In this morning’s second session, Terilyn Monroe showed us how one company is looking to take its employees beyond engagement, all the way to inspiration.
Terilyn is Director, Global Employee Engagement at Intuit, a supplier of financial software for consumers. Intuit knows that high commitment and high performance by employees are critical to success. But how, they asked themselves, can a company maintain that during difficult times — like the recent recession, times of job eliminations, an so on?
“We started with reviewing how the experts define engagement,” Terilyn said, “and then asked our employees for their views. There were some clear differences.”
The experts defined engagement as being how employees think, feel and act. It manifests itself in high enthusiasm, a willingness to contribute, in being a company advocate, and loyalty. Employees offered more down-to-earth descriptions — things like ownership of your work, having fun on the job, and having an impact on success. There were two big lessons learned from their effort. First, they found they needed to think about the complete, end-to-end employee experience. Second, they need to learn what’s really important to employees, not just what the company thinks is important to them.
With this input, Intuit then developed its four-level Engagement Model. The four levels are: Basic (security and justice); Worth (accomplishment and esteem); Connection (relationships and belonging); and Inspiration (identity and meaning).
To get to the top level — inspiration — Intel has undertaken a program that has focused on encouraging inspiration by getting people to tell stories about what inspires them and allowing them to be themselves. A video contest that asked employees to tell their stories was very successful, involving nearly half the employees in the company. Every video was posted on the company website and 15 videos won prizes. Intuit feels this has taken the company forward in its attempt to build capabilities through story telling.
What’s next? The company is now starting a program for Inspiration Awards. The goal is to recognize inspirational employee role models. Nominations will be made and awards determined by employees. They expect to support the company’s growth goals and improve the employee experience.