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Organizational Development

Recently, I updated my website and switched my hosting company. What seemed like a pretty harmless operation turned out to be quite a headache. Along the way, we encountered slow load times and unfriendly plug-ins. I was not able to use my email for a day and a half. All these issues are taken care of now. My new website loads fast. It's mobile friendly. I'm back on my email. But that one and a half day of interruptions was a big hit to my productivity.

A few weeks ago, I tweeted "What if work is like an online game and how would it impact employee engagement?" Many people favorited this tweet and retweeted it. It must have struck a chord. Really, what if work is like an online game? How fun and engaging would it be? Wouldn't it be cool to design jobs such that they feel like online games? According to Gallup's most recent workforce survey, only 30% of U.S. employees are engaged. One way to improve employee engagement is to start with job design and engage employees with what they do on a daily basis. Here are some tips for making a job more like an online game:

As the economy recovers, more employees will look for a new job. Now is the time to do something to re-engage your people.I encourage you to leverage advances in technology, social media, and new research findings about employee engagement to explore innovative solutions that work for your organization.

A significant driver of employee engagement is having career advancement opportunities. However, our research shows that employees' satisfaction with their career advancement opportunities at their company is usually low. As many organizations are getting flatter and leaner, what can senior leaders and managers do to engage their employees?

Last week, Celeste Villalobos Tahamont, Senior Program Manager at Google, presented at the ASTD Golden Gate Chapter. She gave us a behind-the-scene view of the redesign of EDGE, a leadership training program at Google that serves over 600 levels 3-5 engineers annually. Here are highlights from Celeste’s presentation: Before the redesign
  • EDGE was an off-site, vendor led leadership training program
  • 2,000 engineers have gone through the program since its launch in 2006 through 2009
  • Program contents remained the same from 2006 – 2009 although the business world had changed significantly during that time
  • Used some Googlers facilitators to facilitate the training

A recent Corporate Executive Board (CEB) study of 983 employees in the financial industry found that compensation is not a key driver of employee retention although it has a very low satisfaction score (satisfaction with compensation ranked 35th out of 38 attributes surveyed). Before you roll your eyes and say “really?” Please pause and think about it. Who wouldn’t want to be paid more? And who would agree that they are compensated sufficiently even if they are well paid?

Imagine what your leadership development program would look like if you could source most of your contents from the Internet, for free. What? Source content from the Internet? How do I sell this program to my managers and employees if it’s not built by our team in-house or bought from a reputable vendor? Did I hear objections already?? Well, Google did just that. At the ASTD Golden Gate Chapter's program last week, Julie Clow at Google presented to a full room of eager L&D professionals in San Francisco about the future of leadership training–learning in the "cloud".