Root for me: Challenge me, commit to my success and be my biggest fan
The third component to assist our leaders with fostering employee engagement has to do with… you guessed right, recognition. People crave positive feedback and acknowledgement for extra effort. There is the proud glow that comes from recognition, appreciated and celebrated. The focus within our leadership core is to practice applying and expressing confidence with their teams and team members by recognizing specific accomplishments and strengths.
Company programs to support leadership commitment
Investment in leadership development with our 550 plus leaders began in late 2013. Since that time a second level investment focuses on coaching and communication for peak performance while using GGR. Over 100 training sessions totaling more than 11,000 hours, speaks highly of the company’s commitment to our leadership group and quest to build an even greater engaged workplace.
As part of the roll out of GGR, we included a review our organizations’ engagement practices and how they aligned with GGR. Upon careful review, we redeveloped and rebranded our recognition program, strategically naming it Root For Me. Timing was essential as this recognition program modelled the company values and supported GGR. The key revealing fact that GGR was born and thriving was evident in 2014. Over 18,000 Root For Me recognition cards were distributed from employee to employee based on acts of going above and beyond that emulated the company values. This is in comparison to 3,500 distributed in 2013 as part as the past recognition program and before GGR and the leader investment began.
A companywide incentive program was created giving all our leaders a small reward arsenal to present to a team member when rooting for them. These incentives are replenished quarterly, ranging from values of $2 to $30 and ranged from a gift card, apparel, sport and leisure to community activities. Feedback from both leaders and employees participating in chat sessions, focus groups and surveys has been very positive and service composites and customer verbatim provide data and details of how many of our employees have been inspired to go above and beyond the call of duty.
Walking and working together
Since 2013, it has been full steam ahead to foster engagement through leadership by way of many different platforms. For example, each member of our Executive team participates in a program called “Walk with me” and spends valuable time working front line with various staff from different departments spanning different shifts. This has built a solid foundation structured around involvement that has captivated feelings of support, empathy empowerment and esteem for both the senior team and front-line staff. In October of this year, a reverse program will be launched called “Walk With Us” where employees will work with the Executive team to gain a greater perspective and understanding of the business. Other aligned programs that are in place to highlight and foster employee engagement, celebrate GGR and build relationships include Town Hall meetings with the President, employee-of-the-month celebrations as well as an Employee-of-the-Year Gala that brings with it an aura of glamour and glitz.
We are an organization that also takes great pride in our partnerships within our local community and our employees have led the charge. In 2014, we introduced an employee volunteer program called HERO – Helping Employees Reach Out. In the first year, employees volunteered close to 4,500 hours and fundraised over $295,000 in support of local community charities.
Measuring leadership engagement
You’ve read about what we have adopted, created and supported to help our leaders foster employee engagement but still don’t know definitively if it has changed anything within our engagement culture. To find the answer, let’s look at our most recent annual employee opinion survey where such engagement notables have increased from the previous year company-wide:
- Three-per-cent increase in highly engaged employees
- Five-per-cent increase in satisfied employees.
From a leader-to-employee perspective, the annual Supervisor Feedback Survey (SFS) completed by direct reports has shown significant improvements within the following engagement categories: supervisors taking a sincere interest in employees' well-being, supervisors having an upbeat and positive attitude and supervisors seeming interested in employees' opinions.
We make decisions every minute on how we choose to engage with our fellow human beings. It is no different on how someone in a leadership position decides on how they will lead. Does your workplace encourage leader-to-employee engagement? It's a powerful factor in business success. Get, guide and rooting for one-another elevates engagement. Engaged employees are more productive, customer-focused, and profit-generating and employers are more likely to retain them.
About the author:
Roger Lauzon is the Manager of Organizational Development and has been a member of the talented team at Caesars Windsor since 1995. He has responsibility for areas of HR including Internal Communications, Employee Engagement and Training and Development. Roger has held past positions in Gaming Operations and Corporate Communications and serves on numerous committees in the organization.