Remote Working and Employee (dis)Engagement?

"WFH!" came the terse reply from an engineer I had asked for a time to meet up and go over a rather tricky problem. The engineer in question worked for a large telecom company and I was then working for an IT services firm where “working from home” was severely frowned upon. Today that large … Continue reading Remote Working and Employee (dis)Engagement?

Webinar: Social Learning, A relevant approach to making it happen (22 Feb, 11am)

Key Topics Covered: Social Learning– Need to know or Good to know? · Top three trends of Social Learning – 2014 · Social Learning – Means or End? · Social Learning is only for techies – Not really! · Connect, Create & Brand! The Speaker: Mr Alok Narain (Executive Vice President, Quatrro Global Services) The … Continue reading Webinar: Social Learning, A relevant approach to making it happen (22 Feb, 11am)

Week#6: [Book of the Week] Happiness at Work

'The Art of Happiness at Work' written by HH the Dalai Lama and David Cutler, released in 1998 explored questions like "Where does work fit in to our overall quest for happiness?" and "To what degree does work satisfaction affect our overall life satisfaction and happiness?" The book was deeply rooted in Buddhist principles, especially … Continue reading Week#6: [Book of the Week] Happiness at Work

Annual Performance Reviews – All Noise, No Signal

Back in university when I was busy studying communication theory, the one thing we obsessed over was the SNR or Signal-to-Noise ratio. The professor in charge of teaching us the nuances of what was quite a difficult topic, used to rate the pop-quizzes he gave us on a range of zero to one in increments … Continue reading Annual Performance Reviews – All Noise, No Signal

Increase the shadow of the future (among other things)

Before you hand out the badges and thank-you's to all your hard working employees this week (You do engage with them, don't you?), take a pause and think if you might actually be doing it all wrong! Yes you should recognize (and reward) your employees for the hard work they do, for putting in exemplary … Continue reading Increase the shadow of the future (among other things)

Rewards that go boink! (or the folly of cash as an incentive)

Mark Hanna:   The name of the game, move the money from your client’s pocket into your pocket. Jordan Belfort:   But if you can make your clients money at the same time it’s advantageous to everyone, correct? Mark Hanna:   No (Dialogue from the movie ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’, 2013) I have an article on how … Continue reading Rewards that go boink! (or the folly of cash as an incentive)

Join the VLZ Webinar on ‘Leveraging Social Media for Employee Engagement’

Sign up for the 1st Virtual Learning Zone (VLZ) in 2014 where we will explore the topic of Leveraging Social  Media for Employee Engagement. To register click hereThe Speaker:Anand PillaiSenior Vice President and Chief Learning Officer,Reliance Industries Limited. About the session:In-house social platforms can help build new approaches to collaboration, co-creation, and act as a crucial … Continue reading Join the VLZ Webinar on ‘Leveraging Social Media for Employee Engagement’

n:gage Challenge #2: The Winning Entry

First things first. Have you taken the (completely anonymous, less-than-10-seconds) 'kwench 1-Q survey yet? Please take a few seconds to click a couple of radio buttons if you haven't already. Thanks :)  Here's the link (https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Kwench1QJan2014) So now coming to the winning entry for the n:gage December 2013 Challenge (Squeaky Brakes). Congratulations to Chhavi Anand … Continue reading n:gage Challenge #2: The Winning Entry

The n:gage Challenge #2: Squeaky Brakes

Important Notes (well, kind of important anyway): The n:gage Challenge answers should be submitted latest by midnight 29th December 2013. There is no minimum word limit for solutions; it can be just one line or even one word. One of the submissions as advice for Mahesh in n:gage challenge 1, was just two words: 'Quit … Continue reading The n:gage Challenge #2: Squeaky Brakes

Sorry, but we are different!

‘Yes but... we are different’ is an excuse I hear quite often when managers are confronted with the challenge of making radical changes. (or sometimes even not so radical ones) A typical conversation about focusing on increasing collaboration and lowering barriers revolves around these lines: Yes, we know collaboration is key to innovation, but… - … Continue reading Sorry, but we are different!

n:gage November 2013 – The Challenge!

    It was 8 am on bright sunny day in Bangalore, the city which FastVid called home. Mahesh was in early, in-spite of a late night conference call with his Sales heads in Singapore and Los Angeles. In fact it was the call that was bothering Mahesh. His company was starting to stagnate. The … Continue reading n:gage November 2013 – The Challenge!

Are you ready for the ‘kwench n:gage challenge?

The 'kwench n:gage challenge invites you to present your innovative solution for an employee engagement related conundrum. On the 18th of November, the challenge will be posted on the 'kwench blog. You have till 24th November to send in your proposed solution. We will select the best solution and publish it on the 'kwench blog. … Continue reading Are you ready for the ‘kwench n:gage challenge?

“Un-fire” your employees – one day at a time.

There sure is a lot of stuff out there about “employee engagement” - 72m search results on Google. ‘Employee retention’ throws up around 12m. Search for ‘Employee Firing’ and you get 12m results again! Employee Hiring throws up a whopping 150m pages. Of course, Google search results are hardly the data point one should be … Continue reading “Un-fire” your employees – one day at a time.

Building a high-energy work environment

Usually when people think of an office buzzing with energy with everyone in the ‘zone’ they think of start-ups. Small office, people sitting where they can, cheap furniture, lots of wires criss-crossing the floor from all the machines lying helter-skelter all around. For the record, the first “office” ‘kwench had was a living room and … Continue reading Building a high-energy work environment

Mission Impossible – ‘Presenteeism’ Protocol

The world of banking has a term it dreads – NPA (Non-Performing Assets). These typically refer to loans that are at high risk of default. Your employees are your most precious assets and their best performance is what you bank on to make the organization thrive. The Towers-Watson Global Workforce Study 2012 surveyed over 32,000 … Continue reading Mission Impossible – ‘Presenteeism’ Protocol

The amplifying effect of peer-networks

You hate the slow tedious testing process your company has for its blockbuster product. Surely there is a better way to do things. You get onto the company’s new collaboration platform and connect with like minded people across various departments in the company. Discussions around topics of mutual interest start. Ideas for some new software … Continue reading The amplifying effect of peer-networks

Celebrating small wins: Keeping the progress bar moving!

Have you ever felt frustrated, staring at your monitor while a large file downloads from the internet? I guess most of us have at some time or the other and the temptation to keep checking if the file is actually downloading is very high. You just need to know that it's actually happening! This is … Continue reading Celebrating small wins: Keeping the progress bar moving!

How to (not) create an engagement monster

You get an intern over for a few months. Ask her to google “employee engagement strategy” and make a report. She makes a laundry list of things that engaged companies seem to be doing. Borrow 10 techniques each from the top three most engaged companies on the global list that seem easy enough to do … Continue reading How to (not) create an engagement monster

“Breaking Things” to engage better. A brave new world?

You better walk it / And talk it less you lose that beat Better lose yourself mama / And knock yourself right off of your feet Yeah, if you're moving too fast / Want it to last / You better walk it, talk it - Walk & Talk, Velvet Underground  The company’s core product reaches … Continue reading “Breaking Things” to engage better. A brave new world?

5 tips for busy managers to engage with their teams

A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves. —Lao Tzu. Let’s face it – there is no manager who doesn’t want an engaged outperforming team. What happens is that after getting the kids to school, eating a sandwich … Continue reading 5 tips for busy managers to engage with their teams

Employee engagement strategies you learnt on your mother’s knee

I was down at the local supermarket today morning. As usual I was loitering in the candy and cookies section (a section that is supposedly off-limits for me) when a little girl ran into me and nearly knocked me over. She was so focused on some candies on a shelf way beyond her reach that … Continue reading Employee engagement strategies you learnt on your mother’s knee

The Ascent of Employee Engagement: A (very brief) history of motivation in the workplace (Part 2)

“There is an error; but it is merely the accidental error of mistaking the abstract for the concrete. It is an example of what I will call the ‘Fallacy of Misplaced Concreteness.’... It is not necessary for the intellect to fall into the trap, though {…} there has been a very general tendency to do … Continue reading The Ascent of Employee Engagement: A (very brief) history of motivation in the workplace (Part 2)

The Ascent of Employee Engagement: A (very brief) history of motivation in the workplace (Part 1)

I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past. – Thomas Jefferson Employee Engagement as a concept is going through some exciting changes. As geographical boundaries collapse, and distances are reduced to meaningless numbers – markets are getting more competitive and brutal than ever before. And companies are increasingly realizing … Continue reading The Ascent of Employee Engagement: A (very brief) history of motivation in the workplace (Part 1)

Employee Engagement: Why doesn’t everybody just do it?

Makes you wonder doesn’t it? Everybody knows that engaged employees are much more productive and innovative. Even if you don’t quite believe the exact percentages often quoted, the concept is intuitive enough. Your employees are happy and so they go the extra mile to do a better job. You know you would. Why then would … Continue reading Employee Engagement: Why doesn’t everybody just do it?

Engaging Gen-Y: The ‘Millennial’ Challenge (Part 3 – The strategies)

This is the third and final post in the series. The first post is here, the second is here. It was almost 6. Kaushik, as the HR director was called by all his peers in senior management was slouched in a plush leather chair in one corner of the bar in his club. The chair … Continue reading Engaging Gen-Y: The ‘Millennial’ Challenge (Part 3 – The strategies)

Engaging Gen-Y: The ‘Millennial’ Challenge (Part 2 – The chasm)

(This is the second post in a three part series. The first post is here)  “Just another brick in the wall!” Arvind changed his facebook status message using his Smartphone and he knew the inevitable flood of questions from his network would follow. He was bugged. His status “Da man has arrived – now EA … Continue reading Engaging Gen-Y: The ‘Millennial’ Challenge (Part 2 – The chasm)

Engaging Gen-Y: The ‘Millennial’ Challenge (Part 1 – the Hero Generation)

“You want to think about how to prepare the next generation to move into leadership and they’re already thinking about buying the company.”* Arvind had just joined the company fresh out of India's best B-school. The CEO himself was on the panel that selected Arvindt to join his company's young leaders program. Quick introductions to … Continue reading Engaging Gen-Y: The ‘Millennial’ Challenge (Part 1 – the Hero Generation)

Annual Appraisals: It’s time to move on!

To martyr yourself to caution/ is not going to help at all / because there'll be no safety in numbers / when the right one walks out of the door [Lost for Words, Pink Floyd] Every year, around March-April there is a flurry of mails from HR reminding people to complete their appraisal inputs. Team … Continue reading Annual Appraisals: It’s time to move on!

Happiness: the ‘new’ productivity driver

The latest topic of interest at B-schools interestingly has little to do with finance or advanced operations management and has more to do with the 'well-being' of the workforce in companies. 'Human Flourishing' or 'Subjective Well-being' as some of the Prof's put it, but 'Happiness' to most of us. Research is now showing that contrary … Continue reading Happiness: the ‘new’ productivity driver

SaaS and Cloud Computing: driving HR Transformation

Cloud Com.put.ing (noun; jargon) The practice of using a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet to store, manage, and process data, rather than a local server...* Cloud computing, a pervasive term in the world of technology these days, involves the sharing of resources to achieve economies of scale and maximizing the effectiveness of … Continue reading SaaS and Cloud Computing: driving HR Transformation

“Kwench is clearly the darling of HR teams…”

'kwench was recently featured on SME Mentor (Moneycontrol.com) for its offerings that are helping HR teams in India transform their engagement strategy. Some quotes from top executives at out clients featured in the article. "Employees use the platform not only to give and receive awards but also for peer-to-peer recognition and to congratulate winners. The … Continue reading “Kwench is clearly the darling of HR teams…”

Social Reading: The secret driver for innovation

“The most important reason for going from one place to another is to see what's in between, and they took great pleasure in doing just that.” ― Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth Social Reading as a concept is arguably almost as old as the printed book. Once books didn't cost an arm and a leg, … Continue reading Social Reading: The secret driver for innovation

Notes to the CEO: Transform your employee engagement strategy [Infographic]

You have tried everything - hiked salaries, given huge bonus payouts, taken the whole company on an all expenses paid trip, there's free food in the refrigerator and even a yoga teacher who comes in every Friday to help the team relax. And yet, you don't see it. There is simply no energy. Products aren't … Continue reading Notes to the CEO: Transform your employee engagement strategy [Infographic]

Social Intranets: Your key to a “Knowledge-Creating Company”

By 2016, 50 percent of large organizations will have internal Facebook-like social networks, and that 30 percent of these will be considered as essential as email and telephones are today. (Gartner Research) Social networking sites are increasingly becoming the primary means of communication among people outside of their workplace. It should therefore come as no surprise … Continue reading Social Intranets: Your key to a “Knowledge-Creating Company”

The benefits of Non-Monetary Peer-to-Peer Recognition

“The deepest human need, is to be appreciated” – Willam James, Psychologist In my previous post on what motivates people at the workplace, one of the major takeaways was how people have a need to feel appreciated by their peers. But does peer to peer recognition really have such a big impact? The short answer … Continue reading The benefits of Non-Monetary Peer-to-Peer Recognition

Boosting your employee engagement mindset

It is an open secret that engaged employees are the key to success in today's highly competitive market place. Engaged employees are far more productive, less likely to churn and tend be far more aware of market reality and deliver results. On the other hand research into human psychology has proven time and again that human beings are inherently … Continue reading Boosting your employee engagement mindset