshell, SelfDrvn has conducted several researches on the needs and working style of fresh graduates and actively injected these features in our offerings aiming to better support our clients in managing learning, engagement, rewards and recognition as well as the top 5 key concerns highlighted above.
SelfDrvn operates as a single digital solution to engage, reward and retain talents for great organization growths. Now it is a proud moment for us as our immense efforts have been recognized for the 2nd consecutive year under the Employee Experience category for the Gartner Hype Cycle for the Digital Workplace, 2019.
What is Gartner 2019 Hype Cycle Report?
Figure 1. Hype Cycle for the Digital Workplace, 2019, Source Gartner
The Gartner’s report summarizes three themes about the future of work as it underpins the digital workplace leaders:
- A strong core collection of application whereby employees allocate most time in the coming decade at least. Key emphasis are on collaborative work management, content collaboration, workstream collaboration and meeting solutions.
- The Employee Experience impacts several technologies, most of the time via vendors’ dedication to simplify and ease the usage and is fundamental to digital handiness. Some examples are internal talent marketplaces and Employee Experience Tech (EXTech).
- Enablement practices are a mixture of technologies and services developed to assist the workforce cultivate the ability and ambition to further integrate technology especially relevant for data scientists and developers.
SelfDrvn, sample Vendor in the Employee Experience Tech (EXTech) Platform category
Benefit Rating: High
Market Penetration: 1% to 5% of target audience
Employee Experience technologies are a varied combination of solutions created to enhance and influence organizational culture and Employee Experience. Two disciplines, behavioral economics and positive psychology are the core focus to maximize Employee Experience in line with organization values and business goals. SelfDrvn has been actively involved in enhancing Employee Experience within the digital space. One of the areas that SelfDrvn has been emphasizing is the emerging future of work which is one of the ultimate demand and emphasis at this point of time. As a practice we highly incorporate Employee Experience principles in our application and solution designs.
According to Research VP, HCM Technology Transformation at Gartner, Ron Hanscome, “In contrast, EXTech solutions and product features seek to increase adoption, engagement and performance through such elements as recommendations, nudges, mindfulness, and connecting workers to others as well as to common purposes. This concept (originally covered by “worker engagement platforms”) has appeared in various disciplines such as gamification, social responsibility, wellness, industry-specific WFM solutions, and social recognition tools”.
SelfDrvn integrative and interactive SaaS platform gives clients data-driven and actionable insights to effectively manage employee engagement in which it encourages talent recognition, rewards positive behaviour and achievement with appreciation badges, points and various levels. Furthermore, it integrates gamification allowing an effective feedback system to help you build trust, cultivate leadership, and include your team in decisions that elevates your company.
In SelfDrvn some of our approaches include but not limited to ongoing simulation, gamification, feedback, mentoring and coaching, employee motivation and encouragement, digital learning, healthy competition, team synergy and participation in social activities social recognition and personalization. In other words, our solution strongly supports multiple activities in ensuring positive employee experience. We create quick wins for employees to experience the benefits from our solutions and it improves the quality of multiple communication and engagement at workplace.
Business Impact vs Employee Experience
There has to be a robust and positive correlation between business impact and employee experience in order for business to taste success. Motivating and empowering employees is nowadays a fundamental task. SelfDrvn adopts various solutions and techniques to upkeep an ever-improving experience that drive motivation and engagement, thus add value to business performance and outcomes leading towards an agile culture in organization. This further supports the Employee Value Proposition (EVP) aiming at improving business and individual performance can help to improve the overall employment value proposition over time by better integrating Employee experience organization’s branding and goals.
As positive and strong impact on Employee Experience is a definite success for business and employee growth and retention. As almost all organizations are striving towards this goal, we play a significant role in championing Employee Experience across various businesses and industries. As the digital era is moving faster than the lightning speed, we have a stronger role to play in ensuring success for all clients and partners.
SelfDrvn was established in 2015 by our CEO, Lam Mun Choong — an entrepreneur with a background in software engineering and a passion for understanding human sciences. Our mission is to enable a world where employee wellbeing is the key to company success. We want to help companies develop a thriving workplace culture that can build great employee engagement, recognition, retention and performance. So we’ve designed a SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) platform that can help organisations improve engagement with their employees and customers through effective communication, gamificationand behavioral analytics. Our product is part technology, part psychology, and part process. We believe that positive empowerment and people-centred strategies are the keys to building a successful business.
Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.
The Gartner Peer Insights Logo is a trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc., and/or its affiliates, and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved.
Regardless of opinion, Millennials seem to be almost the largest in the workforce at the moment. A significant number of leaders especially those from the previous generations of Millennials struggle to manage them effectively. Some of the leaders over the time manage to blend in and understand them which helps in getting things done through the Millennials yet few have to call for the end of the collaboration due to the generation gap and clashes of opinion. First and foremost, the best way to manage a Millennials is to combat the most common stereotypes about them.
These 3 key highlights may help leaders to better understand and manage the millennials thoughtfully.
1. Create Meaning
Millennials strive and dream to create meaning in almost everything that they embark on. They are optimistic and always want to achieve their goals in their own unique way. Being appreciated and valued not just from superiors but peers too are some of their expectations at work, in other word recognition is their distinct feature. Work and target accomplishment is very meaningful to them as they prefer to share it electronically. One of their greatest satisfaction is the sharing on social media, being their daily and continuous boost for them both at work and personal life. They find this engaging and fulfilling.
2. Freedom is Key
Give them the key to freedom or unlock them to achieve freedom within their known and comfort boundaries. Micromanaging is definitely not acceptable by many but then is more predominant among the millennials as they hate being micromanaged and having a close monitoring system on them. Having a personal space and a strong self-belief in themselves are ultimate expectation from everyone around them. Not just that, Millennials want their opinions, ideas and thoughts to be considered and if rejected it should be accompanied with a solid justification. This is highly essential to them. An optimistic approach and the strong self-confidence combined with ability to support and make the business lucrative and profitable in unique and creative ways are other key characteristics in them.
3. Growth Opportunity
It might not be an overstatement if I say everyone of us look for opportunity and growth at workplace and there is no exception for Millennials. With the concept of rank and file becoming outdated, a quick jump and progression in career is becoming more and more popular. A sturdy strength in Millennials is their capability to bring positive and productive changes in business and making things move with the speed of the lightning. In line with these changes and contribution to business they want a fast career progression combined with job satisfaction and concrete engagement at workplace.
In order to get the best out of Millennials, invest more time to better understand them and their working style and get rid of the wrong and harmful myths about them.
Employee engagement brings sense of ownership towards the organization
Engagement driven leadership is definitely a part of leadership by example or being a role model as an extraordinary leader. A leader without title still manages to create followers via engaging them and creating the importance of the presence. Many studies show that the more engaged the employee is the higher the chances of retaining them in the organization be it at emotional or at rational engagement Engaging employee and keep them motivated and retaining them in the organization is a challenging task for many.
Engaging employees is absolutely a topic of key concern among organization and talents and it sternly embeds with talent retention. An engaged employees have a great sense of ownership towards the organization and the leaders (role model), and most likely to stay longer than the other employees and contribute enormously both in their personal growth and to the organization’s success leading way to higher customer satisfaction as well as new businesses.
Leaders who fail to fulfill employee engagement soon or later have to follow the business nearest exit door. It’s time for leaders to establishing a robust reputation, attract and retain talents via in the business world of engagement as the core.
Digital integration to enhance customer relationship, employee engagement and business solutions
In SelfDrvn we work closely with renowned clients with a robust and noteworthy customer base coming from various industries and background. As we have established a solid relationship and significant reputation with our clients, they are always keen to share their engagement plan and strategy for digital integration purpose. One of the substantial learning point for us from these clients is how leaders and companies adopt and welcome ideas with open hands especially from the Gen Y. The ideas gathered through various channels such as organization climate survey, idea box, ongoing surveys and weekly/monthly meetings are then filtered by the cross teams and goes to the hands of the leaders for further engagement efforts. This clearly indicates the great importance that these leaders and organizations give to both employee ideas and concerns to further enhance customer relationship, employee engagement and business solutions.
Our client, Nettium has expressed that SelfDrvn tool has helped and supported the leaders in engaging employees especially the younger workforce. The gamification tool that we applied on them has positively resulted in leaders to be understanding their younger generation workstyle and needs, which further assisted them in solid and engaging management as leaders.
Another feature that Nettium has benefited from SelfDrvn is adopting the feedback culture embedded as one of our services to client. Employee perceive it as a 360-degree feedback tool that anonymously support in promoting the feedback culture in Nettium from their peers as well as managers. With such features, manager has embarked on their self-improvement based on the feedback given by employees and has strengthen their leadership skills along the way.
A good leader has the ability to champion this and manage it tactfully. In other words, engaging talents fuels leadership skills leading towards empowerment and retention at workplace. Extraordinary and successful world leaders involve their team and make them feel valued and engaged and part of the organization.
Transparency and rewards based leadership suits in managing the current generation workforce. Keeping this in mind, SelfDrvn has one of the features allowing employees to voice out their opinions based on the survey questions with point accumulation at the same time. These points later can be used for redemption and also use it for monthly auction purpose.
Leaders who build purpose of employee existence and work on on-going effort to engage them in the team and organization fuels sense of belonging to the organization. Employees feel connected and may be glued to such role models and those leaders always strive in engaging them in every single efforts and keep them informed.
Three key aspects of employee engagement – Motivation, Communication and Bonding
These factors can make or break working relationship and plays an important role in bringing employee under one umbrella within aligned core value and unified goals. An essential challenge is how leaders act as role model and drive the entire engagement efforts instead of being a components of engagement.
Failure to engage employee most likely leads to increased cost to the company and higher turnover. There are many leadership traits but an engaging leader is becoming more prevalent particularly in ensuring to accomplish task through employees and involved employee in. Can you recall the best leader you came across in your life? Was the leader engaging and uplift you and your career in the organization?
Start to Lead!
Engaging talents has always been a daunting task.
The top two challenges in engaging employees are: working with multiple different generations under one roof, and employees wanting fast-tracked career progression. Employee engagement leads organizations towards higher productivity, business success and numbers of delighted customers. But how many of us hit this right to the core?
Engaging employees is definitely a topic of concern among talents, which strongly ties to talent retention. Engaged employees have a great sense of ownership towards the organization, are most likely to stay longer than the rest, and contribute immensely to the organization, laying the path to high customer satisfaction as well as repetitive new businesses. Failure to fulfill this dissatisfies talents to certain extents, and leads them to the company exit door. Establishing a stronger brand name, combined with employee engagement initiatives obviously helps in retention.
Engaged employees have the added benefit of becoming your brand ambassadors. Invest in them.
Engagement also determines to what extent employees are willing to go beyond at their work, and what drives them to do so. Being a rationally committed employee to the organization makes one feel connected, and an employee will strongly believe in staying only if this is in their self-interest. I wouldn’t want to rule out emotional commitment in which employees believe in, and loves to be part of the organization for various reasons with a stronger “Sense of Belonging” to the organization. In your organization, is there an emotional attachment or detachment among employees and the organization?
Categorizing the engagement efforts and linking it with organization strategy and vision can be a first step to success of engaging employees. To start off, it is good to consider both long term and quick wins as well as key objectives of engagement initiatives followed by structuring the talent engagement pillars. Do not let the engagement efforts hang separately.
Align your long, and short-term goals for engagement.
Pillar 1: Communication
Bringing employees together by sharing information and being transparent removes communication barriers in the organization. Engagement efforts within this pillar aims to create crystal-clear information flows, be it top-down or bottom-up. I have personally experienced major communication breakdowns that stems with a vacuum at the mid-level management – key information does not reach all employees.
This is also closely linked with the core values of the organization on how communication is being practiced and managed. Combining both the traditional and modern ways of communicating, the core objective is to emphasize on the transparency and openness of the organization with the employees.
As a leader, your ability to instill trust is directly correlated with your willingness to be transparent with your employees.
Putting the right message across to all employees determines the success of this pillar. Information sharing is essential, and it has to be initiated by the superiors in the organization as a culture. Who should be spearheading and championing this, the communication department, management team, or managers?
Pillar 2: Motivation
Highly motivated employees are likely to perform better and stay more engaged than the rest. Whose role is it to motivate employees? Motivation can be fueled intrinsically or extrinsically. This pillar emphasizes on being a role model and creating positive sparks, along with engaging thoughts among employees. Exploring and understanding employees‘ motivating factors, and customizing it to their needs significantly supports the framework of the engagement model. How can we identify what motivates talents as it differs by cultures and countries? I was once asked by the General Manager to reward the best attendee to eliminate tardiness, yet how many of us agree on this? Is there one formula to motivate, or are multiple channels and efforts required? Go beyond monetary.
Having a comprehensive benefits plan serves to motivate employees beyond simple monetary terms.
Pillar 3: Recreation & Bonding
“Bond” is the magic word that brings employees and teams closer. An easy way of getting this done is to organize recreational and bonding activities such as team building, and integrating a simple mobile application that can be engaging and rewarding for them. An engaging activity strengthens relationships among the workforce, and indirectly helps in managing teams and performance. How much emphasis should an organization place on this? Is there a strong belief and awareness to champion this? How do we know that existing recreational and bonding activities are sufficient, or if a more innovative approach is required – especially to cater to the new generation’s needs at the workplace?
Team building – encourage bonding among colleagues in fun and engaging ways!
In a nutshell – identify, classify, and build upon these 3 pillars, and ensure you have success measures on every engagement initiative, alongside ensuring they are being tied up with the team and organizational KPIs.
Click here to view my e-book on “101 Ways to Engage Your Talents.”
About Prakash Santhanam
Prakash Santhanam is an experienced Talent Management practitioner specializing in Learning & Capability Management, Executive Coaching, Talent Engagement and Performance Management. He has remarkableinternational track record, aligning business strategy with talent strategy in reshaping organization leading towards regional and global success. He possesses 15 years of professional experience predominantly in the automotive, information technology and telecommunication industries across Asia Pacific and Africa. He is also the author to the book “101 Ways to Engage Your Talents“.