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Solving the Employee Engagement Crisis

Day in the Life Series: The final hour

By Dennis Jones


The big meeting was on. A mere 24 hours after officially launching the employee engagement task force, the CEO had convened another meeting; this time touting a major breakthrough in the initiative – how was that for quick decision making?

But to say some members of the task force were taken aback, left scratching their heads after receiving an invitation to today’s meeting from the Executive Assistant (on behalf of her boss), would be an understatement. Few had had the opportunity to even process yesterday’s meeting let alone develop a plan of attack for today’s meeting. Luckily they wouldn’t have to. Others had been busy solving the employee engagement crisis.

For those entering into the meeting room now, the Head of P&R, the comms writer, the senior software engineer, the first people they ran into were the IT admin and our indefatigable HR consultant, who had managed to make the loop of the country with time to spare to return unrumpled to Krempe’s main campus. The IT admin had been setting up video for the call. So soon after the crew arrived, the disembodied heads of the CEO and CFO appeared. In the rush to set up the meeting, the analyst had been forgotten. And the videographer was now on a flight to another shoot.

The CFO brought the meeting to order. In his usual, cut-the-bull way, he began: “We all know why we’re here. People don’t seem to be excited to come to work, at least that’s what the survey data says. And that would be ok…” An audible gasp came from the CEO and a groan from the Head of P&R. “…but people don’t want to give 100% here either. And that means we’re going to lose our edge in the market and leave a lot of money on the table.”

“If I may,” cut in the CEO, who was alarmed by the direction the CFO’s monologue was taking. “The survey results were overwhelming, so we needed to take a hard look at some of the root causes of disengagement here. And we’ve come up with a few ideas and recommendations. I’d like to a valuable partner from our HR firm to proceed.”

The HR consultant stood up:

“Engagement is a two-way process. We need to look at ways to interact with employees better and ways that employees can interact with the company better. Krempe is falling down in both respects, because they’re neglecting something important. Everyone here is fully mobile. And everything you do needs to be mobile-accessible. But Krempe isn’t giving you a good way to stay connected, not in the office and certainly not outside of it. Krempe needs to do better. Krempe needs a mobility plan.”

Everyone was silent and reflective, until the writer broke in, “What are you going to do? Buy us all a monthly pass or something?”

“Who said that,” barked the CFO? “Those are way too expensive!”

“The truth is,” chimed in the CEO, “we don’t actually know what to do here, or what kind of bid we would put out to find a connectivity provider who would offer a comprehensive plan.”

“Cost effective,” added the CFO.

“Yes, cost effective,” replied the CEO. “We’re sort of stuck there, and we’d love to hear your ideas.”

“Well, I’ve actually heard of a service,” began the IT admin, catching everyone by surprise after a long pause in the conversation, “little software company on the peninsula, I think, they’ve come up on a couple of searches. They do connection management and provide access to millions of Wi-Fi locations.”

“Well…” said the CEO and CFO in unison. They hadn’t yet realized that they had lost the video call at that pivotal moment. The culprit? You guessed it, a bad connection.