Employee Engagement

Infusing the post-outbreak workplace with purpose

The conversation around finding purpose at work is not new. For decades now, experts have stressed the importance of building meaning into employees’ days in order to drive business outcomes. Those organizations that heeded the calls have reaped the benefits. A study of hundreds of companies’ stock prices found that the organizations that scored highly on purpose and clarity from management performed much better than their peers. On the flip side, 70% of executives at companies where purpose at work is not a key driver say that employees’ desire for it is impacting HR’s ability to recruit and retain top talent.

As the pandemic continues to revolutionize how we approach work and life, employee attitudes are changing. Pre-pandemic estimates show that 9 out of 10 of people would take a pay cut in exchange for more meaning at work. The fear and stress we’ve all experienced in recent months will likely shift the balance of pay and purpose even further. Similarly, the expectations on employers will continue to grow as employees seek support and flexibility in the prolonged aftermath of this trauma. Companies must be prepared to rise to the occasion, or risk losing their star players at the first sign of regained economic stability.

What does this look like in practice, though? It’s likely that part of the reason so few companies have succeeded in building a purpose-driven workplace is that there isn’t a clear roadmap for developing meaning for employees. Accordingly, we’ve reviewed the research and summarized some of the key steps to building meaning for your team below:

  • Help employees to see the big picture, and how their work contributes to it
    • As humans, we always want to feel that we matter. No one enjoys just being a cog in the wheel. From the first point of contact with a potential employee through offboarding and beyond, ensure that every individual understands the company’s goals and how their work fits in. Help them feel valued through regular feedback, recognition for a job well done, and ongoing communication to keep them up-to-date.
  • Cultivate trust through transparency and empowerment
    • Whether mistrust flows from employee to managers, and/or the other way around, these dynamics make it impossible to build a strong organization grounded in meaning. While trust can be difficult to cultivate, one key step a company can take is to train managers to empower employees. If your staff feel that they are trusted to do their best rather than being micromanaged or suspected of slacking, the majority will rise to the occasion and gain a sense of purpose from it. Similarly, if you are open and communicative, your people will feel that they are truly a part of something larger than themselves, giving meaning to their work.
  • Opportunities to grow and leverage their strengths
    • In order to gain meaning and purpose, employees must have the chance to grow as people. By providing clear career paths, opportunities for learning and upskilling, and new projects for people to engage with, you leave your team no reason to look for alternative employment. They will be excited to learn and expand their skillsets, and will feel positively towards your company as a result.
  • Respect that they’re whole people, and provide benefits tailored to their lives
    • If the myriad interrupted video calls over the past few months have taught us nothing else, it’s that people have full lives outside of work with children, family members, pets, and friends, all with individual needs. Now that we’ve learned so much about each other, don’t leave that information at the door to the office upon reentry. Leverage that knowledge to ensure your employees feel valued and supported as whole people, through work hour flexibility, an expanded menu of benefit options, and wellness support for the whole household.
  • Chances to connect
    • Last but most certainly not least, in order to feel a sense of purpose and engagement at work, people need to care and be cared about by the people around them. Give your team ample opportunity to connect with each other and build the relationships that will keep them employed by your company for years to come. One of the key reasons that people report staying with an organization is getting to work with great people every day. Plan events to help employees build community, provide digital spaces in which they can interact, and encourage socializing, rather than worrying about it. You’ll see it pay off across retention, engagement, and productivity.

These are the top strategies we’ve found to help your organization drive purpose and meaning for your team as we begin to emerge from this first (and hopefully worst) wave of the pandemic. Take this opportunity to reimagine your workplace for the better. If you’re looking for new tools to help your people connect, increase transparency and communication, and provide a seamless employee experience, come see us at or reach out at

Employee Engagement

Remote volunteering to engage employees

One of the many challenges of being under a shelter-in-place order during such a major crisis is that it’s hard to know how to help. For those of us used to springing into action when a problem arises, the fact that one of the best things we can do right now is absolutely nothing (i.e. stay at home on the couch) presents a unique dilemma. Fortunately, companies can play a key role in helping their employees through this struggle while simultaneously sending key resources to organizations on the front lines of the pandemic: organize remote volunteering opportunities!

Social impact activities have long been a pillar of employee engagement programs for good reason: data overwhelmingly indicates that company-sponsored volunteering is important to employees. According to Deloitte’s Volunteer Impact Research, 89% of U.S. workers believe companies that offer volunteer opportunities have a better overall working environment than those who do not. Moreover, 77% consider company-sponsored volunteer activities ‘essential to employee well-being’. Seven out of 10 even think that volunteering is more likely to boost employee morale than company-sponsored happy hours! Volunteering is clearly a key engagement driver, so as we shift so many of our processes to remote frameworks, shouldn’t community service follow the same trend?

The answer is yes, especially when our country’s nonprofit sector is getting hit from all sides. The need for assistance is skyrocketing as the pandemic batters the economy, while the uncertainty ahead is prompting many to be less generous with their donations. Some charities are already operating with decreased staff capacity as people fall ill or need to stay home to care for children and other family members. Volunteerism is down as well amounting to an all-out crisis for many nonprofits. Some organizations are reporting as much as an 85% drop in volunteer turnout, amidst rapidly rising need.

Fortunately, there are ways to help without endangering your employees’ health or violating current restrictions. While social distancing obviously prohibits us from participating in many of the standard community service projects (e.g. serving food at a pantry or shelter, offering activities for seniors, assisting with after school programs), our brave and innovative colleagues in the nonprofit sector have pivoted to offer remote volunteering just as the rest of us have settled into remote working. Needs may vary by area, but some common opportunities include:

  1. Placing phone calls to isolated seniors to conduct wellness checks and provide social connection
  2. Tutoring children and youth who may be struggling with the transition to remote schooling to help them keep up with their coursework
  3. Making items such as masks and hand sanitizer for organizations running low on protective supplies
  4. Offering pro bono skills such as language translation, legal assistance, web design, social media marketing, etc. to help small businesses and/or nonprofits stay afloat
  5. Supporting folks facing pandemic-related mental health challenges via text message

All of these activities offer the opportunity to boost engagement during (and after) this difficult time, and can improve employees’ well-being by providing productive outlets for their stress. If you don’t have an organization in mind you would like to work with, look for volunteer clearinghouses in your area, such as New York Cares or HandsOn Bay Area. They typically list volunteer roles directly on their websites for easy searching, or you can reach out to their staff for guidance.

If you’d rather focus on fundraising, organizations are certainly in need of donations too, and you can rally your entire team around the same cause. You can start a GoFundMe for your employees to contribute to so that everyone can see the goal and your progress towards it, however it’s best not to post donor names and amounts publicly so as not to make anyone feel pressured to give during these financially tenuous times. Another low-pressure way to help employees give back is by committing to match employee donations to organizations responding to the crisis. This enables employees to choose where they give, and lets them know you support both them and the broader community.

While the switch to remote work has been hard on many of us, some of the old methods of engaging employees still work, including leveraging affinity groups and organizing remote volunteering sessions. If you’re looking for an easy way to share information with employees and organize events, activities, and groups, send us a note at We’d be happy to chat about how we can make it easy to keep your employees engaged and informed no matter where they are.

Employee Engagement

Laying the foundation for successful employee groups

Employee groups can be a critical tool for companies striving to build positive and inclusive cultures. In order to truly drive impact though, these communities require structure and support, and a dedicated plan to ensure their longevity. As you can imagine, we’ve done quite a bit of research on what makes for effective employee groups over the course of building Workrowd. When we first started out, it was difficult for us to find information and best practices, so we’ve compiled some of our findings here to hopefully help others in their process.

When considering starting employee groups at your company, the first step is to get input from your staff. Attempting to launch employee initiatives without direct involvement and buy-in from your team is a surefire way to stop your program before it starts. One of the primary goals of employee groups is to increase engagement; in order to achieve it, you have to genuinely engage your employees.

Asking for feedback is just the first step in the process. Whether it’s through surveys, focus groups, or other channels, you have to involve your employees from day one. Ask them what they really like about your company culture, as well as areas where you can improve. Find out what sorts of employee groups they would be interested in joining. Ensure you understand the full world of existing employee initiatives.

Once you’ve requested your employees’ input, you actually have to use what they’ve said to inform your program. You can’t decide what your groups should be in advance, then follow through with your plan regardless of what you hear from your team. This sounds intuitive, but you’d be surprised how many people have told us that this happened at their companies, so it’s critical that we highlight it here.

Once you’ve got your employee-determined roadmap, it’s time for implementation. We’ve got two big pieces of advice on this front:

  1. Support your employee leaders. Employee culture champions are the unsung heroes of your organization. They’re engagement multipliers, boosting morale and thereby productivity, and serving double-duty as they balance both their primary job responsibilities and their commitment to enriching the workplace. Provide them the resources to run better groups. Recognize all of their contributions, not just those outlined in their role description. Connect them with an executive sponsor. Consider giving them a budget if possible. There are myriad ways to support these rockstars, so choose what works for your organization, but please don’t overlook them. You’ll lose them and much of the positive momentum from their group/program, too.
  2. Require your groups to create a governing document. Employee groups that are not well supported by the company are at a high risk of falling apart if the leader(s) leave the organization. Additionally, groups without clearly defined goals can lose steam shortly after launch. Accordingly, it’s critical that you require your groups to put some structure around what they’re doing, develop a mission statement, set objectives, formulate a transition plan, etc. You can find examples of such governing documents online for reference (try looking up employee group charters), but this is a crucial step in ensuring the effectiveness and sustainability of your groups.

Perhaps most importantly, don’t get discouraged if this process takes some time. Culture change is hard, and while well worth it both interpersonally and financially, it’s not something that can just happen overnight. It may be a little while before you see results from your groups, so you have to be prepared to stay the course and continue to check in and support them while they get up to speed.

So what are you waiting for? There’s no better time than today to jumpstart engagement and productivity at your company by starting and/or formalizing some employee groups. If you want help, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at We’re always happy to be a resource in any way we can, and our platform is designed specifically for employee group and events management complete with analytics, so we’ve got your back. We’re looking forward to seeing what your employees can do!

Employee Engagement

A new approach to employee engagement

Workrowd has a whole new look, new features on the way, and new partnerships in the works; 2020 is already shaping up to be full of excitement! For those of you just joining the Krowd, we wanted to take a moment to reintroduce ourselves as part of this rebrand. Workrowd is the employee experience platform that serves both people and profit. Our employee group and events management tools empower everyone in your organization to build company culture, driving engagement from the ground up.

Despite extensive focus in the HR community and beyond, the conversation around employee engagement hasn’t changed much over time. As one would expect, neither have the numbers. In 2019, ADP reported that only 16% of employees are ‘Fully Engaged’. This global study of nearly 20,000 people found that 84% of the working population is “just coming to work”. This should be a pretty clear signal that our current approaches aren’t working. This is also the reason we started Workrowd: to offer a new solution to our employee engagement struggles, and improve the workday for everyone.

Workrowd leverages tried and true methods of fostering deep belonging to enrich the employee experience. Across all areas of life, we form peer groups around shared needs and interests that help us feel included and fulfilled. From K-12 up through college and on into adulthood out in our communities, we organize and bond around everything from pets to politics. With the modern evolution of work manifesting in a multitude of ways, it’s time to bring in something both familiar and proven to help employees feel more invested in their workplaces.

Our user-friendly platform offers an array of tools to help cultivate an engagement strategy uniquely tailored to your employees. Some of the highlights are:

  1. A streamlined hub for internal culture to build transparency, connection, and interest across your company
  2. Events management tools for easy organizing including customizable RSVP options, automated calendar invites and reminders, comments, guest lists, and more
  3. Activity roadmaps to support employee leaders in running productive, sustainable groups that drive business outcomes
  4. Drag and drop analytics to ensure that People leaders have all the data and metrics they need at a glance

While typical engagement solutions revolve around surveying or giving shout-outs, Workrowd builds cross-team connections to boost happiness and loyalty among employees. One of the key reasons why people stay anywhere, personally or professionally, is because they feel connected to the people around them. Workrowd empowers your people to find their people, then takes it a step further, equipping them to build initiatives around topics that are critical to your employer brand. From diversity and inclusion to social impact, professional development to intrapreneurship, our platform offers resources to help your employees launch programs that generate results.

It’s time to take some of the pressure off your People team, and put power in the hands of your actual people, to help them build a workplace that makes everyone proud. By rallying your entire team around shaping your company culture, you’ll develop a winning environment that will retain your high performers and lock in those star recruits. You’ll see higher productivity and agility, as employees build cross-team connections that lead to unexpected synergies and increased output. You’ll give everyone the opportunity to be a part of something special, something that can only happen at your company, with your mission and mix of employees. You’ll play a key role in the ongoing effort to cultivate a happier, more engaged workforce.

If you’d like to learn more and officially join the krowd, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Separately, we’re always looking for feedback, and we’re truly committed to building this movement in partnership with the HR community, so if you’ve got ideas and/or comments, we’re all ears. You can reach us at We look forward to building a better employee engagement solution with you.