Employee Engagement

Employee's talking at a desk with laptop

Why Empathy in the Workplace Matters

Why Empathy in the Workplace Matters 1228 808 VP Legacies

Empathy is your ability to understand someone else’s perspective by putting yourself in their shoes. In other words, it means you try to understand how someone thinks and feels without necessarily having had the same experience. As a result, you become more compassionate and understanding. 

When it comes to the workplace, empathy holds the potential to energize your employees with real connections across the board. The ability to put yourself in your coworkers’ and employees’ shoes means you can better take into consideration their point of view and any concerns they have. You can use these perspectives to create meaningful change. At VP Legacies, we value Personal Connection® as a way to satisfy your employees and increase employee retention. Here’s how you can use empathy to improve your workplace culture.

Related: 9 Reasons Why Your Employees are Your Company’s Most Valuable Assets

Empathy Affects Work Culture 

Studies about empathy have shown that a more empathetic workforce results in better employee retention, communication, culture, quality of work-life, and productivity. The main reason for this is that empathy helps to promote the following in a workplace culture:

  • Employees feel able to openly communicate – not just when they’re successful, but when they face challenges. Empathy improves internal communication by reassuring employees that their colleagues will do their best to understand them and help them through challenges rather than placing blame.
  • Your company leadership understands employee performance in greater detail. Being able to empathize with employees will allow you to use emotional intelligence to have a sense of their needs. For instance, a lack of employee engagement may indicate a need to create a custom eLearning plan for more professional development opportunities.
  • In any task-based situation, it’s easier to process ideas and address problems put forth by fellow employees if you act with empathy. It fosters better internal communication by helping you know the right questions to ask. As a result,  you’ll communicate responses with effective word choice, tone, and content based on the other person’s perspective. 

Learn more about empathy in the workplace with Personal Connection® 101, VP Legacies’ eLearning course for businesses. 

Challenges

Two businesswomen discuss communication challenges in the workplace

Given the potentially productive aspects of empathy, the fact of the matter is that empathy in the workplace is often still lacking. A lot of that has to do with the innate challenges involved in cultivating the skill of empathy. Acting with empathy can be a challenge for the following reasons.

  • Self-awareness and understanding are lifelong skills that need to be strengthened over time. Doing this when it comes to someone else is even more challenging. We’re often focused on the tasks that we need to complete, preventing us from connecting with those around us. Being aware of the way we inhabit space allows us to connect better.
  • Vulnerability is key to empathy, it involves putting someone else’s wants and needs above oneself. This means you need to be truly committed to helping your colleagues, and that often takes some emotional labor. In the workplace context where we often behave in a way to remind others of our authority, we may actually be intimidating others and putting up barriers. 
  • Workplaces are built on putting the ‘business’ and company values first. To some, empathy looks like sacrificing business for employee satisfaction. In reality, the two are inextricably intertwined. After all, you need your employees to reach your bottom line, and their happiness should be a priority.

It takes some effort to be an authentically empathetic leader, but the benefits far outweigh the challenges. Your hard work will show employees that you’re willing to reciprocate their best efforts.

Some Ways Empathy Helps the Workplace

Active listening

Workplaces commonly involve what’s known as passive listening, and many workplace surveys indicate roughly 30% of employees feel that their opinions don’t matter. 

This is where better communication in the form of active listening can help. It’s challenging, but this means ensuring that:

  • You acknowledge colleagues when they are communicating, either by nodding or giving verbal indication. Sometimes, it helps to repeat or rephrase what they say just to make sure you understand fully.
  • Asking clarifying questions and leaving back and forths open-ended. A common practice of doing this is by always responding with ‘Yes, and…’ that allows the conversation to continue.
  • Keeping the environment distraction-free during a discussion. This involves having laptop screens closed, and mobiles put away. 

In addition to all of this, it is ensuring one’s accessible and available for colleagues to reach out and talk to you.

Related: How internal communication strategies boost employee engagement 

Ask specific questions

A man in a black blazer speaks at a project management conference

Beyond active listening, it’s also important to get better at asking the right questions to promote a culture of empathy. The key here is asking questions that deep-dive and get to the core of an issue or discussion. By doing this, you’re better able to understand the other person’s perspective. 

Examples of deep-dive questioning are introducing specificity and focusing on key details. Follow up with questions that uncover the who, what, when, where, and most important, the ‘why’. 

Avoid any ‘one-size-fits’ all questions, that are far too open-ended and such as ‘Okay, what’s the issue?’ but try to triangulate a specific area to better understand when asking a question. 

Promote assurance and an open mind

Creating a culture that promotes acknowledgment and assurance is also key in helping build up empathy in the workplace. What this means is to approach coworkers with an open mind and acknowledge that what they have done or will do is in one’s own and company’s best interest. 

When issues arise in the workplace, it’s common to make judgments based on one’s own experiences. Promoting an empathetic workplace means that one makes an effort to realize that a workplace consists of a wide range of roles and teams, and effective internal communication should incorporate multiple perspectives. 

Each department and each employee faces their own struggles. Without being in their shoes, it’s hard to fully understand the reasons behind what’s going on. 

Statements of assurance and acknowledgment can be powerful here, so a good practice when a workplace issue arises is to communicate with a preface of “I hear what you’re saying” or “I understand your frustration” before diving in. 

This lets the other person know that you have tried to empathize and keep their perspective in mind. 

Related: 10 Ways to Reduce Employee Turnover

Be more open with colleagues

Two men in a coffee shop laugh together

One of the main factors to a great culture at work is when employees genuinely love to spend time with each other. This means you need to foster deep Personal Connection®, and empathy helps a lot here. 

By not keeping your coworkers an arm’s length away and being more open with them about yourself, your experiences, and your challenges can foster Personal Connection® and strengthen professional bonds. 

It’s a marathon, not a sprint

Developing the ability to empathize with colleagues doesn’t happen overnight. Empathy involves mastering a lot of pieces such as the ability to be more introspective, ask better questions, and listen more actively, and much more. 

It’s important to start slowly and focus on one of these areas. Generally, becoming a more effective communicator at work is the best first step towards mastering empathy. 

And don’t let any setbacks deter progress. It’s a challenging endeavor but once mastered can mean a more productive and fulfilling work environment. 

Help Employees Feel Heard

An empathetic workplace means more compassion and percolates through the office. Colleagues are more cordial and understanding of one another, and this means resolving issues quickly while fostering teamwork. Empathy reminds your employees that you care about their emotional wellbeing. With this knowledge, they’ll feel comfortable coming to you to share challenges and successes.

If you want to get started creating an empathetic workplace, our Personal Connection® 101 course is a great start. You’ll learn how to connect meaningfully with employees in real life and with online platforms, creating a workplace culture that values connectivity.

Find a course that meets your company’s goals at VP Legacies.

How to Prepare Employees for a Recession

How to Prepare Employees for a Recession 1232 766 VP Legacies

A smart business prepares itself for anything, especially for a recession. A recession forces human resource personnel to make strategic decisions about spending that might affect employees in a negative way. In times like these, effective internal communication is more important than ever.

Luckily, there are signs companies can look for that might indicate a recession so they have ample amount of time to prepare their employees. For example, the rising rate of unemployment and declining quit rate are signs pointing towards a recession. When a recruiter tells the company that the number of job postings is going down, then that means a recession is approaching within six months.

Luckily, if the employer knows that a recession is about to happen, there are strategies that they can take to prepare their employees. At VP Legacies, we help you retain your valuable employees with strategies for personal connection and effective internal communication. Here’s our guide to preparing them for a recession.

Related: A Guide to Effective Crisis Communication

Track Metrics

The first step in planning for a recession is to have a metric in place. Companies without a tracking metric lack preparation and might end up having to make more spending cuts than necessary. This system should review information about compensation, training, productivity, and other items related to the business goals and the financial aspect. These data will help organizations know what to expect if they were to downsize and might even help them minimize layoffs.

Performance Issues

No one wants to layoff their employees, but sometimes, this is inevitable. Before the recession begins, human resources need to evaluate and document the employee’s work. The common mistake that businesses make is laying off employees that underperform without ample documentation. However, if there is no proof that the employee is underperforming, then that is a lawsuit waiting to happen. 

Another aspect is to be cautious of the reason for laying off an employee. For example, an older and less productive worker can file a lawsuit claiming that he can’t work in the company anymore because of his age. The last thing you want is a company to be struck with months of litigation that can compromise your team.

Documenting employee performance encourages employees to perform well, exceeding expectations during a recession and helping to minimize the number of cuts your company needs to make.

Allocate Resources

The company can save money by decreasing the number of bonuses that they give to employees. It’s up to HR to find out how to allocate limited rewards and monetary gains to workers by looking at the performance review. Of course, employee wages are one of the last (if not the last) categories of spending that you’ll want to reduce. Unfortunately, this might be inevitable.

In the meantime, make sure to let employees know you appreciate their efforts. This might be something as simple as sending an email or keeping your office door open at times to indicate you’re willing to talk. Lines of communications are more important then ever, despite (and perhaps even because of) the possibility of disappointing news.

Evaluate Programs

The company should determine which programs to cut down, and which are useful and should continue throughout the recession. For example, if the company has a high rate of accidents, then they should not cut down the safety training program

A common mistake that employers make is cutting down training development. However, training is vital in building skills and capabilities for future employees. Short, microlearning modules are an affordable option that can minimize spending while ensuring that employees continue to develop necessary skills even during a recession.

Using SWOT Analysis to Help You

The SWOT analysis stands for strength, weakness, opportunity, and threats. This report allows HR to create cost-benefit data about which strategies contribute the most to the business. It helps them indicate which programs should stay and which should go.

Another thing is that SWOT analysis can indicate if recruitment should be reduced or not. The report will show if there are enough funds to incorporate more workers and how many current employees you can maintain. SWOT analysis provides a useful way to avoid unnecessary employee cuts. With thorough analysis, you might even identify wasteful fund usage in areas like corporate events, technology, and other categories where budget restriction isn’t as crucial as it is for your employees.

Flexibility

It’s vital to create a plan to move workers to where they needed to be. That means you should train your workforce to take on various roles in the company in case you may have to suspend the hiring process. 

Another creative and flexible approach is to use workers and technology together. That means you can have employees work 30 hours a week, and use technology to perform the remaining jobs. You can also have recruiters to get on board in the company to manage the employee. In order for this to work, internal communication is vital. You must ensure adequate pathways to communicate even between departments.

Avoid Constant Layoffs

Organizations must avoid constant layoffs. This demoralizing cycle can strip employees away from the security and comfort of working for your company. It’s best to use layoffs as a last resort, and instead make other cuts so that your employees still feel a personal connection to your company.

If a worker who has the most experience and works the hardest in the company observes massive layoffs during the recession, then he or she would be discouraged from continuing their work. Your top employees might start looking for another job that will give them the security that they need. This issue would entail losing a valuable worker and wasting hours of training them.

Keep Employees Informed

Companies need to find the right balance between transparency and not scaring the workers. That means it’s essential to keep the employees informed about the recession and solutions to deal with it, but not share too much information that would put personal connections at stake. After all, no one likes walking into work to find out that the business is cutting half of its employees. Honest internal communication is essential, and it prevents the company from burning any bridges with employees. 

To prevent social media backlash and maintain the trust of current employees, it’s vital to handle layoffs professionally and respectfully. 

Gratitude

Companies need to show gratitude and appreciation for staff members who have worked hard and take on more responsibilities than other workers. 

Gratitude often comes in forms of better recognition and new titles. Showing appreciation can reduce the worker’s fear that they could be the next ones to get fired. Gratitude can come in a variety of forms, such as a pizza lunch or gift card as a small token of appreciation to show that the company acknowledges the employee’s hard work. Praise maintains personal connections between employees and managers, even when economic times are difficult.

Related: Key Takeaways from Recession-Proof Businesses

Empathy

The worst way to handle a layoff is to have security escort the worker out of the door. This issue can discourage the remaining workers, causing them to look for another job.

There is a proper way of laying someone off. It’s vital to show empathy by understanding how they may feel about the situation. That means being respectful with the individual getting laid off by explaining the reasons and thanking them for being in the company. 

It’s also essential for the department to sit down with the remaining workers to discuss potential layoffs, benefits, and severance. HR can let eligible workers know that they can reapply when the company hires again. 

Ensure Everyone is Inspired

The most valuable aspect of the survival of the company during a recession is the employee’s passion and love for the organization. If the workers invest their heart and soul in the company, they will take on a new role and work extremely hard to get the task finished despite having a shortage of staff. 

They are more likely to take a pay cut but work harder to ensure that the company stays alive. If the workers are inspired and passionate about the organization, they will do whatever it takes to keep it thriving during the recession. 

The best way to ensure that everyone is vested in the company’s success is to motivate them and to promise a better future. Employers that are honest and trustworthy are most likely to create inspiring people. 

It’s a good idea to let employees know that there could be a potential raise or bonuses after the recession. That way, it keeps them motivated to work twice as hard for the survival of the organization.

Enhance communication

Before a recession or anything that happens to a company, the organization must have a good relationship with its employees. 

The best way to do this is to hire a consultant such as VP Legacies to create strategies to build a great relationship and identify opportunities for personal growth and connection with employees. 

The primary strategy is to focus on empathy and consistency to improve employee retention. These communication strategies are essential to help both employers and employees to cope with the recession.

Keeping Everyone in the Loop

Owning and/or managing a company is like a roller coaster ride. One minute you are on top of the world, and the next you’re facing a recession. It’s easy for a company to thrive and do well during economic growth, but when the recession happens, the organization will have to find ways to survive. 

The main objective is to save money and to cut down on unnecessary programs. Another aspect of survival is to lay off employees. However, the best way to help your workers prepare for the recession is to show empathy, gratitude, and keep them informed during the situation. 

There are also other strategies, such as understanding the metric, data, and swot analysis of the company to get an overall report of what to expect during the downsizing process. 

With the proper techniques and skills, your company would be able to prepare employees successfully during the recession if you engage your employees. To get started with eLearning, microlearning, and other strategies to help your employees feel valued and engaged, check out VP Legacies courses and more.

Related: Custom eLearning Development

How to Create a Recession-Proof Employee Retention Plan

How to Create a Recession-Proof Employee Retention Plan 1218 780 VP Legacies

Talent management is a crucial aspect in cultivating a healthy workplace. Employees and employers work in a mutually beneficial manner, where employees provide their skills and knowledge to help make the company a success. In turn, the company offers them a stable source of income and (ideally) professional fulfillment. 

This is the ideal scenario in an ideal world. However, things don’t always stay the same, especially when there’s an economic slowdown or a recession. Managing employees becomes complicated when there are external forces that an employer has no control over. 

To counter any influence of such external forces, it’s essential to optimize for long-term employee retention even in times of economic hardship. At VP Legacies, we believe in the power of personal connection as a way to engage employees. But how can you connect during a recession? Here’s our guide.

Related: A Guide to Effective Crisis Communication

Why Is Employee Retention Important?

Employee retention is how companies make sure that their talent stays with them. When it comes to an unpredictable scenario like recession, employee retention plays a huge role in minimizing losses for employers. When the market situation is unstable, employees tend to feel unsafe and thus are more likely to jump ship. 

For an employer, hiring a new employee costs money. There’s training, onboarding, and other costs involved that put a dent in an already tightened wallet. Employee retention is beneficial for both employees and employers.

How to Create a Recession-Proof Employee Retention Plan

This recession-proof employee retention plan will keep employee morale high and make a company surf against the tides of recession when it comes to managing their human resources.

Communication Is Key


The first step to retaining employees is to have a solid internal communication strategy. Employees like to stay updated about some of the inner workings of an organization. Every big or small success should be shared with the employees. Not only do they feel like their work is producing a tangible benefit but it also increases their confidence in the company. This plays a huge role during the recession as employees won’t feel like their job is at risk as the company is doing well and keeps them updated.

Focus On Training

All employees want to grow on a professional level. If they feel like they’ve stagnated, they’ll look for opportunities where they see scope for them to grow and learn more. If an organization has a training program, employees won’t look for the same opportunity elsewhere as there’s a risk involved. 

Invest in training employees, giving them the opportunity to learn and grow and it will reward an organization by increased loyalty and increased productivity. In addition to onboarding training, ongoing training is also important. This helps employees feel valued and develop a personal connection with your company.

Need to build a custom eLearning training program for your company? Find out how VP Legacies can help.

Provide Recognition

Apart from their salary, employees also want to feel appreciated on a personal level. They put in 8-10 hours on a daily basis for a company, and reinforcing them with due praise in any way you can will affect their morale, productivity, and happiness. 

If you don’t reinforce your valued employees, they might feel insecure about their job status and start looking for a new job during a recession. To avoid this, one must make sure all employees feel valued and appreciated. This can be done by recognizing their achievements, hard work, and team effort. By setting up reward systems and incentivizing their contribution, employers are safeguarding the interests of the employees and in turn, benefiting from their increased morale.

Stay Connected

The importance of developing a personal connection is heavily underrated in the rulebook of employee retention. Armchair management just does not work when it comes to a healthy workplace environment. The sheer fact that the leaders in an organization are present and active gives employees a sense of comfort. Personal connections with top-level employees gives forth a sense of availability and trust that is hard to achieve with distant and absent leadership.

Seek Feedback


How does one know what an employee wants? The easiest way is to simply ask them. Often plans don’t work how they are intended to and most managements have no way of quantifying the results. To do so, getting employee feedback becomes a necessity. 

An anonymous feedback program can offer invaluable insight into what the employees are thinking and can expose the management to shortcomings they aren’t even aware of. This helps draft a more effective plan of action for the future of any organization.

Take Action

The next step after receiving feedback is to take action. If one has all the information necessary, there needs to be a certain plan of action to implement whatever decision has been made. When employees notice that their opinions are being heard and acted upon in an organization, they feel a personal connection that motivates them to work harder and with a boost in their morale. The key to employee retention is to take the right action at the right time and to be proactive as and when the need arises.

Manage Change Effectively

Change is an inevitable part of every organization. Sometimes it is positive and sometimes it is negative, what matters is how an organization deals with the change and more importantly how it deals with the employees during that period. Remember that when an organization is changing, the employees too feel the effect of the change – whether it is a rise in sales or a merger or even layoffs.

It is important to have a strong internal communication strategy to convey these changes so as to keep the employees updated and to stop any rumors or misinformation from spreading within the organization.

Maintain Balance

To retain employees, organizations have to take the extra step to maintain a work-life balance. Every employee cherishes their time out of the workplace and an organization that prohibits them from that in any manner, intentionally or unintentionally, will be met with high turnover rates, even during a recession. 

Professional Growth Strategies for Employee Retention

If an organization has a culture that promotes communication, conversation, feedback and honesty, employees are much more likely to stick around. Aside from their income, they also value their time, respect and happiness. If a workplace is able to provide all of these, then an employee has no reason to leave and take a risk of starting afresh in a different organization. On the other hand, a workplace culture where employees can seek feedback, improve, and be recognized for their labor is one that incourages employees to stay. Building connections with employees helps them feel supported and empowers them to grow their skillset – thus allowing them to contribute to your company in a positive way.

Employee retention is about creating and harboring a safe culture for the employees and encouraging them to live a happier, more productive life both in and out of their workplace. Are you ready to get started with effective communication? Learn how VP Legacies can help you with an internal communication strategy.
Related: Key Takeaways from Recession-Proof Businesses

Denver Startup Week: What To Do with Employee Engagement Data

Denver Startup Week: What To Do with Employee Engagement Data 1086 670 VP Legacies

Employee engagement is more than a survey. 

Although surveys are the start of collecting the data you need to propel your company forward, it takes a conscious effort on part of your executive-level employees to actually leverage this information. You’ll need to consider what employee metrics and data mean, and how you can transform them into strategies to build better employee engagement and a better company. Furthermore, how do you use employee engagement data to find the “right fit” for future hires?

At Denver Startup Week, Colorado leaders across different industries have shared great use cases to accomplish the same goal: right fit hires and a more engaged workforce. VP Legacies contributed insight about devoting resources to forging authentic personal connections across levels and departments.

Related: The Ultimate Guide to Building a Corporate Communication Strategy

What Is Denver Startup Week?

Source: Colorado Biz Magazine

Denver Startup Week is all about sharing new ideas and creating personal connections with the people involved in Denver tech companies and Denver startups. Both Jobber Group and VP Legacies were heavily involved in the week between attending events and hosting various events. 

Jobber Group specifically put together a panel made up of innovative executives working in their own Denver startups to engage and create personal connection with their employees to close the week on a high note. On September 29, 2017 Jobber Group invited  VP Legacies (us) to the Denver Startup Week Employee Engagement Panel called “I’m Measuring Employee Engagement…Now What?” to capture the responses from these talented executives.

Our Talk on Employee Engagement

In conjunction with Jobber Group we have put together the 90 minute video of the Denver Startup Week Employee Engagement Panel: “I’m Measuring Employee Engagement…Now What?” for your viewing pleasure. We highly recommend watching 15 to 30 minutes of it by skimming through it at the very least.

We want to say thank you to our featured panel members and their organizations they represent (Listed in order of appearance in the video below):

Craig Smith, President and COO, HomeAdvisor

Anne Rooney McCord, VP Human Resources, Peak 10 + ViaWest

Rob Dravenstott, SVP and CIO at Dish Network 

Noël Mink, Manager HR Operations, City of Aurora


Want to further engage your employees? Get started with a VP Legacies course built for establishing and maintaining real professional relationships.

What Is a Company’s Greatest Asset?

Our biggest takeaway from the Denver Startup Week Employee Engagement Panel: “I’m Measuring Employee Engagement…Now What?” is that no matter what kind of organization you own, manage or work for, people are the most important asset. Therefore, they should be treated as such with personal connection being at the forefront. 

Data tells only half of the story, and it’s up to you to decide what happens next. Therefore, use the data to connect with your peers and create employee engagement. Use insight to further develop your employee branding strategy to attract and retain talent. At VP Legacies, we’ll help you use data to identify challenges, then deploy a strategy to address these issues while building on your successes. 

Related: 9 Reasons Why Your Employees Are Your Company’s Most Valuable Asset

How Microlearning Helps with Better Engagement

How Microlearning Helps with Better Engagement 1232 796 VP Legacies

Microlearning allows employees to help their employees do their jobs better and gain long-term skills for  professional development. The short learning bytes associated with microlearning improve internal communication by creating smooth pathways for knowledge transfer and increase knowledge retention. The modules of microlearning are available anytime and anywhere.

The microlearning modules can take the form of standalone courses or as segments of a longer core curriculum. Equipped with a formal learning strategy, employees can incorporate new skills as they begin to acquire them. Since engaging employees is key to creating a workplace with real personal connections, microlearning becomes even more important.

With the pressure to complete tasks quickly often affecting employee performance, it can be difficult to encourage employees to take time out of their day and complete modules with enthusiasm and deep thought. The time frame of microlearning and its adaptation to technology and modern education methods means it’s the perfect way to connect with employees and inspire them to learn. At VP Legacies, we believe your employees are your best asset. Here’s how you can keep them engaged with microlearning.

Related: eLearning vs. Microlearning: What Are the Differences?

What is Microlearning?

Microlearning can be defined as the delivery of short bursts of content provided to learners so as to help them study for their convenience. All categories of microlearning-based training share the characteristic of brevity, which can either be provided as short-term learning activities or small learning units. 

From text to complete interactive media, microlearning content can take various forms. Regardless of the type, the length of the content should be short and precise. You know how reticent employees might be when they’re looking at a long, seemingly endless email in comparison to one that’s short and sweet. Just like an email or another form of internal communication, microlearning should be brief and to the point.  Some examples of microlearning content include text (phrases and short paragraphs), images (photos and illustrations), short videos, audios (small snippets of speech or music), tests and quizzes, and games. 

Different types of microlearning support different formats. Bite-sized learning has actually been around for quite a long time, even before computers came into being. However, the popularity of short bursts of learning has increased in the past few years, especially since smartphones entered the market. In fact, you can even think of leading microlearning platforms as a mix of Instagram and Twitter but in an educational form. 

What are the Benefits of Microlearning in Employee Engagement?

Organizations can benefit greatly from microlearning in terms of employee engagement and several other factors. Some of these benefits are as follows:

Improves Long Term Skills

Microlearning is a great way to make employees improve job performance. The short, frequent nature of microlearning provides knowledge to employees in moments of extreme need, making them highly accessible and adaptable. 

There’s crucial enforcement of previous learning that takes place when employees are subjected to microlearning. The periodic reinforcement they receive allows them to get through their tasks faster, and the instant accessibility lets them become more productive. As the delivery of knowledge happens within the workforce, getting proficient takes a shorter amount of time.

That means that not only will they learn skills that are immediately necessary but retain them better for the future.

Forms Personal Connections

With the right-on-time support and efficient reinforcement, learners get to polish and hone their skills. Since your company is helping them sharpen their long-term skills, you’re also reinforcing their knowledge that you’re committed to helping them grow professionally. If multiple employees are using these modules, they have something to talk about either informally or at meetings.

Related: 9 Reasons Why Your Employees Are Your Company’s Most Valuable Asset

Decreases Delivery Time and Development Cost

As microlearning techniques have a short duration, they don’t require complex graphics or animations. This equates to lower costs in development and quicker turnaround times. This is what makes microlearning easy to design, develop, and deliver.

Be it a standalone asset, a component of grander training initiatives, a solution to finish a task, or a performance tool, microlearning supports an array of purposes and is easy to maintain. Microlearning gives a more efficient ROI and the benefits of implementing far outweigh the costs. This is due to the fact that they can be reused for a milieu of training purposes. 

Applicable for Reuse and Repurposing

Once tweaked a little, the content created for one type of microlearning can be used for other training purposes as well. It’s the modular setup of microlearning that makes it easy and quick to repurpose content. The elements of microlearning can be blended to develop new content.

Since the modules of microlearning are versatile, they can be employed for various purposes across the organization, and used for eclectic learning objectives. With the business objectives constantly changing and developing, microlearning helps you with keeping up by creating forms of learning that match the respective objectives. If multiple employees take on microlearning, you can also improve internal communication by making sure everyone is on the same page about workflow and standard operational protocol.

Makes Training Simpler

We all know that microlearning is easier to manage because of its brevity. As a result, microlearning helps organizations train employees at an accelerated pace and in a much more cost-effective manner. Therefore, the cost associated with creating course manuals for traditional training sessions is eliminated.

The issue of using outdated learning material is something companies will never have to face, since the modules of microlearning can be updated easily. Organizations are able to keep up with the ever-changing business requirements and strategies due to the modular features of microlearning. By providing updated courses to their employees, training managers are able to give their employees a learning experience that’s stress-free. This is because the courses are accessible anytime and anywhere. 

Microlearning is Available on Demand

The microlearning modules are so easy to access that your employees can avail them even from their mobile devices. Therefore, the possibility of building their skills is available to them all the time. If a salesperson, for instance, is meeting a client and needs to know some urgent information, they can just look up the related content about the product and complete the task.

Since microlearning incorporates newly acquired skills right away, they’re bound to remember it for a long time. When information is readily available to employees instead of it being thrusted on them, they feel more empowered, and this leads to a better return-on-investment. 

Microlearning Provides Customized Learning Experiences

Each learner is different and has a unique way of consuming content and retaining information. The same content can’t apply to everyone, and it’s unwise to want to train every employee in a similar manner.

Microlearning is a breath of fresh air in this regard because learners get the option to personalize their learning experiences and choose their own learning path. They can select the modules they want to complete and the ones they wish to omit in order to save time.

They can also choose certifications based on what will help their career. Therefore, microlearning empowers employees through knowledge. Once they’re held accountable for polishing their skills, they begin to take it more seriously.

Microlearning Helps with Attention Spans

It’s easier to engage people in a shorter time frame rather than a long time frame. Therefore, thinking of putting your employees through long training sessions is definitely a bad idea. Microlearning can help you with that.

Microlearning breaks down each and every learning outcome, thereby delivering relevant and to-the-point content. When knowledge is provided to employees in shorter snippets, it’s easier for them to consume and digest. Modern learners want to gain knowledge without having to spend hours on it, and microlearning is the perfect format for it, as its modules are easy to recall and remember.

Microlearning Engages Modern Learners

The modern learner uses technology for almost everything, such as banking, shopping, and more. These tech-savvy beings enjoy learning when technology is involved and incorporated in smart ways. Since microlearning uses technology to impart knowledge, they find it easier to learn.

It keeps them engaged and captures their attention since it’s readily available and fun to engage with. It removes the burden of having to be somewhere physically in order to learn. No particular device is necessary for microlearning, and the ability to choose a device of their choice increases the employee engagement further.

Microlearning Provides Instant Feedback

In microlearning, tracking and pulling out reports is easy. It helps with internal communication by providing instant feedback to your employees, and when employees are provided instant feedback for their performance at work, they can assess their performance and avoid errors in the future. 

The process of transferring information is more effective in microlearning. This leads to less time taken for training, which in turn leads to a higher return-on-investment. Even if you choose a specific module, you can easily edit it within a short span of time. 

Examples of Microlearning with Your Employees

Microlearning allows employees to deal with challenges and find the answers on their own. If you want to use microlearning for better employee engagement, here are some ways to do so:

Videos

You can offer animated videos and whiteboard videos to your employees. They can either be stand-alone modules or sections of a microlearning course. They increase engagement by explaining an abstract idea, providing step-by-step procedures for the visual learners, and providing a different take for those who prefer text by combining animated texts and videos.

Infographics

Infographics are useful because they help condense all the content from a long period of training into the most important points and takeaways. More information can be provided through interactive infographics, which deepens the training and enables the employees to learn more. 

This category of microlearning can be used by organizations in their employee onboarding process in order to take in employees quickly and bring them up to speed with the policies and procedures of the company. Infographics improve internal communication by making basic information readily available so that direct communication can target other detailed points of interest.

Webcasts and Podcasts

Podcasts and webcasts can be an effective tool in microlearning, especially when your employees spend quite a lot of time on the road. You can choose to make your podcasts longer and in-depth, basic and precise, or perhaps a moderately detailed discussion of important theories. 

Webcasts, too, can provide a more visual approach. When viewed live, webcasts also allow for questions from the viewer that can be answered on a real-time basis.

Gamification

Microlearning destroys the myth that training is mostly boring. By bringing in gamification as a microlearning method, organizations can create employee engagement in a large manner. It helps the employees learn concepts while playing a game. You can incorporate all sorts of gamification tools, such as badges, social interaction, levels, and competition, which can help employees feel a personal connection to the modules you provide.

Social Learning

Social media is something used by almost everyone these days, and it’s not just something that can be used merely for entertainment. Social media learning can actually be used as a microlearning method. It connects learners through brief yet thoughtful interactions. 

The internal social network can be used by company trainers to provide material to the employees, post which everyone can connect and join in to continue the process of learning, which leads to better engagement.

Geofencing

Geofencing occurs when organizations provide training in the form of push notifications when learning is necessary in a specific geographic location. This helps when your employees need certain information about a place they’re at. They’re sent the necessary information on whatever device they’re carrying for microlearning. 

Microlearning for Immediate Growth and Engagement

Employees gain access to learning methods across different modalities, which include videos, infographics, gamification, and social learning. This enables them to break the repetitive nature of other forms of learning with more engaging methodology. Because of the unique pacing of microlearning, employees can also expand their knowledge without significantly interrupting their workflow – and even incorporate new skills as they learn them.

Microlearning engages employees through ongoing learning that can be easily incorporated into their daily professional life. With a methodology optimized for personal connections, microlearning provides modules that employees will actually want to complete while allowing them to stay in tune with your company’s daily operations instead of focusing solely on isolated learning modules.

Engage your employees through VP Legacies Custom eLearning Development.

How Internal Communication Strategies Boost Employee Engagement

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Of the many formulas that contribute to the growth of an organization, one of them is employee engagement. Employee engagement indicates the potential for a company’s long term success because it understands the value of employee satisfaction and retention. In recent years, more and more people are exploring engagement as revenue drivers – recent studies show 71% of executives cite employee engagement as a primary concern for growth.

You might be wondering how to drive employee engagement in your company: the answer is through internal communication. Communication serves as the driving force behind keeping the morale of employees high. It gives them the reassurance that what they do matters and keeps the spark of emotional stakes alive. 

Internal communication entails treating the employees with respect and letting them know that they all contribute value to the company. Modes of communication are vital pathways to achieving your bottom line, and when they’re thoughtful and well-forged, they can also boost employee morale and help everyone feel connected. As long as employees are kept in the loop, given regular feedback, and exposed to a high degree of transparency, employee engagement will stay high. At VP Legacies, we keep internal communication with real personal connections in mind with every learning module we create for our company. Here’s why and how internal communication can boost employee engagement.

Related: What to Include In an Internal Communication Plan

Why is Internal Communication Important for Employee Engagement?

Reports suggest that 85% of the employees around the world don’t feel engaged at work. This could be due to reasons like not being copied on emails or receiving vague information, which makes them feel left out or disconnected from their work environment. This is where the importance of internal communication steps in. 

Here are some of the reasons why internal communications and employee engagement are strongly linked:

  • Open communication between the manager and the employees makes them feel valued. 37% of employees have confessed that being recognized for their work is the best way to feel supported and respected.

As a company, you should make your employees feel comfortable enough to go to management in case they encounter an issue. Employees should also know that managers are being upfront with them regarding current information about the company. Managers should create a connective environment that allows the employees to share professional intimacies with them, be it concerns about the company or concerns related to the industry. 

  • When the internal communication between the employees and the management is poor, employees can feel anxious and distracted. This causes a disconnect between the employees and the company, leading them to hold back key insights from their fellow workers, who in turn feeling withdrawn from their work and the team. 
  • Internal communication encourages conversations between people from various departments. This allows goals to be reached more quickly, as people feel free to interact with one another in case they need help with their respective work. 

If the in-house departments don’t coordinate with each other, the efficiency and rate of progress slows down. This in turn causes work to feel mechanical for most employees, and that’s the last thing you want as an organization.

Related: Internal Communication Best Practices

How to Use Internal Communication Strategies to Increase Employee Engagement

Boosting employee engagement through internal communication is something more and more organizations are formally trying. Some of the ways in which you can accomplish that are as follows:

  1. Make the Company’s Goals and Objectives Visible

Publish the goals you have for your company so that your employees can view them at all times. This allows you to approach your employees from a transparent perspective. When an employer’s goals are transparent, employees tend to find it easier to understand, and therefore work towards achieving that goal.

Clear goals help in improving productivity and performance around the workplace. When your employees know that their contribution aids in the growth of the company, they feel responsible and motivated enough to work harder. 

Find a course that meets your company’s goals at VP Legacies.

  1. Lower the Frequency of Meetings and Emails

While meetings and emails form an indispensable part of the workforce, most companies can stand to lower their frequency. Today’s younger workforce generation doesn’t believe in unnecessarily long conversations. They prefer to achieve tasks quickly yet efficiently. 

No one wants to read long emails. Keep your emails short and crisp. If a message can be conveyed through two lines, then do so. The same goes for meetings. Meetings are usually seen as hurdles in the way of productivity as far as employees are concerned. More often than not employees feel they could be getting a lot of work done instead of having to sit for a meeting whose intention could have been conveyed via an email.

Use the power of internal communication. Employ in-house messaging forums such as Slack to discuss work with your employees and create pathways for personal connection. You can also use Slack to pass on important information before meetings so that no extra time is wasted. 

  1. Make Your Managers More Accessible 

Managers are the people employees turn to whenever there are problems with the work ambiance. Make sure that your employees have a constant line of communication with your management team. Encourage those sort of warm, cordial relationships between these two segments so that a harmonious environment can be maintained at work.

Provide your managers with all the necessary tools of online communication. That way, employees won’t have to wait till weekly or monthly meetings to put their concerns forward and have them sorted.

  1. Conduct Surveys and Listen Carefully

One of the most effective ideas for internal communication with regards to enhancing employee personal connection is conducting surveys every once in a while. These surveys can include questions regarding new strategies, management behavior, and the overall company structure. Make the surveys anonymous – this allows the organization to recognize its flaws and make amends accordingly.

Truly listen to your employees when they talk, be it through their surveys or during face-to-face conversations. Jot down their inputs and make it a point to work on them so that everyone working under you feels comfortable. 

Summing Up

When an organization employs effective internal communication strategies, it makes the employees feel more secure and motivated. Engaged employees tend to be more dedicated towards their work. In fact, employee engagement increases productivity by 17%, with reported profit rates for a company going up to 22% when their employees feel more engaged. 

Therefore, use your internal communication system effectively, and you’ll find your employees consistently working harder to drive bottom-line goals at your company. Find out here how VP Legacies can help you reach your internal communication goals.Related: Crisis Management for Businesses

9 Reasons Why Your Employees Are Your Company’s Most Valuable Asset

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When it comes to your company’s most valuable asset, a lot of areas come to mind. Research and Development, marketing, or even a patent might take the top spot. But that’s not even close to your company’s most valuable asset. The answer is the tens, hundreds, or thousands of employees that make up the workforce of your company. In the 20th century, companies considered production equipment to be its most valuable asset.

However, today, it’s considered to be the knowledge of its employees and their productivity. All intangible assets such as patents, copyrights, intellectual property, brands, trademarks, and R&D are created by people. Therefore, people matter most to you and your business. They are the most essential contributors toward profits and shareholder value. That said, people are key assets for any organization. In today’s continuously changing business world, it is human assets, not the fixed or tangible assets that differentiate an organization from its competitors. The knowledge economy distinguishes one organization from another.

How people benefit your business

Employees champion your business and determine the success or failure of it. The work they do determines what customers and partners see, so it’s important for you to treat your employees with the value they bring. Employees leading an organization might be able to be replaced physically, but their skillsets and knowledge can’t be. This is because each person hired brings a different set of skills to the table even though the job yields the same set of skills.

Besides, the skillset of employees accounts for 85 percent of a company’s assets. Therefore, employee efficiency and talent determines the pace and growth of an organization. Organizations need to recognize the value their employees have and praise them accordingly. This includes their knowledge, expertise, abilities, skillsets, and experience. These are all invaluable and intangible assets for securing a future for the company. So when employees feel valued, they will gladly compete in the race and beat the competition.

Photo by Marten Bjork on Unsplash

Reasons employees are considered invaluable assets

1. Essential to providing goods or services.

Improving employee efficiency and performance are major priorities for an organization. Employees produce the final product, take care of finances, promote your business, and maintain the records for decision making.

2. Employees are the first customer of any organization.

If the organization does not have happy and satisfied employees, they will not deliver performance-oriented results. Therefore reducing the profits of the organization.

3. Employees give their 100 percent to any organization.

No matter what size the business is, success is the result of continuous hard and smart efforts put in by happy and valued employees. This results in keeping the organization going, competing with its competitors and elevating ahead of them all.

4. Employees are the face of an organization.

It’s the satisfaction level of your employees that matters the most. So, if an employee isn’t happy, she might spread a negative word about the organization, even after leaving it. What’s more, is that an unhappy employee will lack motivation and will not perform well, leading to unsatisfactory performance. This results in unachievable performance targets, low profits, and employee churn.

5. They are the nurturers of the organization.

Employees are the ones who give their heart and soul to an organization. Similar to how parents raise their children, employees nurture their organization with their values and endless efforts to take it to the top.

6. Skilled people with knowledge.

The most irreplaceable factors employees bring to the table are their skillsets. Their skills include training and development programs, experience in a specific field, and an understanding of companies’ cultures, systems, and work procedures.

7. Employees are the base of a strong and long-running organization.

Employees run the organization, no matter what level. This means their strength, commitment and dedication, and their emotional connection with the organization can’t be judged as assets in monetary value.

8. Motivated employees make a significant difference.

Employees reach new targets, meet customers’ demands and needs, develop new and innovative products, and perform enormous and huge efforts to achieve the company’s objectives.

9. Employees are major contributors to profits and worth of the organization.

It goes without saying, but employees can’t be given a monetary value for the effort they put in to help the business earn profits. This results in excellent customer reviews and creating brand loyalty from customers. Therefore, employees are the most valuable assets an organization has. It’s their abilities, knowledge, and experience that can’t be replaced. So, going forward, organizations need to place emphasis and importance on the contribution that employees that they have in order to propel themselves ahead.

9 Ways to Reduce Employee Turnover in 2019

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High employee turnover can be extremely costly and detrimental to an organization. It’s normal to encounter some level of turnover in an organization due to reasons such as retirement. However, turnover due to other reasons, such as poor employee morale, is not good and should be fixed.

A higher than normal amount of turnover is usually one of the first signs there are significant issues in an organization, and if it’s ignored can lead to even further issues such as a decline in workforce productivity. All of this will eventually trickle down into affecting the bottom line.

In short, turnover can’t be ignored and won’t go away without intervention. It’s essential that you improve your communication strategies, amongst other things to take action to limit your employee turnover.

Management studies on reducing turnover are plenty. In this post, we’ll distill the many mitigation techniques out there and go through some easy and practical ways of reducing employee turnover.

We’ll distill the many mitigation techniques out there and go through some easy and practical ways of reducing employee turnover.

1. Analyze Turnover

The first step in reducing employee turnover is getting a good grasp of how it’s happening and more importantly, why.

This means keeping track of how many employees are leaving an organization in a given year and how these numbers compare with the years before. If there’s been a sudden spike one year, look into why this might be the case. Did a major event happen that year such as an acquisition by a bigger company? Where is the turnover happening? If it’s only within a specific department, was there a new leader hired there that may be causing issues?

Drilling down may help uncover possible hypotheses on why turnover has spiked and ways to solve. Numbers alone aren’t enough; it’s essential to know the underlying reason – the why?

Qualitative insights also help. This is where implementing practices such as exit interviews can be very beneficial.

Most employees that have decided to leave an organization are willing to state why. Be sure that these exit interviews are conducted by an unbiased party such as an HR practitioner and are done confidentially so anyone who reads the takeaways from the interview won’t know who the interviewee was.

Establishing monthly employee surveys can also help raise red flags to leadership if employee morale is sinking, and there’s a chance of high turnover happening. It’s important these surveys are anonymous when completed and isn’t collected at a level where employees or managers handling the data could determine who might have completed it.

Monthly employee surveys are a great preventative measure in flagging potential turnover before it happens.

2. Don’t shy away from praise and recognition

The next tactic to reducing employee turnover is quite simple, low-effort, but very effective.

Make sure employees, managers, and the overall company culture value the practice of giving recognition and praise.

If employees are doing a great job, submit an excellent deliverable, or have gone above and beyond in any way – recognize them for this in front of their colleagues. Or if certain events have happened such as the colleagues being promoted or certain milestones being met by a team during a project, recognize them for the work done.

Praise doesn’t always have to be public. It can also be privately done and still be effective. Take employees out for coffee and let know their hard is work is appreciated.

Don’t go overboard with this and only give praise when employees genuinely deserve this.

Praise is a great way to reduce turnover. Employees will feel like their hard work is being noticed and appreciated – boosting their morale.

3. Show employees the end goal and how to get there

Feeling a sense of progress is critical towards employees feeling fulfilled in their jobs.

This means if they think they’ve stayed stagnant in a particular position and begin to get bored of their job – they’ll start looking elsewhere for new opportunities.

Luckily, this one’s easily avoidable by ensuring that there are clearly defined roles and career progression in an organization.

By formally establishing these and communicating it with employees, they’ll start to understand what’s the next step in their time here and what might be the tasks they need to show they’ve accomplished in order to progress to the next level.

This doesn’t always been dishing out a promotion. Sometimes this can be adding more responsibility to their current role or rotating them across different functions to keep things interesting.

Keep career paths transparent, detailed, and supplementing this with regular performance reviews. This means employees will know what to work on to get to the next level and progress through the company – instead of leaving for the competition.

4. Let employees manage their own time

The next trick to reducing employee turnover is simply providing them with autonomy. When it comes to their daily tasks, this may be hard due to a lack of experience, but freedom and independence in how they manage their time to completing work on their plate are surely doable!

Provide employees as much freedom to set their own schedule, and even where they work from. Introduce options such as work-from-home days, and flexible work hours so that it’s not mandatory for them to be in-office, 8 hours, 5 days a week.

Employees can pick a work schedule that’s optimal for them but also gets work done effectively. Having the option to do this might keep them in the organization cause ultimately, there’s no price one can set on freedom.

5. Pay employees well and offer bonuses

Money matters. And this means employees want to feel like they are compensated well or else they’ll leave.

Make sure annual salary reviews are in place and that compensation is benchmarked with the market rate and to what competitors offer.

This can extend beyond just base salary to include other benefits such as bonuses. Make it attractive and it doesn’t all have to be monetary. Pairing market salary along with flexible work-at-home policies can shrink turnover as employees start to value the flexibility over more pay elsewhere but restricted to being in the office all the time.

6. Align values and purpose

Everyone want’s to feel a sense of purpose to what they’re doing. This is the same at work.

Communicate to employees what it is the organization is striving to achieve, and why their contributions matter. This doesn’t have to be altruistic. The effort just needs to go into helping employees see the purpose in what they’re doing. The key is being able to articulate a company’s purpose in a way that connects.

This might sound complicated. But to keep it actionable, translate this down by ensuring managers communicate the bigger context of what their direct reports do.

An analyst helping crunch numbers in an excel sheet just needs to know that this analysis is going towards identifying bottlenecks in the shipping process – which in turn could be fixed and speed up delivery times for customers. It can be that simple and be enough to give an employee a sense of purpose in the work they are doing.

7. Check-in with employees often

This trick is all about habit and it can be implemented in a fairly easy way within an organization.

Simply ensure that time is carved out for direct reports to have casual conversations about how their job is going with their managers. Make this mandatory for managers to schedule into calendars on a recurring basis with every direct report. Keep them accountable by measuring such practices and making it a part of their annual performance reviews.

This should be a casual check-in for 30 min. or an hour and involves going for coffee or a walk to ask how things are going. This practice alone can be hugely beneficial in making a frustrated employee who’s a flight-risk feel heard and reconsider leaving.

8. Create a rewarding culture

Although rewarding for a job well done is great and much needed. Most often, employees want more than that. They want their time with a company to be more than just work so it’s important to create a sense of culture.

This means hosting regular ‘after work’ events such as having managers gather everyone to go for drinks nearby. Or having monthly team lunches that allows everyone to get together.

Cheeky traditions at work also help such as telling employees to dress up in whacky costumes during Halloween or creating a fantasy football league for employees to participate in.

All this boosts camaraderie and makes the work team feel more like family. Leaving your ‘family’ for a job somewhere else is a lot harder to do and starts to reduce turnover!

Moreover, having a team that’s well bonded also means they’ll be more comfortable in voicing any issues that creep up proactively. This allows an organization to address any problem quickly before leaving their job becomes the only solution.

Though hiring the right employees who are a good fit for an organization is important in reducing turnover. The other often overlooked aspect is hiring or training up good people managers.

Some employees can be high performers that excel at their work but can be horrible people managers who don’t really know how to lead, develop, and instill a sense of culture in their teams. They may often prioritize actual work over activities such as hosting check-ins with their employees to see how they are doing. Because of this, direct reports to some of these managers may have no issue with the company but hate their boss so much they decide to leave.

To fix this, if hiring for managers, be sure to vet their people management skills thoroughly, and if promoting from within, be sure to train them on effective people management!

9. Make wellness a key priority

Tackling a sudden spike in turnover can seem daunting, but there are simple, habitual strategies that can do wonders in reducing turnover in an organization. Take our suggestions above and put together a task team to apply it to a company. Remember, high turnover left unchecked can be disastrous in the long-run.

Takeaway

Tackling a sudden spike in turnover can seem daunting, but there are simple, habitual strategies that can do wonders in reducing turnover in an organization. Take our suggestions above and put together a task team to apply it to a company. Remember, high turnover left unchecked can be disastrous in the long-run.