employee journey
Aug 21'

Employee Engagement: How to build and sustain trust throughout the Employee Journey

During our recent webinar, we had the opportunity to sit down and chat about how to boost employee engagement with Rebecca Hathaway, Director of Employee Experience at Tango Card.

Originally founded in 2009 in Seattle, Tango began life as a gifting app designed to give consumers an easy way to give e-gift cards. Today, the company has grown to more than 200 team members who deliver more than 2 million awards every month to companies across the globe. Their offering has also expanded, and today Tango is focused on supporting businesses to reward and incentivize their employees. 

As a company whose mission is to supercharge employee engagement programmes, Tango has learned a thing or two about building and sustaining employee trust. And in our wide-ranging discussion, Rebecca shared some popular tools and industry best practices that Tango has utilized to ensure their team members are engaged throughout their Employee Journey. 

Mapping the employee journey 

employee journey

The webinar focussed on the “Employee Journey” and specifically the tools and techniques employers can use to keep people engaged during their first year in a new role. 

Which raises a question, why is this something businesses should be concerned about in the first place? 

As Rebecca explained in the webinar, when it comes to recruitment “it’s really easy to fill a seat, but it’s not so easy to keep them in that seat and keep them engaged.” 

It’s an excellent point and one that highlights a $1 trillion problem that plagues businesses from multinational corporations to Ma and Pa stores, and that’s employee retention

And it’s only going to get worse. 

In fact as Rebecca highlighted with one of her slides, many experts believe that businesses are facing a resignation boom, with between 40 - 50% of employees considering quitting their roles in the next year. 

So what can companies do to keep their people engaged and in their roles? 

The key, according to Rebecca, is to use tools and techniques that “focus on the human side of all employees.” That’s something that’s vital during the first year of an employee’s journey, which is when the overwhelming majority of people (86%) decide if their long term future lies with their current role. 


employee engagement

“I think we all have our recruiting processes pretty dialled in,” Rebecca said. “But COVID has given some really good insight into how we can make the recruiting process a little more human.”

One of the key things that the team at Tango have leaned into during the pandemic is flexibility. “It’s about focussing on what the process looks like for the candidates, not just what is easiest for you and your recruitment team.”

So what are some things that businesses can do to make their recruitment processes more appealing for candidates? 

Things like scheduling comfort breaks or bathroom breaks, between interviews is something that gets lost in translation between in-person and virtual interviews, but it’s vital. “Your candidates may not be comfortable speaking up,” Rebecca says. “So building in 10 to 15 minutes between interviews is key.” 

Another thing that’s been lost when recruiting during COVID is some of the informality you could build into the process. Something like grabbing a coffee or going out for lunch simply isn’t possible in the current climate, so instead Tango uses their platform to send candidates a gift card that they can use to order food if they are interviewing over the lunch period. “We are actually giving them a break, but also thanking them for their time by buying them lunch.” 

It may sound simple, but by humanizing the recruitment process you show candidates early on what kind of employer you are. It’s about creating a great first impression and showcasing the culture that will keep them in their roles. 

Onboarding ​​

employee engagement

It’s not just recruitment that’s been impacted as a result of COVID-19, the onboarding process has shifted too. Some people are completely remote, others have a hybrid model, and some are back in the office full time. As a result, it’s very easy to inadvertently create separate factions within a company from the get go. 

One of the things that Tango has done to normalize its onboarding is to treat everyone as if they are virtual. 

“It’s created this lovely level playing field to onboard everyone,” Rebecca said. “It’s worked really well so far, and it creates this sense of belonging for everybody because you’re in this little cohort together, you’re all virtual, but it’s allowing folks to have a feeling of normalcy because everybody is in the same boat.” 

Being thoughtful about how you onboard sets a specific tone for how employees engage with you in the future. It’s something that Tango is conscious of throughout their process.

In most companies onboarding tends to be quite haphazard, but Rebecca says that Tango prides itself on mapping out candidates' schedules well in advance. They even go so far as to send them over to their personal emails before they start, so that there are no surprises and they know exactly what to expect during their first few days. 

“Having a detailed schedule for that first day especially, but ideally that first week, gives them a sense of familiarity,” she said. “It’s going to give them a way to relax, and having that sense of purpose has been really meaningful to our new hires.” 

The first 90 days 

As we go deeper into the “Employee Journey” the importance of employee engagement doesn’t diminish, in fact it’s just as important during someone’s first 90 days in the role as it was during their first. 

It’s all about evaluation, about finding out how people are thinking and feeling. “On a more human level, one of the things my team does is meet with new employees after 90 days,” Rebecca said. “By synching up with them we can find out how they’re doing and how they're feeling.” 

“The first question I ask everybody is how does the role compare to the job description you read? It’s a way for us to calibrate as an employer, but also to manage some of that trust with the employee and give them a face to go to and a human side they can go ask questions to when they have them.” 

The bottom line

With the prospect of a resignation boom on the horizon, employee engagement has never been more important. Whether they are in their first interview or their 90-day review, rewarding and recognizing your staff at every stage of their Employee Journey is vital to building trust and creating connections. 

Be sure to check out the webinar recording to find out how Rebecca and her Tango Card team have humanized their processes to build and sustain trust throughout the Employee Journey. 

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