Crossing HR Borders - How to create more engagement in the workspace?

'Don't think outside the box, think outside your industry.' For a lot of HR problems today, a different domain has already solved that challenge. It can be very inspiring to cross some borders to gain new insights. And we're not talking about just crossing country borders, but also the borders of your discipline, industry or other unexpected resources. These insights can lead to specific solutions of the challenges that you're facing today.

Explore these examples in this monthly 'Crossing HR Borders' series.

In one of our first inspirational newsletters on Crossing HR Borders, we already talked about the importance of engagement.
In this newsletter we give some more inspiration on this topic as it is one of the key factors to running a successful business.

For employees to be engaged, they are motivated to work hard towards a common goal that is in line with the company’s vision. They will be committed to the values their organization represents. Engaged employees will have a clear view and understanding of the objectives of the work they are doing.

Understanding the level of engagement is the first step in utilizing this knowledge to your benefit. The next step is working on improving employee engagement within the organization or business. As a manager, creating a workforce that is not just happy, but engaged and motivated to produce, will clear one hurdle on the path to success.
Let's look at some examples in this letter!

Engagement by supporting a social challenge

Jumbo opens 200 'chat checkouts’ to tackle loneliness. The Belgian branches are also set to open its first chat checkout.

These chat checkouts are counters where time is deliberately made available for a pleasant chat, specifically to make loneliness more bearable for the elderly.

At Carrefour in France, they reserve a checkout on Wednesday afternoons for children where they can scan in items themselves.

These are great actions that, on the one hand, can provide an answer to social issues. On the other hand you give employees the chance to use their extra talents - in addition to their pure professional skills and knowledge - for a good cause.

>>> What social issue could your organisation contribute to?

Engagement by dreaming big

‘Moonshot thinking' is a Google X term for dreaming very big. They don't want a 10% innovation but a 10x innovation. The idea is to tackle a global problem by thinking radically and using new technologies. This kind of dreaming attracts ambitious employees who are highly committed to turning the dream into a reality.

>>> What would be the 'moonshot' project in your organization?

Engagement by involving employees in creative projects

14 years ago, radiator manufacturer JAGA (together with design agency Quinze & Milan) headed to the Burning Man festival in the US to build a gigantic wooden artwork. Dozens of employees took on the adventure of spending weeks in the desert realizing the temporary artwork. It was definitely one of the highlights of the festival. And it was also the subject of discussion within the organization for years to come, creating great cohesion.

>>> What is a major creative project in which you can involve your employees?

Engagement by encouraging spontaneous actions

The friendliest bicycle courier in Limburg is currently Jorgen, who sometimes cycles hundreds of kilometers a day to deliver packages for Coolblue. Most couriers are always in a hurry, but Jorgen likes to make time for a chat. And after a nice conversation, he even sends the customer a thank-you card for the nice conversation. Employees are given the opportunity to send a card to a customer every day to live up to their motto 'Everything for a smile'.

>>> Do your employees have the opportunity to do such a spontaneous action?

'Crossing HR Borders' is the result of a co-creation between Marc Heleven - Innovation researcher and Cyriel Kortleven - Global speaker on the Change Mindset.

These articles were first published in the Flemish HR Magazine ZigZag.
More info: www.cyrielkortleven.com