3 Key Insights on How to NOT Be Disruptive with Your Employee Engagement Strategy

The world’s best tech startup designers might not ordinarily reach for the Wall Street Journal for inspiration, but today is an exception. The CEO of Dittach has a provocative essay called “A Little Less Disruption, Please,” in which he argues against the ubiquitous “D” word: “’Disrupt’ and ‘disruptive’ and ‘disruption’ don’t have a positive connotation—or at least they didn’t before some pitchman disrupted their meaning.”

“If you go to a startup conference these days, you can’t even get in the door without a pitch that has the word “disrupt” leading the way…. I’m sorry, but can I disrupt the buzzword industry for a moment? This word suggests that, in the increasingly frantic daily routine of the modern consumer, what he really yearns for is a new product that will explode in his life like a small hand grenade.”

Call us obsessed with efficient product design, but as we read through Daniel Gelernter’s attributes for a perfect product to improve life, we also think many of these points also apply to running a successful employee engagement strategy.

“What I really want is something that unifies and simplifies the many threads of my life.”

  • Think about all of the tactics you’re currently using to “engage” employees today. We meet organizations that rely on employee-engagement audits, but it’s not working for them. They might have 75-100 different programs focused on engaging employees, from softball leagues to global philanthropy. It’s confusing. At the same time, less than 1% of companies use technology to engage employees, recognize, and motivate them. Think about what you can do to bring these programs together. Benefits to one central employee-engagement platform:

— Your team is more likely to find out about and participate in programs they may have otherwise never heard of as a result of being exposed to all of the opportunities in one central location.

— Social mechanics allow people to get enthusiastic! Now the understand which of their colleagues are participating, and can quantify the impact they’re creating together.

— Inspire your employees to TAKE ACTION. Right now, the fractured nature of employee-engagement programs is forcing employees to choose which programs they’ll remember, care about, or use; and this reduces participation rates across all programs. Unfortunate, and fixable.

“As the number of data sources and services increases, and volume rises from each, my life is transitioning from heavily overloaded to catastrophically overloaded.

  • Behavior change is core to an employee engagement strategy. Consider this: you are asking people to do things they likely would not otherwise do. If sustainability is the goal, you’re asking your employees to make small changes whose immediate effect is often hard to discern. If volunteering is a central component of your engagement strategy, you’re asking your team to dedicate one of their most precious commodities: Time.
  • Get organized! When you have goals around things like increasing engagement, enhancing knowledge, reducing pollution, eliminating waste, losing weight, or lowering stress, it’s a challenge to keep everything coordinated. Be cognizant of all of the requests you’re making of your employees. You want to entice them, not overwhelm. Schedule your initiatives in one master location to see whether programs enhance one another, or conflict.
  • Don’t underestimate how all of these small asks can add up quickly on an already busy calendar. People won’t stay involved if they don’t grasp the impact they’re making. Be sure to communicate fresh results and updates.

“I need something that will cost me fewer button clicks, fewer wasted thought cycles, fewer trips to different digital services before I’m able to see the entire picture.”

  • Simplicity is key. Early and often, ask yourself how this program could be even easier for people to participate in. Can you add single sign-on to the platform you’re using? Can you remove even a single click from any of the required steps? Make those improvements. And make them again! The result? A great experience for your users, who will recommend it to others. You’ll have a hit.

As Dan Gelernter pleads,“A Little Less Disruption, Please. With disruption thundering all around, I don’t need more of it. How about some technological peace and quiet? Simplify, please.” We could not agree more.

Wondering how you could centralize your employee engagement strategy? Read about the benefits of employee engagement software and feel free to drop us a note at if you think we could be of help..