I earlier wrote about how poor employee engagement has the power to kill your business, but implementing truly effective initiatives and programs is easier said than done. Happy employees are the key to business success and having a team of people who feel truly valued will in turn lead to colleagues who will work hard, deliver results, and bring in new ideas to help grow your business and stay in the company.
So to help inspire you, here are 7 amazing employee engagement examples from companies who are doing it right.
Finnish mobile gaming giant Supercell only has 200+ employees, but they still achieved revenue of $2.3 billion in 2016. To put that in perspective, that’s over $6M in revenue - per day - and more than $11M per employee! And they did this by building a company culture that facilitated employee engagement from day one and making the employees the focal point of their success and not the company’s leaders. In a recent interview on tech.eu, Supercell CEO Ilkka Paananen stated that “When the co-founders met, we hardly discussed the games we wanted to make. Instead, we talked about the type of company we wanted to build. We talked about trying to run the company like a sports team. We believed the game developers, not the leaders, should be the superstars.”
They do this through so called ‘cells’, which are small teams of developers who build new mobile games and have full control over everything they do. Paananen stated in the same interview that “My goal is to be the world’s least powerful CEO. What I mean by this is that the fewer decisions I make, the more the teams are making. In a dream scenario that means the team is making all the decisions. A couple of years ago, we were working on something called Smash Land. Everyone in the company loved it, and it was so close to meeting its targets but didn’t quite make them. So the team went to a sauna together, talked it out and took the decision to pull the plug. I was travelling at the time, so they didn’t bother to consult me – they just emailed the company to let them know. That’s just how Supercell should work.”
When music startup Yousician discovered their office in downtown Helsinki would undergo a one month renovation, the company leaders had to decide how they would handle four weeks without a workspace for their team; and this is where they got creative. With offices in Finland being relatively expensive for a month’s one-off rent, CEO Christoph Thür thought why not look beyond the country’s borders. So for a similar price, Yousician rented an entire villa in Greece and flew the whole team - along with their families - to southern Europe for a month. They lived together, worked together - had pool parties together - and turned what many might have considered a huge problem into a memorable experience for their employees and their families.
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Drift is changing the way companies communicate with their website visitors through its chat messaging platform. The company has grown rapidly over the last 12 months and now has 60+ employees compared to 15 about one year ago. Back then when the team was small, Drift CEO David Cancel (DC) had a good idea of what was going on and how people were feeling, but fast forward 12 months and that has become a lot more difficult.
So as a result, David has recently started a new initiative called Random Lunch with DC (no agenda). It’s an extremely simple idea but one that has the power to drive a high level of employee engagement at the Boston company; an odd number of people are randomly selected from different parts of the company to have lunch with DC. There is no agenda for each lunch, but the goal of the initiative is to help everyone get to know one another, to keep communication walls from building up, gain insight on culture and product ideas, and most importantly to help DC identify choke points within the organisation, which have the power to disengage and switch people off. Each lunch will feature a variety of rookies and vets, as well as a mix of people from different functions, and if you’re wondering why each lunch will have an odd number of people, it’s simply to stop people pairing up.
You can hear more about Random Lunch with DC (no agenda) and other stories on Drift’s Seeking Wisdom podcast.
4. Gryphon Secure
Gryphon Secure provides ultra-secure fixed and mobile telecommunication lines for government, enterprise and military organizations. But when it came to future product development they wanted to include their entire global team in deciding which areas they should focus on and prioritise. To do this, they used Innoduel to engage employees in co-creating their product roadmap and asked all their team members around the world to rank the existing feature candidates. As a result they gained unexpected yet highly detailed information about features they should prioritize, which had all been generated by their employees. This ultimately resulted in rethinking product development priorities and also generated savings in R&D.
One of the best opportunities you have to engage with your employees is when they start, and Rosie McCarthy of L’Oréal knows that better than anyone. As part of their wider, strategic onboarding programme for all newcomers worldwide, L’Oréal have developed the world’s first employee onboarding app with the sole purpose of assisting newcomers to understand, decode and master their company culture. Called ‘Fit’, the app reaches up to 10 000 new hires per year and is available in 11 languages, helping new recruits navigate the L’Oréal culture and complete real-life “missions” in order to put their learning into practice.
Richard Branson is arguably one of the greatest leaders of our generation. And it’s not necessarily because of his wild PR adventures or cheeky selfies with napping employees, but because he built a company that champions the employee. Branson understood that building a successful business meant building an environment where people would enjoy to work and a culture that treats people the way they would want to be treated. As Branson himself once stated, “Some 80% of your life is spent working. You want to have fun at home; why shouldn’t you have fun at work?”
What tripadvisor did for travel, Glassdoor did for employee engagement. By building a platform where employees can anonymously rate and review companies and their management, Glassdoor has made employee engagement an imperative focus area that all companies must address. As the boundaries between our personal and professional lives has become increasingly blurred, alongside the rise of millennials in the workplace, so too has the importance of transparency and a truly meaningful company culture. And that makes employee engagement aboslutely vital.
If you're looking to create and launch your own amazing employee engagement initiative, see just how simple it can be with Innoduel. Book a free 15 minute demo and we'll show you how Innoduel works in 3 simple steps.