Digital transformation is rapidly changing the way we communicate and work with each other. Company leaders recognize that to drive innovation and growth they must transform their workforce, foster open communications, and engage people, from the executive suite to Firstline Workers.

“Great workplace cultures treat employees as stakeholders of their future. They put their attention on concrete performance management activities, such as clarifying work expectations, getting people what they need to do their work, providing development opportunities, and promoting positive coworker relationships. As a result, their employees create more and better work, stay with their organization longer, and win the best customers for the future.”
—Gallup, “37 Workplaces That Stand Out from the Rest”

Where employees are truly engaged, companies report improved employee retention, customer satisfaction, sales metrics, and overall profitability. Sadly, though, employee engagement is low and stagnant. Gallup also revealed that only a third of employees feel engaged in the United States, and only 15 percent worldwide.

Today, we hosted The Employee Engagement Summit, a free, one-hour, online event that brought together leaders from flagship companies to explore employee engagement and open communication in the modern workplace. In a lively series of discussions led by Anton Andrews, director of Office Envisioning at Microsoft, they shared stories, best practices, and lessons they’ve learned as they create a new culture of work.

Guests and topics included:

Microsoft—Kathleen Hogan, EVP of Human Resources at Microsoft, discussed the cultural transformation of Microsoft and how technology enabled company leadership to connect with employees at scale to accelerate that transformation.

“Employees will say… ‘I feel connected to the strategy and what’s happening at headquarters even though I’ve never been to Redmond.’ [Technology] creates a two-way dialogue and a very inclusive sense that helps people feel more involved.”

KFC—Jonathan D’Souza, People Capability Director (HR), shared KFC’s successful efforts to engage a large, younger workforce, improving employee experience, workplace safety, and customer satisfaction.

“What did engagement look like? People wanted a voice, and they wanted to feel connected… Yammer allowed us to not only connect our teams all across Australia, but it helped us give them the voice that they wanted.”

 

Accenture—Jason Warnke, Global Social Enterprise Lead, discussed how Accenture has empowered its people—spread across the globe and heavily millennial—to engage frictionlessly as teams to improve collaboration and communication.

“The way we work is team-based and project-based… Our employees use Microsoft Teams as a digital cockpit for communication and collaboration.”

 

TSB Bank—Hari Miller, head of Internal Communications and Community Engagement, shared how engagement and open communications aligned people around a culture and strategy to build a new challenger bank in the U.K.

“We needed to create a bank that was going to make banking better for everyone… People feel empowered to make decisions within this bank, whether you’re working in one of our branches or whether you’re the CEO, it’s equally important that we all believe in what we’re trying to achieve and feel that you can make a difference.”

Profile pictures of Russell Dyer and Joher Akolawala.Mondelēz International—Russell Dyer, VP Global Communications, and Joher Akolawala, SVP Global Chief Information Officer, explored how Mondelēz connected people and enabled two-way connections with employees around the world and showcased the value of a close partnership between IT and the business.

“What Yammer does is it shrinks our world. It enables those human connections on a level that no other tools provide. From a communications standpoint, we spend a lot of time focusing on our peoplethe proof points of heroic efforts and driving our business and celebrating our success and people agenda. But there’s nothing more powerful than arming a colleague with a tool where they can tell their own story.”

Sanofi Pasteur—Celine Schillinger, head of Quality Innovation and Engagement, engaged people to drive an initiative she calls “corporate activism” to drive tremendous business value.

“Every day there are dozens of conversations happening, so knowledge is flowing big time, and worldwide, across layers, across sites, across culture, across languages… The business benefits are absolutely tremendous.”

 

Leaders anywhere in an organization can learn from these examples to better engage their people and to empower everyone to achieve more.

You can view the recording of the event on demand.

—Seth Patton, general manager of Microsoft 365 Product Marketing

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