CV Incentive Mechanism: Employees
Definition of employee engagement
DreamWorks Animation’s (DWA) products are labor-intensive, and a significant portion of that labor consists of knowledge workers. In common with many other knowledge workers, DWA employees must leverage their knowledge to produce innovation – new films in the case of DWA. Similarly, an IT Specialist uses her IT knowledge to creatively coax a truculent application into operating as expected. Both also must be methodical and communicate well with their cohorts – not attributes typically associated with those in the creative fields. Therefore the three key points in this Workforce article on how DWA fosters a great working environment should be equally applicable to many IT organizations – especially to those offering consulting and systems integration services.
- Facilitate informal communication and collaboration
- Make employees feel secure
- Continual process improvement: identify and apply lessons so they become lessons learned
Unfortunately most IT companies allow for very little face-to-face informal communication and have not sufficiently trained employees in effective remote communication and collaboration (and/or do not provide adequate tools and connectivity plans to enable such interaction). Note the word ‘effective’: poorly written text messages, tweets, and emails are ineffective remote communication.
Not only are many IT companies guilty of multiple rounds of layoffs – often cutting those who have tried to be entrepreneurial and those who have the experience (knowledge) that leads to brilliant insights – but many are not providing remaining employees with the career and professional development that make them feel like valued team members. Refer to the 2012 August 14 CRN article on the top 10 IT layoffs in 2012 for layoff examples.
The lessons applied by many IT employees are: don’t take risks, don’t ask questions or otherwise disrupt the status quo, and you can’t get blamed for doing things the same way that they’ve always been done. Of course if you’ve replaced employees with the experience and vision to improve the business with cheaper, less experienced employees, then employees will likely keep repeating mistakes and be stuck in reactive mode.