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  • Sara Jurado 9:00 am on October 22, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , motivation   

    How to increase internal engagement in companies 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    Recently there’s a lot of talk about “engagement” in digital marketing, meaning trying to achieve user loyalty through the social networks, but I’d like to rehash the original meaning of this term, which has been used in HR for some time. Because in the same way we seek to build links with customers, it is important in moments of change, perhaps now more than ever, to encourage employee involvement and commitment. When it comes down to it, internal customers need to be looked after just as much as external ones… So when the socioenconomic environment is rather unfavorable, low-cost labor motivation strategies can have a positive effect not only on employee morale, but on productivity. In fact, according to data from Gallup, companies with a high level of employee involvement in the organization report 50% higher sales and 27% higher profits.

    But what should a company communicate to promote engagement among employees?

    The following infographic, created specially for this post, shows us some points to take into account in social media strategies to achieve this goal:

    • organizational vision and values
    • objectives and goals: the company’s, the employees’ in their job, for the team, department, etc.
    • financial situation and management of the company
    • products, services and processes being developed
    • status of the projects
    • what is happening inside (births, department restructuring, etc.) and outside (how the employment market and the competition is affecting it, etc.) the company
    • corporate social responsibility policies
    • occupational health information
    • internal communication channels (to ask questions, get feedback, announce incidents, etc.)
    • personnel contributions and recognitions
    • social benefits and retribution in kind
    • professional and training opportunities
    • as well as other contents that are not strictly to do with the labor side (atmosphere, social activities inside and outside the company, etc.)

    In the web 2.0 age, it is time to change the suggestion box and the “Employee of the Month” photo for new forms of communication with the workforce, which also act as a stimulus to retain and strengthen human capital. We need to follow Deloitte’s example, a company where more than 3,000 employees have blogs on their social network D Street. Or Evernote’s, where there isn’t a telephone for every desktop but there is a robot for communicating by video conferencing; in the same way, they have installed a giant screen that transmits what is happening in the headquarters so that the employees who don’t work there feel like they do. What 2.0 options would you implement in your company? If you need some ideas… ask on Zyncro! :)

    Sara Jurado is psychologist specialized in career counseling and social media for professional development, and currently works as Professional Counselor at Barcelona Activa.


  • Alejandro Formanchuk 10:01 am on March 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: areas of value, , cultural area, essential area, , intelligence area, , , learning area, motivation, motivational area, operational area, , strategic area,   

    The 7 Areas of Value in Internal Communication 

    Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

    Editor’s note: This article was published in full on the blog Todo Significa. Its author, Alejandro Formanchuk, is chairman of the Argentine Internal Communication Association, CEO at Formanchuk & Asoc., specialist in Corporate Communication and lecturer at the University of Buenos Aires. He has been kind enough to let us publish a summarized version on ZyncroBlog. Thanks, Alejandro!

    We strongly recommend you follow his blog Todo Significa. There, you’ll find the best strategies and tools for internal communication.

    The 7 Areas of Value in Internal Communication


    Many people ask what does internal communication do? They’re quite right to be curious.

    In this piece, I’ll discuss “The Model of the 7 Areas of Value in Internal Communication”. I’ll give the key areas where internal communication can and should intervene in bringing value to an organization.

    Each area is interconnected, making up a system and tracing a spiral path (not circular) where the picture is changed with each turn of the spiral.


    The 7 Areas of Value:

    1. Essential: That the organization exists

    An organization is born from a conversation, it is the result of a “conversational commitment”. Everything starts with dialog, with a founding word that sets the wheel into motion.

    Once the project is configured, communication comes into play again to get it going. An “organization” is two or more people who become linked to achieve their objectives; they coordinate their activities, time, resources and responsibilities.

    If we look at the etymological root of the word, we’ll discover that the word “communication” means “make common”. For that reason, I believe it is a key resource, because, whether it’s a family, a multinational enterprise or a nation, they must generate meeting points to achieve their goals.

    We could even say that communication is more than a “resource”, it’s the “being” of the organization, its fuel, its vital blood; if there is no communication, the organized activity ceases to exist

    2. Operational: That people know how to do their work

    The next step is for people to go into action to achieve the objectives set. Time to work. Internal communication plays a key role in this stage so that everyone knows what they have to do, why they are there and what is expected of them. The basics, the must-know stuff, the essentials.

    This means communicating:

    • Who they are working for: What is the organization, how is it made up, what place it holds in the company, in the market, etc.
    • Where they are working: What is their place within the structure, who they answer to, what are the links and relationships.
    • What are the rules of work: schedules, procedures, codes, places, spaces, regulations, etc.
    • What they have to do today: Information on their position, their work and their activities.
    • What they have to do tomorrow: Everything that affects them, like changes in procedures, schedules, tasks or responsibilities.

    3. Strategic: That they know why they must do it

    When we implement internal communication actions within a strategic plan, we do it with the aim that all members of the organization know why they do what they do.

    A good example of this can be found in the story of three men who were laying bricks. When all three are asked about their work, the first man replies that he is laying one brick on top of another. The second says, building a wall”, and the third building a church for the people”.

    The different answers are due to those different strategic communications” that each man received from the organization. We can assume that the last man will be the one who will give his all to the job because:

    • He feels focused: He knows where he is going to. He knows the path, the goals, the vision and mission of the organization.
    • He feels committed: He knows what his personal goals are and how his effort will help achieve the global goal.
    • He feels respected: He is no longer a simple bricklayer.
    • He feels valued: Someone explained to him the importance of his work and told him the final goal.
    • He feels motivated: He works for a greater and more important cause.
    • He feels integrated: He forms part of a team and hows what the impact of his task is on the rest.
    • He feels content: Knowing the goal of the task helps to lower conflict and bad feeling created by uncertainty, among other things. People who don’t receive strategic communication can end up considering that many things they do are useless or the organization gets them to do them out of whim, malice or stupidity.

    3. Cultural: That they know how they must do it

    Let’s some add flavor to the previous story, I believe the last man will give his best if as well as knowing the objective, he shares it.

    This encourages us to reflect on the importance of aligning the values and objectives of the organization with those of its members (and viceversa), so that the people participate on a deeper level in their task, experience the significance of their actions and feel proud about the way they “do things”.

    Because, when it comes down to it, organizations all over the world have similar objectives. What differentiates each organization is their way of achieving those goals.

    For that reason, a person can join a company with much enthusiasm, but a week later, flee terrified by what they saw, discovered, by the MO, by the way in which things are done and achieved.

    Managing the “cultural area” means communicating:

    • How things are done in the organization
    • What the culture, values, rules, codes, principles and ethics are.
    • What is allowedand what is not.
    • What is above all.

    Apart from stating it (the easiest part), it must be demonstrated with facts. Communicating values is one of the most difficult aspects to manage because it must be 100% true, demonstrable and applicable.

    There’s no room for error. In an organization, the objectives, tasks and responsibilities can change, but the values and culture are not flexible, they are not circumstantial.

    The organization is established with principles (although they are not written down nor are people fully aware of them at the time) and it must take responsibility for its choices and the consequences. If the organization is set up with good values and they are correctly communicated, integration, unity, strength and attraction can be achieved.

    5. Motivational: That they want to do it

    People know how to do their work, they know why they must do it, they know how to do… now theyre only missing the most important part: they must want to do it!

    Motivating others is a challenge. It requires crafted, personalized and painstaking work because each person has individual interests. When you work the “motivational area”, try to generate positive communications so that people:

    • Feel proud to form part of the company.
    • See prospects of growth and opportunity.
    • Feel that the company is fair and that everyone gets what they deserve.
    • Feel understood, valued and listened to.
    • Feel treated like an individual, not simply a “human resource”.
    • Have a positive attitude that promotes a good working environment and interpersonal relationships

    6. Learning: That they know how they are doing

    While the person performs the task, you should open a “learning area”, a communication space in which feedback is given on how they are doing in their job, and if necessary, making adjustments, changing something or telling them to continue as is. The key is that each member knows how they can improve what they are doing.

    The learning space must be simultaneous to the task. What’s the point of giving someone feedback every 12 months? It’s crazy. It’s not going to help anyone.

    Then, the communicators, we need to ensure that the organization:

    • Opens spaces for dialog.
    • Clearly defines what it expects of each individual.
    • Pays attention to people and their performance.
    • Finds objective actions for evaluation.
    • Acts with fairness.
    • Transmits the idea that adjustments are normal and positive.
    • Chooses the right people to give feedback.
    • Assumes feedback as part of its culture and not a mere tool.
    • Brings feedback constantly and not just at the end of year or when some external regulation requires it.

    7. Intelligence: That they suggest how to do it better

    Finally we reach this area, which I call “intelligence” because it involves opening a space for dialog where people can bring their ideas and suggestions on how to improve the organization.

    The impact of this area is enormous for the organization because:

    • It enables it to grow, learn and improve.
    • It gives the possibility of getting ahead on changes or challenges.
    • It motivates people, because we all like to be treated like intelligent people and feel that they listen to us, value our contribution, reward our ideas and let us to carry those initiatives out.
    • It encourages human capital.

    This participative space can also give rise to the start of the process, in the “operational” phase. There people can make proposals and define jointly the action plan. But it is also useful when it opens onto the end of the journey, once the job is done, once they have experience. It’s the famous bottom-up feedback.

    Spiral conclusions

    My intention with this post is to show that internal communication finds, wins, keeps and extends more genuine spaces within organizations. Organizations shouldn’t use internal communication to exaggerate their promises or reject its immense power of action and transformation.

    Faced with the question at the start on the usefulness of internal communication, I conclude by saying that it is tool that lets the organization to exist and the people:

    • Know their work
    • Know why they do it
    • Know how to do it
    • Want to do it
    • Know how they did it
    • Propose how they can make it better


  • Mertxe Pasamontes 10:01 am on March 14, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , error, , , mistakes, motivation,   

    Look after your employee like you look after yourself 

    Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

    Many companies have gone through restructuring since the economic crisis started. Restructuring in general means “firing” some workers and leaving those left in the workforce with the fear that they’ll be next.

    The “intuitive psychology of the street” makes many think that this helps those that are left behind, making them more motivated.

    Those of you that think that way, I recommend you find out a bit more about it, as most studies indicate that it’s quite the opposite:

    Negative motivation generates fear and fear makes us less efficient, less productive and less creative.

    That negative motivation can cause a quick change, but it is short-lived and has a limited impact. The first thing you need to do if you really want to generate changes is inspire your team to make progress.

    A very efficient method that I have explained in another post is doing it with a mentality of growth: it’s about believing that we ourselves and others can improve in a great many ways if we practise and put our energies into it.

    This way, all members of a team or a company can show room for improvement in many ways, although initially it may seem that things aren’t going well. It’s about seeing how to make that change and give them the tools and time to do it.

    With this type of positive motivation, our brains expand, we extend our repertory of thoughts and actions. The person becomes more creative and has more initiative.

    We must think that the crisis will pass and we’ll have to pay the price for everything we have done during this time. Whether there’s a positive or negative balance at the end of it depends on each company. Perhaps a talented person stays in the same position today because they don’t see many opportunities out there or because they are afraid of not finding a good job. But in a few years, when the situation improves again, if that person feels like they have been mistreated, they will leave without looking back.

    Treating employees well includes allowing room for mistakes: those people that have initiative and seek out innovative solutions need to have the peace of mind that they can make mistakes at times. Read this story that appears in the book Switch and think whether it applies to the place where you work:

    In the 1960s, an executive at IBM made a decision that ended up losing the company ten million dollars (at that time). IBM CEO Tom Watson called the executive in question to his office in the headquarters. The journalist Paul B. Carroll described what happened as follows:

    When the executive appeared, Watson asked him if he knew why he had been called in.

    The man said he assumed he was being fired.

    Watson looked at him, surprised.

    “Fired? Hell no, I just spent $10 million educating you.”


    How are people motivated in your company? How is talent managed? And errors?

  • Juan Manuel Rodríguez 10:25 am on March 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , motivation, Motivulario, Motivulary, positive thinking   

    Interview: “Motivulary: the vocabulary of motivation” 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    MotivularioToday on ZyncroBlog we have interviewed María Graciani García, author of the book “Motivulario”, which will be in the shops from April 23 (Empresa Activa).

    María is a young journalist from Sevilla who has specialized in Human Resources with an important projection towards Recruitment, Training, Corporate Communication and Executive Coaching.

    María wanted to share her thoughts on the importance of a positive vocabulary to motivate ourselves and infuse those around us with enthusiasm.

    In her book and now also on her blog, you can find out more about this idea.


    What is Motivulary and how did it come about?

    It’s a word that I invented that means “Vocabulary of Motivation”. The idea of writing a book goes back to when I was 11, when I told myself “I’m going to be a writer”, but the idea of Motivulary is more recent, coming from my own professional experience in which motivation played a very important role.

    What happened exactly?

    I worked for 7 months as a HR manager in a mining company, and from those very first days, I started to do something that would have a very positive impact on the rest of the company. Every day I arrived an hour early to work and sent an email to my colleagues, which I called “Morning Happiness”, with a positive thought for the day.

    Who received those emails?

    At first, only 4 or 5 people, but soon the word started to spread and around 65 people received it each day, including the CEO. Even people started to send those mails to their friends and family. One day, a new intern joined the company and came directly to ask if I was responsible for the “Morning Happiness”. I soon heard that the company’s directors also read my email each Monday morning… before the other work emails.

    Did that wave of positive thoughts have an impact on daily operations apart from those emails?

    It wasn’t just emails… One Friday each month, I brought in some cake and called those “Sweet Fridays.” Everyone was invited to come by and get a “slice of sweet morning.” Around that cake, colleagues started to spontaneously chat, exchanging their impressions on various subjects, who maybe didn’t have much of an opportunity to talk directly during the day.

    Did the work atmosphere also improve?

    If before there were major ups-and-downs in the “energy” level of the employees, over time that level became higher and more stable thanks to the great atmosphere that it generated. I’d say that we went from fluctuations between 50% and 100% to a more stable 80%. It generated an atmosphere of trust, enthusiasm and continuity.

    Zyncro has published the first “Manual on Best Practices in Enterprise Social Networking”. How do you see the relationship between “Motivulary” and the organizational change that Zyncro encourages through using enterprise social networks?

    I’m convinced that positive vocabulary ends up seeping into everything and it always works, regardless of the means used. If using a private social network can favor communication and help to create those spontaneous conversations that took place on “Sweet Fridays” virtually, and if a positive vocabulary is used, it can have a knock-on effect on motivation and even on results indirectly.

    Giving such freedom always involves a certain level of risk, but I believe the benefits easily outweigh the few risks that there could be. Dialog is always positive; it encourages empathy, brings people closer, etc.

    In your book you propose a series of Spanish words that act as reminders, like Persona (Person), Reto (Challenge), Conde (Count)… What do they mean?

    Persona means “Optimistic PERSpective by NAture”; Reto, “TOtal REsponsibility”; Conde means “CONqueror of Enthusiasm”… but there are more. Eco refers to what we were talking about before: “Enthusiasm, Confidence or trust, or Continuity”, Crecí (grow) is “CREate the CIrcumstances”, Toma (take) is “MAgical TOuch”. They are all expressions that help us to always remember those positive thoughts.

    How could the concepts you explain in your book be transferred to an Enterprise Social Network?

    Well, I believe it’s a good idea to create groups in that platform, like for example, a Club of Condes, or Retos, where people can transmit those positive thoughts and reinforce its members in a more constant way. It is also a good idea to create a group to show specific examples where Motivulary has been illustrated with its tangible use.

    We’ll make a note of that! 😉


    Want to create a great atmosphere in your organization?

    Download our Manual on Best Practices in Enterprise Social Networking free and start to use Motivulary!


  • Ignasi Alcalde 9:30 am on February 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , conspiracy, , freeriding, motivation, , ,   

    Workneting and collaboration networks 

    Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

    Collaborative workMuch has been said, written and speculated about collaboration and co-creation on collaboration networks and about collaborative work. Networking and relations are important for getting work, but when commencing projects through collective, joint work, what is really important is workneting, in other words, starting lasting professional relationships.

    Workneting means a true collaboration that cannot be forced, which is more than just coordinating efforts, as individuals decide whether to collaborate or not, and their decision is both emotional and rational. It is people, the project and ultimately the tool and/or software that gives value and meaning to the collaboration.

    How do I start and maintain a collaboration network?

    Essentially, in line with what I mentioned in my post Why do people share knowledge?, among the many other factors, there are two basic conditions: matched expectations and unmatched knowledge.

    Regardless of the collaboration network type, there are 3 types of problems that we come across in collaboration networks and collaborative work that need to be taken into account:

    • Freeriding: In a collaboration network, relations are sustained by fairness in contributions. When someone gives back little or nothing at all at an insufficient rate and takes advantage of other’s contributions, the “freeriding” phenomenon occurs, which takes its name from those that use the subway without paying: the group has contributed to create an infrastructure/service and there are those that don’t collaborate in maintaining it.
    • Crowdsourcing: Another problem that wears with this is that at times, “crowdsourcing” occurs where a privileged agent takes credit for all the creativity of the group (e.g. a company). If the rules are clear and indicate who will use the result of the group’s creativity, then there is no basis for complaint if the person who called the “crowdsourcing” uses the results.
    • Conspiracy: Networks are established on trust. Trust is expectations on the capacity for commitment and response, on the other person’s competence, on the people we collaborate with. Complete sustained trust generates and stabilizes a reputation. But the reputation can be easily broken if the group decides to reduce the positive evaluation and reputation of an element on the network after each interaction or collaboration. The mechanism can be extremely quick and difficult to detect in systems that base their evaluation on people’s votes.

    As we can see, in an ideal team-collaboration experience we must be able to detect who’s committed as opposed to who is frustrated, as this can determine the team’s performance.


    Ignasi Alcalde is a multimedia consultant at Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC). Once again, he has wanted to share his thoughts on collaborative work, which he usually publishes on his blog and on his Twitter timeline.

    We fully recommend all his previous articles!


  • Lluis Font 12:00 pm on October 7, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , motivation, ,   

    Zyncro wins the Young Bully (Bully Awards 2011) 

    Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

    Didac Lee & Luis Font with the Young Bully award

    Thursday was a very happy day at the Zyncro office (almost very – R.I.P. Steve Jobs) as on Wednesday we were awarded the Young Bully prize.  The prize was handed to the co-founders of ZyncroDídac Lee (Chairman) and Luis Font (CEO) during the Bully Awards ceremony at the Xalet de Montjuïc restaurant (Barcelona).

    The Bully Awards is a prize of recognition for leading technology and telecommunications firms on a European level and are based on criteria such as excellence, future potential, business ideas, market strategies or technological solutions.  This international recognition places Zyncro among the most important, valuable and promising start-ups on the continent.

    Being nominated as one of the 60 finalist companies was already great cause for satisfaction at the time but to actually take away the Young Bully, one of the Bully Awards categories that prizes businesses that are looking for or have received “Series A” funding (businesses that are in their initial phase), confirms that the steps taken up until this moment have followed the correct path.  It provides us with the right amount of recognition and motivation to continue efforts towards achieving our objectives and pushes us forward to look for new challenges, to keep growing and maturing as we have done so far.


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