Last week we had the honor of hosting an incredible roster of Dream Managers for our latest HR Roundtable – HR leaders who have built their core mission around supporting the dreams of their employees. Whether their dream is to spend more quality time with family, send their oldest child to college, buy their first home, or summit Mt. Everest; identifying and supporting employee dreams is a critical piece of your employee engagement strategy.
Supporting employee dreams and seeing them become a reality might feel like a soft metric. Beyond building a more positive, empathetic culture, you might be asking what does Dream Managing do for the bottom line? Does it help make a positive impact on the other metrics I care about, like retention and hiring?
The answer is, yes. At Blueboard, we’ve seen incredibly positive engagement results from the experiences we bring to life for employees. 95% of rewarded employees agreed that Blueboard is a great tool for retaining top talent, and similarly, 95% agreed that Blueboard experiential rewards build amore positive company culture. Blueboard's ability to be an influential work incentive is just one of the ways why Blueboard is a successful employee recognition vendor.
Beyond retention and culture, marketing your company’s offering to support employee dreams is an amazing message for prospective candidates. Not many companies are even asking about their employees long-term dreams, let alone creating programs to make them a reality. A Dream Manager program is a key differentiator that could ultimately bring you more qualified, inspired and motivated candidates.
Tune-in below for our lively and inspiring conversation with a panel of resident Dream Managers: Mary Miller, CEO at JANCOA and author of Changing Direction, Dan Ralphs, Co-Founder at Dream Leadership Consulting, and Esther Riley, Dream Coach at Netsurit.
And for ongoing inspiration, grab a copy of Mary’s book, as well as Dream Manager by Matthew Kelly. For practical application of how to leverage recognition and rewards programs to bring dreams to life, follow the best practices laid out by Glaukos in this updated Partner Success Story. Glaukos partners with Blueboard to fuel their anniversary awards program, giving employees the chance to cross something off their bucket list, discover a new hobby or travel the world.“If you can dream it, they’re doing it.” We’ve seen employees learn new languages, chase the Northern Lights, and get their pilots license and more, and the dreams keep on coming.
So, you want to start your own Dream Manager program? Here’s the top tips shared by our panel for you to steal with pride! And please keep the conversation going with your thoughts and questions via the Comments section below.
1) Support People in Ways that Matter
How can we attract more people to want to work here? How can we encourage them to want to stay with us? For dream programs to work, you need to do basic things to improve employee quality of life.
Mary Miller, CEO, JANCOA
2) Don’t Overthink It, Just Get Started
Dreaming is not an isolated activity; it works best to dream as teams and share your dreams with others. To get started, you don’t need a perfect program or plan; begin with a pilot program and collect feedback.
Dan Ralphs, Co-Founder, Dream Leadership Consulting
3) Invest for Success, Some Budget is Needed
Dreaming is free, and supporting others’ dreams is free. Start by having people create and share their own lists; the only cost for that is time. However, some budget will be needed to invest in program administration and tools for organizing dreams and building accountability, depending on your goals plan to invest for success as you scale.
Esther Riley, HR Generalist & Dream Coach, Netsurit
4) In Lieu of New Budgets, Optimize Existing
Dream managers should focus not only on attracting and retaining employees, but also disrupting “success ruts” that many senior employees may fall into. Continue challenging these senior leaders so they feel continually motivated to grow and find new opportunities to tap into areas of their own vulnerability and personal dreams.
Additionally, don’t be intimidated by the Dream Manager investment. In lieu of having to craft an entirely new budget, consider optimizing those already in place. How can you innovate the rewards distributed through your anniversary or spot recognition program to better align with employee dreams and bucket lists? How can you restructure the questions asked during annual performance reviews to uncover employee dreams, vs. focusing so much on their past performance? Start small, and get better along the way.
Morgan Chaney, Head of Marketing at Blueboard
See you next time,