Last week in Chicago, Jeff Babinski and Ann Ratcliff attended the 2018 North American Employee Engagement Awards in association with Maritz Motivation Solutions. These awards honor organizations that put workforce engagement at the heart of their business strategy. Spoiler alert: we walked away extremely proud winners!
The Conference – a build up to the awards
Following an enjoyable evening the night prior for pre-drinks at AceBounce Chicago (a neat table tennis spot) we all gathered ready for a day centred around employee engagement. The overarching theme at the event was creating internal employee experiences that mirror your customer/client experience – EVERYONE was talking about it. We concluded that the companies that can effectively take their values and mission from a poster board in the break room and embed strategies around inclusivity, belonging and bringing your best self to work, into the everyday lives of their employees will win in the talent war. Our most memorable stories from the day were from two companies doing just that.
Who would have thought a casual dining restaurant would care so much about engagement and the feeling of belonging and community with their employees?
First off was Chris Ebbeller – Director of Workplace Community at Chili’s Bar & Grill. They won an award last year and did so again this year and you can see why, they are executing beautifully. Chili’s put an extreme amount of energy into the concept of “meaningful work” and finding the true meaning of your passions, aspirations, integrity and what’s important to you. They encourage this very early on and live it daily.
Chris used an emotional and personal example as proof point. Late last year his daughter turned 18, they took a picture of her being silly and enjoying her time before school. Ten minutes after her leaving the house he received a frantic phone call saying his daughter had just been in an accident (see image below, left) – every emotion on the planet went through his head (was he a good father, a great spouse, good to his peers, etc).
Side note, in case you were wondering his daughter is ok, but the event still had Chris fairly choked up.
Basically, don’t wait until something massive happens to figure out your meaning in both life and work… that is way too late.
Like out of our Fuel50 playbook, he says find your passions, values, aspirations and make work meaningful to you – and it’s the job of your company to help you do that.
The next great success story came from Carmen Collins, Social Media Lead of Talent Brand at Cisco, where they too live their values daily and empower all employees to “be themselves”. She is a big proponent of employee-driven/derived content on social media and their internal Cisco TV Channel. They’ve been able to use their employees as a mouthpiece to share their values and culture with the world, #wearecisco. Just a quick glance at their Twitter and LinkedIn and you can see what she means.
It’s imperative that companies use an omni-channel approach to make values visible; and talked about by employees on social media.
Another poignant point made through the day was when Henry Albrecht, CEO of Limeade, had a super interesting chat with the group around “Burnout” in the workplace; which is DIFFERENT than “Disengagement”. Both are bad, both are prevalent in the workplace, and both are wicked toxic to the organization.
And then onto the awards…
“Every year the standard just gets higher. This year the judges were impressed by the very high level of proof for the outcomes of engagement programmes.” – Founder and CEO, Matt Manners
We are unrelenting in our commitment to getting a shift in engagement, always, which was why we sponsored one of the other awards.
It was a pleasure to present the award of Employer Brand, which celebrates those who have a defined and effective strategy to engage employees through a connection to the organization brand, culture and values. Following the story from Cisco we weren’t surprised that they walked away with the big W and a very cool organization Collette were awarded the highly commended honor. As a full service travel agency they are disrupting the space by taking all the guess work out of coordinating trips globally and do a great job of engagement within their team.
Time to cheer!
Then came the moment that had us crossing our fingers for. We were up against some awesome fellow finalists but we are very proud to announce that Fuel50 were named ‘Vendor of the Year’ at the awards ceremony, click through for the events’ official press release. We were especially chuffed when the judges said this was one of the coolest solutions they’ve ever seen and blew away the competition!
What set us apart from the other technology/software/analytics vendors?
The Vendor of the Year award was judged on our results, innovation, investment in the discipline as well as ensuring that we practise what we preach within our own company. Us Fuellies are incredibly proud of our offering and enjoy using the platform to realize our own career potential. We know our own talents. Our goals. Our values. And we use this knowledge to drive our personal careers.
“This is the most unique offering I have seen thus far, and so necessary in the work world today directly impacting employee engagement.” – EE Awards Judges’ comment
It’s humbling to see our efforts and achievements for our customers in bringing employee engagement to the forefront of an organization being noticed. This year is a game changing year for Fuel50 and this accolade just adds to the upwards trajectory. Our personal company growth has been huge, with an influx of recent hires we’ve grown like rapid fire in the past year. We are pleased to say our growth is mirrored by the success our clients are achieving.
Take one of our client stories we shared in our submission. They have continuously been hearing positive feedback from employees since implementation. Phrases like:
- “WOW… This is awesome!”
- “Simple, easy to use, and appealing”
- “…the answer to all of the Career Pathing questions we’ve had!”
In the last twelve months, we’ve implemented a string of new releases. These additions are creating a true talent exchange platform that utilizes our intelligent career matching to support employees to find stretch assignments, coaches, mentors, projects and experiences to tangibly grow their careers, resulting in increased engagement, career satisfaction and talent retention.
A huge shout-out and thanks to all of our Fuellies, it really is a team effort! It’s an honor to be recognized for all our contributions and impact on employee engagement across organizations not just in the US but worldwide. This is an incredible success for every single one of us.
Lastly, Fuel50 would like to extend a huge congratulations to all of the other winners, those awarded Highly Commended and all finalists. We were in great company and there were some inspiring stories coming out of each of these organizations.
Want to hear what other best-in-class organizations are doing for their employees? Our latest webinar recording is available now.
DIGITIZATION OF THE EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE
If you’re after advice for how to ensure your organization succeeds during this digital transformation listen to this panel discussion.