3 Steps to Better Employee Engagement

Mar 4, 2015 1:15 PM ET
Holly Dee, Associate Engagement Analyst at Alliance Data.

On the Contrary - the official Alliance Data blog

by Holly Dee, Associate Engagement Analyst, Alliance Data

Global employee survey data collected from the Hay Group shows that 1/3 of today’s workforce is not engaged. That’s a staggering amount when you think about how many people are in today’s workforce. At Alliance Data, we understand that we get things done through people. We also know that to grow as fast as we have, you need committed, engaged employees, which is why we believe in supporting our associates. Sallie Komitor, Chief Customer Officer with Alliance Data Retail Services, spoke to a group of employee engagement professionals in New York City recently and highlighted some programs that can have the biggest impact when it comes to engaging employees.

  1. Champions of Change:

Sallie Komitor: “People are the competitive advantage to grow as fast as we do.”

Everyone needs to be in the know. With hyper-growth comes the need to get consistent information out as effectively as possible and bubble any potential issues up quickly. Creating a cross-functional group of leaders to help cascade messages through the organization and collect feedback from employees and then bring it back to the top is a great way for people to voice their thoughts, ideas & concerns and know that it will get funneled appropriately. Identifying the group of leaders that will become an organization’s Champions of Change ensures consistent, accurate and two-way communication between management and employees.

  1. Respect and Recognition:

Sallie Komitor: “Invest in your people, and they’ll walk through fire for you.”

Employee recognition isn’t a new concept, but you have to ensure programs  are meaningful. At Alliance Data, our recognition program allows anyone to recognize their fellow associates (not just managers) and allows that recognition to be seen by everyone on the internal Website. We’ve found this approach particularly appeals to our fastest growing group of associates, the millennials, and the results we’ve seen have been outstanding!

  1. Leadership Programs:

Sallie Komitor: “Create the right environment for people to thrive in.”

People want to grow with their company. Alliance Data gives them that opportunity. Leadership development programs offered for all levels ensure that everyone has the chance to learn more and develop their skills. Associates can take advantage of everything from online courses, intern programs, formal training programs, and even role-rotations. Some of the programs are in-house and others are with partners like The Ohio State University. If there’s a skill that an employee wants to learn or hone, making sure they can access the right tools to do it helps them grow, and in turn increases engagement.

As research has shown, commitment to an organization can no longer be assumed. Loyalty needs to be earned. Corporations that commit to investing in employees help ensure those employees in turn remain engaged and committed to growing.


Holly Dee is the Associate Engagement Analyst at Alliance Data. She helps to make sure that associates feel proud to work for Alliance Data and enjoy coming to work each day. “I want people to leave here each day saying that this is a great place to be and a great place for me.”