Learning Motivation For Employee Engagement

Original Article published on eLearning Industry Written by Elias Parlavantzas
From many points of view Employee Engagement is critical for business success and in a broader sense a digital transformation has to take place regardless of the market segment a corporation belongs to. This transformation must include new innovative solutions that motivate employees to produce, share, acquire and retain knowledge, in order to be successful. What a better content/theme then to infuse through a modern Learning Motivation Environment than Corporate Culture, the hottest issue for Employee Engagement.

Employee Engagement: An Old Problem That Needs New Solutions

It is widely accepted that a workforce’s productivity, engagement, quality and consistency of work are key factors contributing to an organization’s success. However, Gallup (Gallup on Employee Engagement in USA) found that almost 70% of Americans are actively disengaged in their work, costing the US economy billions of dollars annually. The link between employee engagement and business performance is well documented: increased operational efficiency, improved productivity and quality of service, and increased customer satisfaction and retention lead to increased revenue and profitability. It is therefore no surprise that employee engagement and retention is the second biggest business concern after leadership development (Human Capital Trends 2014 by Deloitte University Press). Anything that improves employee engagement in a non-haphazard manner is critical.

The business model perspective

One way to address the need for consistent engagement is by transforming the traditional business operating model into a purposeful digital enterprise. Even if digital investments take place gradually, successful transformation is not always guaranteed, due to poor employee response. Successful projects rely on a deep understanding of behavioral psychology, digital culture and, most importantly, motivation.

Organizations and employers, who are under pressure to further digitize an already digitally-experienced workforce, understand the need for a culture change. They realize the increasing importance of adopting innovative solutions to true business transformation.

Correctly applying modern but well thought out solutions that utilize the wealth of new ‘tools’ like cloud, mobile, social media, fast connections, and techniques like enterprise gamification, social and mobile learning, micro-learning, pull rather than push methods, and social employee recognition systems; leads to increased intrinsic motivation, which is overwhelmingly rated as more important than extrinsic in all researches. Intrinsic motivation is the basis for sustained workforce engagement and a driver for self-initiated behavioral change to achieve improved business outcomes.

Motivation-changing solutions and environments can be exploited in most areas related to human capital management, including on-boarding, training, wellness, collaboration, performance, innovation, change management, and sustainability.

Providing a powerful and contemporary digital environment to employees where cross-departmental or even company-wide sharing of on-the-job information, improvement ideas, knowledge and best practices is facilitated, nurtured and rewarded, promotes a positive company culture that affects all generations of workers. From the Millennials that practically demand the existence of such digital environments, to senior workers holding a wealth of legacy insight on the organization that has to be maintained and disseminated in order to provide a sustained competitive advantage.

The Corporate Culture perspective

We have seen how employee engagement can be improved from a platform perspective by adopting a modern, digital, motivation-changing environment. But what is the bigger concern nowadays regarding the content-information that has to be infused from the CEO down to the last employee and which majorly affects engagement and, eventually, business success? According to the analysts, it is Corporate Culture that aligns the entire company towards achieving its vision, mission, and goals.

It is therefore important to develop, nurture and maintain a vibrant Corporate Culture, thereby actively and passionately engaging employees in having a sense of confidence and empowerment and making them highly involved, strong internal evangelists, even innovators, offering the organization unprecedented results.

While not a specialized Culture & Engagement tool per se, a Learning Motivation Environment (LME) with its broader reach also has the ability to drive intrinsic motivation through the transmission of purpose and values to employees. It can do so since it can positively affect all the elements and ‘sub-cultures’ that make a Corporate Culture a great one; one that drives engagement in the working environment.

Elements and sub-cultures of Corporate Culture enhanced by an LME

Based on theories of psychology and the principles of what motivates people, autonomy, mastery and purpose, a well designed environment can help employees value their work while at the same time aiding collaboration in smaller teams.

The social collaboration characteristic mentioned above coupled with recognition mechanics and a sleek and streamlined interface makes an LME an excellent base on which to build a coaching culture where managers help employees develop and exploit their strengths for their personal development and the company’s benefit, and where performance evaluation becomes more accurate and fair through continuous feedback.

With built-in recognition mechanics that promote peer evaluation, as opposed to solely top-down evaluation, a successfully implemented LME is also the base for another extremely important (sub-)culture: a recognition culture that can boost performance and minimize turnover.

An LME motivates employees to contribute useful content and ideas and be rewarded and acknowledged for it, which under other circumstances might not happen for organizational or even cultural reasons, and promotes another element that makes companies a great place to work: the feeling of inclusion.

The most obvious (sub-)culture an LME can affect is the creation of a modern learning culture away from cumbersome legacy solutions that try to survive the new era with module additions that make them even more difficult to use. All the characteristics already mentioned help organizations offer significant learning and development opportunities for their employees, thereby enhancing engagement and retention, while successful training and empowerment increase productivity and profit.

Senior C-level executives act as mentors, to inspire, to share the vision and to engage everyone in fulfilling the company’s goals, making a proper LME a perfect fit. It is more than clear that also the adoption of a Learning Motivational Environment that follows the new paradigm is the best way to diffuse, refresh, and realign Company Culture to employees in a continuous manner.

Original Article published on eLearning Industry Written by Elias Parlavantzas

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