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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Zurich CFO Trots Globe To Hear, Engage Employees

Boosting employee engagement doesn't always require a top-to-bottom change in corporate culture or even in internal brand communication.

Sometimes it can be as simple as just letting staffers know you're listening to them--and that their input is valuable, whatever management actually does with their feedback.

Take, for example, what the chief financial officer of Zurich North America, an insurance company, recently did to foster employee alignment with her decision to reorganize the internal finance structure of the company. Instead of just writing up a plan and shipping it out to all of Zurich's regional offices around the globe, Dalynn Hoch opted to have 100 intense "interactions" with groups of employees in those areas before beginning such a move.

Using that format, reported, employees "felt empowered," Hoch said at a recent event hosted by CFO magazine. "They didn't feel like we dropped in." They saw a "global roadmap" of how they fit into the organization.

"You cannot just push transformation. You cannot just pull transformation. You actually have to go through a process that grabs the hearts and minds of your employees of your business. You have to do it in a way that they want to be engaged."

Hoch noted that employee engagement is her first priority. "Your employees need to be proud," she said. "They need to be attached to the mission, that strategic direction of your organization."

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