BE Engaged – Employee Engagement

Branded Environments creates experience design elements in the workplace which encourage constant interaction from employees, opening new avenues of communication and participation with your workforce and making your employee engagement activities more effective..

Employee experience coalesces around the workplace, making it a natural location to launch and sustain an employee engagement program. We design on-site interactive spaces and furnishings that focus on key drivers and goals to create vibrant Employee Engagement initiatives.

Getting In Sync

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The CEO takes the first step in addressing a more open communication with movable writing boards. The project was part of a company wide change-culture campaign.

Our designers work closely with the client’s employee engagement team to create displays and interactive elements that best fit their program. Because there is a strong behavioral component to these initiatives, it is important to produce designs that communicate in the right tone and style.

A good place to start is with the assumption that employees want to grow and thrive. We break down this desire into the following focus areas, referred to as ARC:

  • Autonomy (self-realization)
  • Relatedness (their work is good for others)
  • Competence (they are improving)

We generally find that combining ARC support with company goals creates an engaging work environment. Along these lines, we examine how ARC values match or foster brand values in order to create a succinct message. While we consider ARC categories to be flexible, these three provide a solid structure for our initial conversations and designs.

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Employees share their “Priceless” moments on a digital display. Company vision and the employee community seamlessly merge in a bold and eloquent experience.

In order for our design to get in sync with our client’s program, Branded Environments generally proceeds with one of two approaches. We either tackle a single issue (such as “communication for the value of relatedness”), or we provide a more open-ended platform (like asking for contributions from employees and letting the issues reveal themselves).

This process of offering or requesting ideas is flexible enough to meet clients at any phase of their program, and it produces proactive, positive, and engaging design elements that benefit office life.

Aligning Employee Motivation and the Brand

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Display cases with real artifact provide a tangible experience of numerous “Pro-bono” work for a law firm. It shows the firm’s commitment to real social impact and employees feel great pride in their contributions.

Employee engagement is not simply about employee satisfaction – it must also be aligned with corporate needs. This was the case for an international payment company when they hired us to focus on the single motivational theme of “work environment energy,” combined with branding messaging. The client wished for employees to truly live the brand and find “relatedness” to their own lives.

To accomplish this, we created a digital feature of 36 monitors with rotating images that employees submitted. Echoing the company’s advertising campaign of “Priceless moment,” employees sent pictures of priceless moments in their lives that included a short caption ending with the word “priceless.” The popularity of our design piece made the company’s vision a part of the everyday language of the workplace; and because it related directly to their lives, everyone felt more connected to each other and the company.

Employee Contributions and the Project Show Case

One way that we have pursued the open-ended platform approach is by creating a display we call the Project Show Case. It typically entails exhibit furniture that exhibits work from various teams for the rest of the office. We work with the teams to learn about what they’ve been doing, then produce an aesthetically pleasing and on-brand presentation that acknowledges and praises the employees.

[In one instance for a law firm we created beautiful glass cases that displayed the latest pro bono work featuring correspondence, artifacts, and profiles. The display makes this community building work a very tangible experience and it conveys a message of purpose to employees. The same cases can later be used for another content. The flexibility of the solution allows the firm to define itself as it evolves in time. The piece is an open invitation for employees to participate and show what is important to them in the context of the firm. We have also found that these pieces are useful recruitment and on-boarding tool. Candidates and new recruits have the opportunity to experience the firm in the genuine voice of other employees.]

Capturing the Energy – Interactive Surveys

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Two different examples where stakeholders are invited to pin a flag or contribute comments. BE designs aim to capture the energy of participation.

Another form of open-ended display is interactive surveys for employees and visitors. This type of installation prompts people to share content or vote on a certain topic, and then uses their input to produce beautiful visual effects.

The survey does more than offer multiple choice questions: it measures tone, style, enthusiasm, and emotion, and thereby serves as a listening device that takes the temperature of the workforce. The energy from this form of group participation places the collective voice of employees and stakeholders in the upper tier of importance for the organization. Additionally, the interactive display helps individual employees define for themselves how they understand their own contributions. It is an exercise in aligning diverse employee interest with the firm’s common goals.

Affirming the Value of Group Work

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The importance of group work acquires cultural capital when spaces are specifically designed for it.

Although working in teams is a standard practice, more value tends to be placed on having individual offices. At Branded Environments we have designed numerous group task environments that go far beyond the meeting room. While tailoring to the specific work of the firm, we break down the scale of the office with a focus on celebrating the achievements of the entire team. This results in a sense of connectivity, increased cultural importance, and a sense of place for team members.

Branded Environments will incorporate a physical presence that adds credibility and demonstrates long term commitment to your employee engagement program. Our designs are effective in kick-starting an initiative and making sure that everyone is aware of its purpose and scope. We accomplish this by highlighting the work, camaraderie, achievement, and values of your workforce while helping employees define their path through your company.

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