Driving employee engagement is more important than ever before as the virtual work from home environment becomes the norm. How do you, as a CHRO, continue to drive high levels of employee engagement in this new world?

Companies are constantly competing for their own employees’ mindshare. The world is so digital that it is frighteningly easy for employees to get lost in headlines throughout their day. The distractions are everywhere – Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Reuters, Bloomberg, CNN, Fox. Layer in the fact that more employees are working from home (WFH) than ever before, and there is a perfect storm.


How can Chief Human Resource Officers (CHROs) structure internal employee experience to drive higher engagement, block out the noise, and achieve higher employee retention rates? The key is to design a unique employee experience that regularly captures employees’ mindshare in this digital world. Ensuring that a CHRO continues to drive employee engagement even in a work from home environment is more important now than ever as this model very well might be the way of the future.


SBI’s Unique Employee Experience


Here are some examples of the practices SBI employs to drive higher employee engagement:


  • We have 6 Values that guide how we act internally with each other and externally with our clients; value “shout outs” are given by team members at the start of each scrum, team meeting, or internal meeting. Check out our firm values here.
  • We have a Purpose Statement – Drive People to Reach their Full Potential, a Brand Promise – Make Your Number, and a Long-Term Strategic Vision.
  • We host a Full Potential Summit (our version of SKO), where we celebrate the past year and honor those that truly embodied our values with once in a lifetime trips.
  • We have monthly Culture Clubs, where annual culture award winners meet and discuss the pulse of the firm.
  • We have mid-year Summer Gatherings where employees meet their spouses.


Being included in any or all of the above bullets drives employee engagement. Our values are printed out on a metallic card, which most folks carry in their wallet. It fosters a sense of belonging. It helps our team feel like they are part of something much bigger than themselves, and this drives employee engagement. See below for a helpful tool that can be used to guide 1:1 coaching of A players.



Download the A-Player One-on-One Coaching Guide Here


If further interested in SBI’s approach to culture and employee engagement, check out the following podcast: “Evolving Your Culture for the Digital Revolution.”


Build a Strategic Plan to Retain A-Player Talent, Just Like SBI


It all starts with building a strategic plan that outlines the right things a company needs to do in order to effectively assess, recruit, onboard, develop, and retain A-Players. Identifying and retaining A-Players is a Chief Human Resource Officer’s highest priority.


The employee experience, therefore, must be structured to strategically engage a firm’s key people, retain them, and assess if they is a risk of departure. All of this can be achieved by understanding the ideal Employee Experience for the industry and the type of work a firm operates in.


Communication is key. For instance, going back to the SBI example above, we have weekly All Hands meetings where our CEO updates everyone with the happenings of the past weeks: big deal wins, people change, etc. Being transparent and communicating often is critical. We also hold quarterly Town Halls, where employees can ask the executive team any questions they have.


Understanding what drives an ideal Employee Experience can be dimensioned in several ways:


  1. Assessment of your current talent strategy – Understand where gaps to best practice exist and if there is a risk of losing A-players
  2. Talent Strategy Gap to best in class practice analysis – A, B, and C-player analysis
  3. Creation and review of a Talent Strategy Document – Retention of key employees through employee experience roadmaps
  4. Creation of Company Values and Value Cards (to be distributed) – see the SBI example above
  5. Reinforce company values through training – Weekly calls, town halls, etc.
  6. Year in the life of (YILO) Plan – Provide a roadmap for what the key players will do each year
  7. Competitive Analysis – What are your competitors doing to retain talent
  8. Defining the ideal employee experience – Work with current A-player talent and leadership to develop


The most important piece about Employee Experience is not listed above. Instead, it’s a CHRO’s hyper-focus on a weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual basis. Refreshing or evolving the employee experience at least annually is a must. Here’s a helpful tool to drive engagement with your A-player sales reps. 1:1 coaching is also a very effective way to drive employee engagement.


Download the A-Player One-on-One Coaching Guide Here


Check out this podcast: “How a CEO Drives CX Clarity Amid the Chaos” for a great client example of how Kevin Boyce, CEO of Higher Logic, addressed customer and employee experience as a result of the new WFH model.


Further Questions about Employee Experience Design?


While the SBI’s studio has been unusually quiet the past few months, we are still accessible if you have any questions about Employee Experience Design.  Remember, improving the employee experience is more critical than ever before as the world shifts to a virtual work from home model. Please feel free to reach out to me directly or SBI via the Revenue Growth Help Desk.


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Geoff Schuler

Blends the classical approach to strategy with cutting edge data analytics to help clients make their number.

Geoff is an experienced management consultant with a heavy background in working directly with executive leadership to help achieve strategic outcomes. His experiences range from engaging full executive teams on corporate strategy development, to revamping compensation structures to align with firm  goals. Recently, he worked with the senior executives of a mid-size company to tailor financial assumptions, build, and present a pro forma model that depicted the impact an acquisition strategy would have on revenue and EBIDTA. The company followed the model’s guidelines as they executed on their strategy.


Geoff is a CPA and self-proclaimed data hound, whose demonstrated skill set includes: commercial due diligence, go-to-market strategies, market segmentation, competitive analysis, data analytics, development of M&A strategy & all related diligence, financial modeling, and compensation evaluation & restructure.

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