Fall 2016
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Keeping Employees in the Groove
Using records as an analogy for workforce engagement.
Everything is grooving. Your company’s leadership is inspired, and employees enjoy their work. You have a good relationship with your customers, your product is strong, and the market is growing. Then something happens, and you skip off track. The music stops.

No matter how necessary the change, whether it’s a merger or implementing a new employee tool, your company is off its groove. Leadership is looking to get things spinning again like a classic rock album on a vintage turntable. How can we liken the Jabian Engagement Framework to dropping the needle on an old vinyl record?

That’s right, vinyl! Record sales are at a 28-year high with bands producing new albums on vinyl and pressing old records again in high volumes. Record purchases are on the rise, not only for the nostalgia of owning an album on vinyl, but because it is an entire listening experience that recalls live music itself.

By selecting a record, we engage more of our body than we do by digitally selecting music on a computer or handheld device. Vinyl is not instantaneous. Removing the record from the sleeve and placing it on the turntable takes time. However, this wait time is filled with activity—not the passive act of outwaiting glitches in streaming strength. Analog vinyl demands involvement throughout the process.

Engagement Driver Table
Involving your employees in the effort to reach true engagement and correct the imbalance left by a disruption is key to effectively using the Jabian Engagement Framework—and stepping through the Engagement Maturity Model. People need to feel the positive change more than the perceived negative one. This can be tough for an organization. Jabian advocates for pull-change management to achieve this type of motivational change. Involving employees in the change will ensure it sticks for the long term—far more than pushing them to potential disengagement.

Experiential change management will amplify your use of the Engagement Framework to help your organization recover from a disruption. To get back in the groove, involve employees in the organizational change, from choosing the record through to the last song. Here are some ideas on how leadership may involve employees in restoring balance to an organization after a disruption, using the playing of a record as an analogy.

Similar to the throwback feel of vinyl, a back-to-basics approach to change management goes a long way to boost engagement and productivity. Implementing a beneficial policy reaps no benefit unless hands-on actions support it. While digital communication will remain the norm, experiences that unite and engage people ultimately offset disruptive organizational change. Focusing on the employee experience throughout the implementation of a change drives engagement and capitalizes on workforce energy, productivity, and happiness.

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