How to Maximize Employee Engagement with Jeff Hoffman

By
Future of Work
June 10, 2021

For our Future of Work webcast on June 3 2021, Erica Sand of Criterion HCM welcomed Jeff Hoffman, Global entrepreneur from Priceline.com and uBid.com. Jeff is a global entrepreneur who’s built companies in every space from technology and consumer-based to entertainment, media, film, TV, music and sports as well. He also works on growth and scaling up with a broad range of companies.

This was a conversation packed with insights about engagement, learning, technology, and the advantages of remote workforces as far as your talent pool. Take a look at our edited highlights. Then, watch his full Future of Work episode here.

Erica Sand: How do you motivate and keep employees engaged?

Jeff Hoffman: My fundamental belief is that when people ask what it takes to really grow your company, a lot of times people talk about money, funding. The truth is the scarcest resource in the world is not financial capital. It's human capital. Talent is the difference between the world's greatest companies and everybody else, not how funded they were or anything else.

I learned all of this stuff he hard way as a CEO who's hired thousands of people over the years and actually all over the world. Originally, I thought it was my job to motivate people. And later what I discovered is people have their own motivation. There is something that already motivates them. You need to find that, bring that to the surface and help them with it.”

 

ES: What metrics do you use to measure engagement 

JH: I always went to my employees and asked them, ‘The company is thinking top down of implementing this new metrics and measurement system. But I want to ask you bottom up, how would you do it? How would you like us to measure you? What metrics do you want us to consider and how should we collect that data?’

So I never just implemented a system and said, everybody has to use this, because a lot of companies do that. I said, ‘I'm considering implementing this system, but I want you guys to tell me — if you were designing something, what do you want us to include in the metric system that might not be included in those systems?’ In the end, we always wound up with a hybrid solution. We used efficient tools that were created in the marketplace, but we implemented them with ideas that my employees came up with. 

 

ES: How do you push employees to self-develop and grow?

JH: We use technology to promote employee learning. That’s such an efficiency driver. Remote and online learning is much stronger, much better developed. There's more curriculum and more choices out there.

We use technology to have the experts in the company record classes for new employees for onboarding. We have our best people record videos that new employees or growing employees can listen to. For example, have your best salesperson record a video of how they do it. Other salespeople who are trying to grow can learn from [them] even though they don't see them during the day.

 

ES: How can learning be used as a tool to grow employees within an organization?

JH: Employees want upward growth opportunities. They not only want to vertically upward growth in the company, some frequently want to expand their skills horizontally. It may be so that they can take on new assignments in your company. But honestly it may be because they have career goals that are bigger than the job you have for them. But in all cases, the ability to learn is a big thing.  

As a company, I've had people that posted internally for new jobs that when they got there, they would have never been qualified for. And they said, ‘Wow, I see stages of my career and I'm not bored in one job forever. At this company, I have opportunities to move into different departments and work on different things and continue to grow myself.’ Personally, I think employee education is a huge piece of employee satisfaction and engagement.

 

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