How to make a solid business case for a new hire in 2024

Making a business case for a new hire in any company can often be an enduring and difficult process. The larger the company, the more likely it is you will be contending with the process, bureaucracy, annual earning reports, and general political battles. If it's a small to medium company you are working for, you may have to contend with cash flow volatility or previous instances of poor hires, that may provide resistance against your desire.

One thing can be sure of whether you're working at a startup or an established blue-chip: timing and approach will be key components of whether your business case for additional headcount is met with a tepid or warm reception.

Timing:

It's probably not the best idea to be sliding any ‘additional headcount requests’ under people’s doors or into email inboxes after 'a record low earning report’. Use your intuition to get a palpable feeling of whether your reasons for hiring more staff will resonate better based on the current mood at the Leadership table.

Likewise, use timing to your advantage. If there are certain times of the year when new hires are considered, build your business case for additional staff well in advance. This will ensure the request for additional staff has the best chance of success.

Also, while your intuition and opinion are important, seeking feedback and possible support from other stakeholders is useful, which is a key part of the approach.

Approach:

Meeting with other stakeholders is also important because, regardless of whether they offer some support or anecdotal testimony that can help sway the tide in your favour, it's also a great way to ‘dry-run’ your headcount justification pitch.

Other stakeholders will likely ask the ‘needling’ questions that the Department Head may ask as they dissect your recruitment business plan. This will ensure you refine your new hire proposal template to include all the key criteria likely to impact whether you get the green light on your plans for adding incremental headcount.

The three necessities to answer the What, Why and How of making a business case for a new hire.

But aside from the obvious things like being prepared and meeting with the decision maker(s) one-on-one to present your business case for new hires, it comes down to three classic questions.

What: problem are we trying to solve with this request to hire more people
Why: It's of utter importance (positives/benefits vs negatives/consequences).
How: This impacts the business and aligns with its overall goals & how we will find this perfect candidate.

To grasp the three items above, you need empathy, imagination (future possibilities, both good or bad), and some data.

The Method Actor (Empathy):

Whether you think Christian Bale or Shia LaBeouf's method acting exploits are extreme, the takeaway is the old adage of ‘walking a mile in a man's shoes’.

Before you go in all guns blazing, it's good to work back from ‘If I were the CEO/Decision maker, what are the types of things that I would need to see to justify a new hire?’.

For example, there could have been previous hires that hadn’t worked out, and you’d need to demonstrate ‘why this time it's different’. If the CEO prefers outsourcing, get some credible evidence that this position needs to be an internal hire.

Other factors, such as economic headwinds or factors outside your control within the business, could also be working against you. Your business case needs to focus on revenue, whether in future earnings or losses if the new position isn’t added.

(Imagination) Future benefits or potential consequences

Something like ‘stress’ might be considered a somewhat subjective metric, especially to a CEO who breathes and survives on H2O and stress. Still, data showing employee attrition, lower employee morale scores, and perhaps even decreasing customer satisfaction (in correlation to lower morale) may give you a business case for additional hires if it's clear the department is overworked.

Not all CEOs are as concerned with stress as Renholm Denholm, so you may be better off arguing a more ‘financial basis’ case.

So, how do you build your case on ‘money’? Look at all the ways this employee could have an impact and in turn, how they inhibit or allow the company to flourish and thus gain more market share.

What positive impact could this employee have on:

Let's use the case of a CTO at an IT company that needs a new customer support agent/network engineer and play some game theory.

And what would be some examples of potential negative outcomes associated with not hiring for this position?

Drilling into the {Data} and selecting the tools to cover the 'what, why and how'.

So now you've conceptualised the impact you think this new hire could have on the business, you need data to substantiate your projections and highlight the impending risks resulting from not hiring. Ideally, you'd use data as a catalyst to initiate this type of action. Still, sometimes, this can be subjective and tangible beyond the rigid walls of data, such as palpably low morale in the office.

Selecting which tools to tell the story of why this request for headcount is critical is also important.

A CSAT tool might highlight a decreasing trend in customer satisfaction, but if there has been no churn, that data alone may not be enough to build a strong case for a new hire. However, if a business application highlights delays in project completion or client dissatisfaction in written or verbal notes, this may strengthen the argument for adding to the team's headcount.

Different types of business applications will have qualitative and quantitative data that will help you build a business case for hiring additional team members.

These tools are there to highlight the what and why and illustrate how they will impact the business (positively or negatively)

How to hire for the newly approved headcount?

So you used all these tips and tools to get your request for a new hire granted, but now you need to find this 'silver bullet' candidate who will solve ALL the problems your fantastic pitch just highlighted. Well, maybe some of them. Read this article on finding the best recruitment platforms for your industry here and get a headstart on your recruitment strategy.

The 5 best practices for building a successful corporate mentorship program in 2024

Starting a corporate mentorship program has become more formalized (and digitalised) over the past 20 years. Whilst the role of mentors and mentees can still form organically, a more structured approach can actually benefit its employees and the business in the long-term.

Whilst some people might seem like natural candidates to be mentors (the vocal ones), sometimes there are dark-horses in the ranks, that just need the right tools and support to distribute their unrivaled knowledge. 

These 5 best practices for a corporate mentorship program will hopefully be the driving force in your business starting a mentoring program at work. 

  1. Define your goals - what’s the purpose of the program?
  2. Recruit Mentors - recruiting eligible mentors 
  3. Recruit Mentees - Promote your program and get registrants 
  4. Track and Measure - Use software and processes to monitor progress and program engagement.
  5. Convert Mentees to Mentors - From Mentee to Mastery, the new lifeblood of the corporate mentorship program.

Define your goals - what’s the purpose of the corporate mentotship program? 

Everything has to have a goal. What was the catalyst for the business believing it needs to develop a mentorship program. A request from an employee or HR manager, diminishing results in a certain department, or a company wide consensus?

Once you understand the problem you are trying to solve with the corporate mentorship program, you can then find the best mentors and support systems to succeed.

The size of the company and your role within the business will influence whether you take the bold move of rolling out the program system wide, as part of a wider directive, or go bespoke with a small focus group to start.

Possible goals that justify a corporate mentorship program.

For some businesses, a corporate mentorship program is already well instilled, but for others business, often of a smaller size or in their infancy, a formalized corporate mentorship program might feel like an alien concept. 

However, there are many examples across a vast range of industries, where the introduction of a structured corporate mentorship program will ensure employees not only meet the standards needed from a performance standpoint, but subsequently have an increase in confidence to not only execute but also lead future mentees. 

Other catalysts might be the cause for a rapid introduction of a corporate mentorship program.The launch of a new product, the retirement of a long-term employee or business owner, a new certification/audit standard to meet, are all valid reasons as to why a company might need to introduce a formalized employee training program.

All of these goals have an intangible link to revenue. Whilst a corporate mentorship program will incur costs both financially and in the form of time and a fractional reduction in resources, the medium to long term impacts can have a seismic effect on the company, its growth, employee engagement {link} and its standing amongst the competition. 

Recruit Mentors - Those with mastery

There is nobody more suitable to teach the inner workings of the business, than your most experienced employees.

However, recruiting mentors may present more challenges than first meets the eye. A mentor (usually) has some level of seniority, and a breadth of experience, that makes them most suitable to be a mentor. 

But if you’ve got your Lieutenant running drills at basecamp, who is out leading the troops on your projects.

 It's a tug of war between the short term and long term objectives of the business, and there will be moments, where the short term has to take a rightful pull to keep a client or project onside. 

Thats why creating processes and even utilizing a SaaS solution for your corporate mentorship program may ease the burden on all parties.

The mentor is not supposed to have the answers necessarily in the delivery of the material or  how can you help extract this information from the mentor and get it into a shared workspace. 

The key for any business is empowering your senior team members to deliver a successful corporate mentorship program via the means of defined processes and best-in-class technology that doesn’t detract from their core responsibilities.

Also, mentors are intuitive, that's what got them to be mentors. They’ll know that this tug of war on their time and resources is likely to take shape in the future. If they end up being overworked, there must be some sort of remuneration in the form of overtime, or that promotion-in-the-offing to help dissipate any resistance to why the mentorship program is so critical. 

So what makes a good mentor? We have a full article detailing how to earmark those with mentoring potential in your business. 

Recruit Mentees - Promote your program and get registrants 

Wayne’s World “Build it and they will come” - no, they won’t, unfortunately. 

Depending on the goals of your program, you may have some participants already in mind, but now you need to sell the dream. You might even need to offer free pizza. But the end results could be truly astounding. Link to study.

Employing marketing tactics to win the hearts and minds of your potential mentees, will be essential. You need to create a feeling of curiosity, exclusivity, and urgency. 

If you don’t have an internal marketing team to help with all the collateral, at least including it in your newsletter, and recording some videos and teasers will be enough to get you going in the right direction. 

Promote the program ahead of time (and multiple times)

Sometimes people miss emails, and you wouldn’t want them to miss something as important as the launch fo the businesses first corporate mentorship (kw) strategy. Promote the coming soon, let them know when registrations will open, and peak their curiosity with some teasers about the program. 

Doors open

Let everyone know that the chance to apply is open and there are limited spaces (exclusivity)) so get your spot reserved by applying now. Set a time window for when people can enrol (urgency) 

Doors closing

Sending out some final reminders of the window closing, and even some extra teasers to Sometimes a success story from someone who has been through the program, or benefitted from one in their past company so greatly they now hold X position at your company may turn even the most suspicious employee into a curious meerkat.

Track and measure performance of the corporate mentorship program

A mentoring tracking system (not GPS!) is typically done through some sort of software, or at minimum a shared cloud document where progress is recorded. 

What’s considered progress?

Circling back to the goals of the program will help determine what metrics need to be tracked. Whilst some records like ‘attendance’ are universal across departments, dependent on the ‘tier’ of mentor and mentee, different requirements may need to be met based on the individual aspects of the program. For example, someone being trained to pass a qualification that is mandated at a federal level, might require higher benchmarks to be made, or a longer mentorship program to go from mentee to oracle status. 

Using a tool search as LearnDash is a nifty LMS tool through WordPress, that can be interwoven with your corporate mentorship program, by providing student (mentee) logins, course materials and tests. 

Qualitative data also plays an important role, and getting written feedback after sessions or important milestones is important to make adjustments to the program before engagement dwindles, or the goals become further out of reach. 

Drop-in or anecdotal feedback is also important to get at the start, beginning or end of the program. The aim here is to have a discussion that yields more insight to common answers curated through feedback forms, or propose ideas and resolutions to see if they are met with appraisal by mentees and mentors.

From Mentee to Mr Mastery - Helping mentees become mento

Creating an environment that breeds happy, experienced and altruistic employees, is the lifeblood of any corporate mentorship program. Mentors may want to take a break, or have to for family/personal reasons, or take on a new role in the company that has certain demands to acclimatize to.

Assuming all graduates are ready to become willing mentors is also a false prophecy. After a ‘grueling’ mentorship program, some mentees may want to enjoy some time away from the digital classroom or on-site visits. More stories of where successful mentors are now working, or retiring (from all the dosh) might again add some allure to the program, and illustrate how it can have a positive impact on their CV and future career prospects whether at your company or elsewhere.

And if it's not obvious at first sight where the next mentors are lurking in your company, but you've been collecting your data, and reading on your mentor characteristics, you’ll know which graduates have the potential to breathe new life into the program and help shape the future of the company and its employees. 

The Evolution of B2B Demand Generation

What is B2B Demand Generation Marketing?

B2B demand generation is a marketing tactic focused on creating awareness about a businesses product or service and its brand. A marketing campaign may use ‘demand gen’ further down the funnel, but usually with a more targeted approach, or incentives. The goal of demand generation is to create a pool of prospects, that become qualified prospects, and eventually, a lead or opportunity. 

To create a successful demand gen campaign you have to take a few things into consideration. 

Are you disrupting the market with a new product or invention (i.e people aren’t seeking it, so you need to create awareness). Or, do you offer a more innovative solution for a product/service that already has a captive audience with needs. 

Chris Walker,  CEO of Revenue Vitals, one of the most renowned demand generation firms in  the industry, makes a great point regarding the Toothbrush. Nowadays, toothbrushes are ubiquitous, and used across the globe, but there was a point in time where the toothbrush was a new product. How to create awareness to sell a product that society is unaware it needs?

Examples of successful B2C and B2B Demand Generation Campaigns

A great example of a successful B2C Demand Gen is Dollar Shave Club. U, who went from viral Youtube stardom to being purchased by Unilever for a cool 1 Billion dollars {Dr Evil voice} in 2016. 

Dollar Shave Club didn’t create a new product invention, but they created a new way to acquire the product, for ultimately a fraction of the price, with powerful demand marketing. Dollar Shave Club were able to funnel buyers directly from ads, to becoming subscribed members, all in one short customer journey. If you want to understand more about the DSC business model, here’s a great Youtube case study, or a more in depth analysis of their video marketing here. 

In 2000, Marc Benioff staged the first theatrical protest that Silicon Valley had ever seen. An ‘anti-software protest.’ This was a tongue-in-cheek stunt by Beinoff, (and he utilize more demand generation tactics during Salesforce’s ascent), because Salesforce is a software product. Beinoff was trying to increase his brand awareness, and illustrate to businesses that customer relationship management could be managed without an expensive on-premise solution, a cloud-approach premise to SaaS. 

So where do B2B Demand Generation and B2C Demand Gen Overlap? 

B2B Demand Generation Funnel

There are more similarities than differences when it comes to demand generation strategies between B2C and B2C, especially in regards to the top of the funnel. B2C tends to use social media more as a demand generation channels than B2B.

Word of Mouth

Every business in the world can benefit from word-of-mouth marketing (when positive), and for the B2B business, referral or reseller programs are often even more critical. For B2C it can sometimes be harder to build a referral program, so incentivizing customers (coupons, discounts) to leave reviews or recommend your business via social media platforms is a great way to build brand advocacy. 

Tutorials and how to content 

Business is about providing value, and being an expert at something. Sharing this knowledge with prospective consumers is a great way to build efficiency in your brand, showcase your businesses products (or personality) and capture new prospective buyers. 

This often tends to be easier for certain B2C businesses, where they can show you ‘how to replace X or fix Y’. If you’re a large pipe construction company, a ‘how-to’ video might not be so easy to execute. So to provide value, you can provide insights on changes that you are seeing that are impacting their business or industry. Digital B2B businesses usually have an easier time creating tutorial content.

 If you’re struggling to generate ideas for video content, check out this blog, and take a peek at ahref’s guidance on how to add an SEO focus to your written content.

This can be video content, ideally posted on YouTube, or blog content written and published on your website. Visit these articles if you’re looking for video-content idea inspiration 

A B2B Trade show vs In-store ‘free-sample’ product 

Renting a trade booth at a business event, doing a speech, and spending a pretty-penny in the process might appear to have a certain gravitas compared to handing out free ‘fro-yo’ samples at the local supermarket, but the end goal is ultimately still the same: seek out prospective buyers and introduce them to my business/brand/product. 

Now with B2B demand generation, you need to take a more laser focused approach, because you may have a more narrow list of buyer personas and that's why you should choose wisely when deciding how to spend your event marketing dollars. (article) 

Brand Advocates 

Word-of-mouth on steroids, or word-of-mouth with some greased palms, but brand advocates are an important piece of a B2B demand generation marketing strategy. Where demand generation (tends to) have an advantage over B2C, is that the product or service they purchased has had a demonstrable impact on their business. It could have been an app to track employee engagement, a new SaaS tool that streamlined their logistics, an energy tracking tool that has reduced their carbon footprint by X, these are all stories that can resonate with a buyer persona. B2C are often more reliant on recruiting more and more ‘advocates’ (think retail brands and instagram) vs B2B that can usually build communities easier. 

Online brand community building 

You can build your own brand advocacy, just by participating in discussions. One of the most powerful channels for having a brand advocate tell a story is social media. For B2C, building a community can become a little bit more difficult. But certain niches do have large participation and discussion in places like Discord or Reddit. For B2B, LinkedIn, Reddit and other forms of dark social and a great way to build communities. There are also specialist agencies like Social Chain who help brands build online communities. Some popular YouTube channels also have communities. 

WordPress tools such as MemberPress enable business owners to create demand through word of mouth discussions.

Sponsorship 

Whether it's the local pub sponsoring the local football team, or Teamviewer ripping up their $70 million contract with Man Utd, there are sponsorship opportunities for B2B and B2C, and not just in sports. Supporting community events, nonprofits, and plenty of other good causes can help a business give back and place its brand front and center.

Podcasts 

Podcasts have emerged as a great way for B2B and B2C to get their brand out there. With B2C tending to be focused more on entertainment, their podcasts often translate well on community platforms like Twitch, as well as being distributed on Youtube. B2B podcasting, dependent on the company, can often blend from personal to business. The diary of a CEO by Steven Bartlett has 3.2 Million subscribers on YouTube, and millions more on other platforms.  

A great example of a podcast that discusses career and business growth, but also the other important things in life, and how they weave subconsciously through our career highs and lows. 

Dave Portnoy’s Barstool Sport primary target audience was B2C, specifically sports betting customers. However, as the brand grew, they added new revenue streams, and began to market these other products on different platforms, with different mediums (videos, pods, paid ads)  and utilized them strategically to grow their audience. This article does a fantastic write up on the Barstool Sports’ revenue model. 

Most of Portnoy’s podcasts have been wildly successful, with his latest being a three person Pod called “BFF’s. Showing that it can be a great brand builder for B2B or B2C. 

Paid Ads - Bidding on brand competitor keywords

A slightly underhand tactic but nonetheless one that can be very effective, is to bid on a competitor's branded search terms. You will need a captivating advert and a compelling offer to turn that curiosity into a conversion, but it can be a great way to pit your product against a competitor and get more brand awareness or site traffic to retarget for opt-ins. 

Where do B2B and B2C demand gen diverge?

Immersive experiences are probably where B2C blow out B2B in terms of spending the big bucks on digital advertising. The biggest of biggest B2C brands go way beyond digital billboards and now spend marketing budget on immersive experiences to promote their products. Interactive Video Mapping has been widely used at Super Bowl promotional events, and immersive domes are used  in Museums and other B2C experiences. 

Why does demand generation marketing exist in both B2C and B2B?

To execute great lead generation, you need quality demand generation to build a larger funnel. To execute great B2B demand generation, you will need to have your buyer personas nailed down. This will ensure you partner with the right people, promote on the right channels, and distribute on the right platforms to get impressions and build brand Awareness. 

Brand awareness

Whilst marketing has to be focused on ROI and channel attribution, there is sometimes a somewhat intangible effect that demand generation can have on a business. For example, a new customer may have entered the pool of prospects, via engagement with some demand gen content over 12 months ago. At the time, the prospective buyer may have not had the budget, was contractually obligated elsewhere, or just wasn’t ‘quite ready’ to make full use of your product or service, to go ahead with a purchase. They were then either funneled to the point of becoming a sales qualified lead, either of their own accord, or in response to further marketing content they’d received. 

Improve lead quality & sales discussions

The further up the funnel you create the demand, the more information you are able to inform the prospect with before they get to a sales consultation. This could be information on the results of your customers (case studies) to remove any potential apprehensions that your business can deliver results. Comparison articles of service providers can enable you to pitch the quality of your service or product, and why this solution warrants such investment, vs other market alternatives, thus bridging the gap in a client's expectations on pricing, prior to that first sales call taking place. 

Lower your customer acquisition cost 

The bottom-of-the-funnel (on Google) is often the most expensive place to participate in winning over the ‘hearts and minds’ of customers. Think about it. You’ve got expensive paid ads space, getting more competitive by the day. A sales agent you may have to pay top dollar for to fend off the competition in this tight window of procurement the prospect has entered. You may even have to offer a promotion to swing the balance in your favor if they entered your pipeline relatively late (i.e from form fill, to call, to close = first contact to end of the sales cycle). 

A competitor in your space that had captured that buyers attention further up the funnel (possibly via one of the demand gen tactics listed above) would have likely had to spend far less money ‘funneling’ the person down vs. jumping into a PPC bidding war at the ‘I need X near me’ part of the funnel. 

More time to monitor a prospects engagement

The earlier a demand generation tactic pushes someone into your marketing funnel, the earlier you get insight into what types of problems they have. Bottom of the funnel keywords tend to be short tail, and so there are less clues to the nature of the query. 

In the case of an MSP, ‘IT Services in Location’ is about as close to the bottom of the funnel as you can get. However, ‘top tips on employee cybersecurity training’, may indicate this prospective customer is attempting to train their own employees, and may not have the internal skills to do so. They may not have an IT Department, and could benefit from the guidance of an IT company who can improve their processes, and empower the business with technological solutions. 

You can test what content (or products) resonate with them (clicks, time spent on page, downloads) along with content that pushes them further down the funnel to take action. This then allows you to create theories around ‘buyer personas’ and the types of content that is effective, relative to their stage in the buyers cycle. When you are reducing the guesswork and creating more predictable funnels, you get more time back and lower cost per acquisitions. 

So Is your business a good fit for a demand generation program?

Certain industries, such as SaaS, are heavily utilizing demand generation in a digital capacity. But the key is to always be thinking medium to long term. By creating content that creates demand, doesn't necessarily mean that interest converts to immediate intent. 

You'll need to determine what types of media generate demand for your business, and what emerging trends are hinting at potential new demand gen channels to exploit.

6 Best Practices for Employee Engagement

Creating best practices for a positive employee experience isn't something that happens overnight. It takes time for a business to instill its values and take on a holistic approach to employee engagement that creates a harmonious working environment. 

Factors such as people's role within a business {HR Exec vs CEO}, or even the age or size of the business will influence which of these best practices in employee engagement are most critical to the company at a given time. 

These 6 best practices for employee engagement will help you build an engaged workforce that drives productivity and increases revenue.

  1. Career Development 
  2. Mentorship 
  3. Communication & Feedback
  4. Social Wellbeing 
  5. Encourage progressive ideas 
  6. Reward success

Career development is vital for employee well-being at any stage of a company's growth. Unlike a salary, career development isn't a given at a company, so companies that go the extra mile to provide career development and employee mentorship opportunities, and promote those values through their online marketing and branding, have a competitive edge in recruiting new employees. 

How do you lay a path for career development? 

Method A - The classic ladder model.

 'Stay in this role for three years, Jessica, and you'll be where Jimmy is soon’. Old habits die hard, and sometimes, that's the way hierarchy works. Overtime if a high performing employee feels they can’t get promoted, they may leave or get complacent. 

It can also reduce morale. If people believe they have to move sideways into another role to move upwards then, due to a 'glass ceiling' being present (usually in the form of a long-serving employee), people can start to take a peek over the hedges and see if there is some greener grass just next-door! Or in Bermuda, with the 2022 nomad lifestyle right at your fingertips. 

So what other options are there for showing divergent career paths on the horizon?

Method B - Role creation

Businesses should constantly be innovating and evolving. They should always do what they do well and aim to do it as best as possible until it's no longer fruitful. Finding other avenues of growth potential that complement its current operations should always be priority number two. 

These projects are an excellent catalyst for role creation and creating renewed engagement in the direction of the business within the workforce. 

Here's an example. A marketing agency has a tremendous Think-Tank of fantastic writers. They have every type of writer, from technical and medical backgrounds to scripting, PR, and Branding. They've been selling their writing and brand guideline services globally, but they've hit a wall regarding their CAC and ability to constantly vet and hire more writers. 

An employee tables an idea that they should build a videography department within the company. Utilize their writing and branding skills and sell high-production value videos to big businesses. NYC possesses a market both for employee recruitment/product development and wealthy local companies willing to spend money on video marketing. 

Whether it's an employee with an eye for a role that you know the business needs or the CEO positioning to the board, a starting template {link to the template with article easy KD} on justifying a new department or role is vital. 

Someone seeking to create a new opportunity should seek to find inefficiencies they can eradicate or minimize. Whether that's improving the quality in production, support, and service, or reducing costs, all of these improvements have the potential to deliver more growth. These are called the mechanics of revenue {link to Matteo article} and great examples of creating new roles.

How do I encourage mentorship? 

Set up a top-down approach. As a CEO, leading from the front is a great start. Open workshop sessions can be based on anything from the 'technical aspects of the 'roles' within the business you know to more general business/finance practices that could be universally beneficial. Create other opportunities for senior leaders to lead workshops or bring team members together to attend events. 

If the burden of running programs or the growth of the business means that, over time, you need to step away from such duties, hiring an HR manager for a tech company can help manage and develop workshop programs and instill those best practices for employee engagement. 

An HR manager can utilize tools such as Together to build employee mentorship programs that streamline communications between mentors, mentees, and program leaders.

Feedback & Communication 

Qualitative and Quantitative data - what has the most weight 

Once a company becomes so large {think Ford, Apple, Amazon}, there is no feasible way anybody could expect the CEO to have any 1on1 knowledge about how every employee feels about their role within the business. 

Companies use tools such as OfficeVibe to collect quantitative data on regular occurrences. HR and leaders get a 'pulse' on company morale, notice trends, or identify departments that may be underperforming due to low morale. 

Quantitative data plays its part in aligning with company values and goals too. It's hard for a company to concentrate on helping one employee go from a 5 to a 7 in their quarterly morale score.  

That's where management comes in to help put in the personalized programs to ensure that the company goal of increasing employee morale is achieved collectively by improvements within specific departments such as Jen's.

Qualitative Data

Other tools, such as Small Improvements, extract more qualitative feedback, help coordinate one-on-ones and exit interviews, and enable employees to praise their peers, thus creating a positive workplace culture.

A more personalized CEO communication strategy would be for a CEO to take the initiative to collaborate on a project with employees. 

How feedback is collected can also impact the types of responses you receive. While digital platforms are great for collecting and recording the thoughts of employees, they can also be quite rigid or have leading questions that may not get to the real heart of what is troubling employee(s). 

1-on-1 lunches outside of the office can help a more natural conversation flow and lead to more ideas and discussion, not just statements. Spontaneous after-work activities to celebrate achievements can be a great way to get candid feedback and encourage activities that promote social-wellbeing within the team. 

Social Wellbeing 

Humans are social creatures. And if we are to spend X hours away from family, or worse, made to commute, then a workplace with a social environment helps fill that void. 

Not only that, but workforces with strong social bonds tend to perform at far greater levels than those without. Whilst it's unreasonable to expect everyone to be best buddies, a happy work environment can lead to improved performance. A study by Oxford University at British Telecom showed that more satisfied employees were 13% more productive than their less happy counterparts. 

But you've got a business to run and stuff to do! Conjuring up social activities for adults isn't your forte, but some simple office-based games can help remove the stiffness in the atmosphere. 

Also, some healthy competition never hurt anyone, which can be tied into future planned work-social events to get people pumped for 'this year's party.

Business is a competitive environment. Instilling a competitive mentality supported by teamwork in a less pressured environment helps the team pull together when the natural heat is on next time there is an impending product launch or a live event you're a little behind on.  

Encourage Innovation

Remember Blockbuster? Having now entered "in my days" idiom territory, Blockbuster was hyper-resistant to change. 

As new solutions for watching movies at home emerged, such as, 'mail and return' or the now here-to-stay 'streaming,' Blockbuster was always last to the party. Begrudgingly, turning up with a half-baked version of what somebody had spent years researching, developing, and scaling, with Blockbuster consequently wasting time and money, and getting less market share.

All businesses can be susceptible to a Blockbuster moment; sometimes, even following the herd can get you in trouble (think Lehman brothers), but both were guilty of complacency. 

As a senior leader, you might feel like you're about to wreak havoc once you open Pandora's box. This is why we've written an article on how to encourage innovation in the workplace and whilst maintaining focus on the business's immediate needs. 

Reward Success 

Identifying success - recognition 

Haribo's for everyone, and a plastic trophy! Unfortunately, these types of accolades only carry weight in the pee-wee league baseball regionals, and adults expect different kinds of rewards for great work, like cold-hard-cash and/or promotions. 

To reward success, you first have to be able to recognize it. Some types of exemplary employee performance are easier to monitor and measure; they even feel more tangible to the business. 

Sales is an example where if a Sales Representative delivers X above their goal for a prolonged period, the business feels the tangible impact of new revenue, and the knowledge of this performance increase can be seen amongst leaders and senior finance controllers - it is easier to recognize. 

Employees that reduce costs, improve efficiency, or improve product/service quality also need recognition, which is why employee KPIs and having the tools to measure them successfully is critical. But every department is different, and while there are universal employee KPIs, there are specific KPIs particular to IT Departments we've developed.

Types of Recognition 

Determining rewards based on output is entirely up to the business, but having a good grasp on the types of employee recognition available to a business can help create processes to ensure rewards are fair and that numerous successes should lead to good career development within the company. 

Also, recognition doesn't have to be methodical, just like the recommended spontaneous social outings; sometimes, an impromptu pat on the back can carry as much weight as winning the Gold Star employee award {recommended to not name your program as such}.