Melissa Ortiz, CEO
As organizations and employees adjust to the new remote normal, business leaders must embrace innovative methods to keep their workforce productive and happy. This is where Californiabased Activate Human Capital Group makes a difference. The company offers its scientifically validated employee engagement survey and support program that provides leaders, managers, and teams with access to Activate’s employee engagement survey instrument, engagement resources, and coaching. Equipping organizations with wholistic engagement initiatives, Activate helps clients identify specific data-driven actions to promote employee engagement and overall wellbeing, drive performance, and positively impact the bottom line.
At the helm of Activate is Melissa Ortiz, a renowned consultant and dynamic leader who has worked on the implementation and successful integration of engagement initiatives with a diverse portfolio of Fortune 500 and smaller companies. “The best engagement initiatives are always “aimed” at something. In the past, the target for most of my clients has been safety, productivity, employee retention, etc. but today we’re focused primarily on retention and diversity, equity, and inclusion metrics. Frontline leaders and managers need to be equipped to not only foster employee engagement but also create an environment of psychological safety and inclusion. It may or may not surprise you to know that only one in six managers have the natural talent to create this type of environment. The remaining 5/6 of the population of managers needs a detailed roadmap. That’s where we come in,” notes Melissa, CEO at Activate.
Driving Engagement at an Individual Level
If the “great resignation” has taught us nothing else, it’s that employees want to lead a life that’s more balanced and aligned with their values. The onus is on employers to provide an opportunity to achieve that balance and alignment. Governed by the mission: “better work, better world,” Activate understands that when a role suits an employee well, they bring a high level of energy to fulfill their professional and personal commitments. They’re also much more likely to be engaged in the role over time. To this end, Activate facilitates engagement programs that work from the bottom up and from the top-down, enabling organizations to hire better players who can take ownership of their own engagement instead of relying primarily on holding managers accountable for team member engagement.
Activate has integrated closely with The Predictive Index—a leading talent optimization platform—to leverage their world-class hiring, interviewing, and onboarding tools to help clients attract, hire, develop, and retain top talents in the long run. Through this partnership, Activate ensures that its clients can access, leverage, and derive significant benefit from the Predictive Index’s prescriptive hiring, interviewing, and onboarding tools as they seek to identify the mission-critical traits required for success in a particular role and select the employees that most naturally match the criteria. This ensures a more diverse range of candidates, higher engagement and productivity early on in the employee life cycle, and improved employee wellbeing and retention over time; further driving the company’s purpose of ‘better work, better world.
When it comes to employee engagement, Activate’s program is kick-started with a web-based, organization wide Employee Engagement Survey, which includes Activate’s Employee Commitment IndexTM that measures 22 scientifically validated items to drive engagement and business performance.
Frontline leaders and managers at every level need to be equipped to not only foster employee engagement but also create an environment of psychological safety and inclusion
Activate then partners with clients to promote relevant post-survey activities and education that ensure accountability and serve to build highly engaged, high-performing work teams. With a strong focus on the confidentiality of employee responses, Activate compiles the results from each survey into easy-to-read scorecards available for download on Activate’s intuitive engagement portal.
Activate adopts a top-down and bottom-up approach to help its clients drive organizational performance, organic growth, individual wellbeing, and long-term job creation. The top-down approach helps identify organization-wide engagement hotspots that executive teams need to be aware of and address collectively and simultaneously. Bottomup efforts provide teams (with four or more respondents members) with succinct 2-page team-level scorecards and prescriptive conversation starters. “Based on the data aggregated from the survey, we provide customized reports that meet managers and teams where they are in the engagement journey. The data, compiled into highlevel heatmaps, also helps executives identify where they should be deploying resources to maintain and improve the company’s engagement metrics,” says Melissa.
Elevating Engagement with E-Learning
Activate also offers e-learning solutions with self-serve modules that help managers gain a deeper understanding of ‘what engagement is,’ ‘why it matters,’ and ‘how they can build engagement within their teams.’ The self-serve modules are 12-15 minutes long and can be set as the key to unlocking each manager’s scorecard. Instead of just offering an engagement scorecard, the company helps managers understand the metrics on the scorecard and how to utilize them to the team’s benefit. Activate’s engagement eLearning program acts as a budget-friendly training option for large clients, ensuring that every manager has completed some baseline education, enabling them to understand where to start and what to do with the data. “We also offer an in-depth option for companies without their own internal ‘universities’ called Frontline Leader, a full-service model with online, self-serve, and in-person or live virtual sessions, which are intended as a wholistic manager development program,” adds Melissa. The work Activate focuses on with executive leadership is geared toward creating specific roadmaps for each client based on broader engagement trends and hot spots. These co-developed roadmaps consist of simple, one-page plans that are tracked monthly by a designated client contact and Activate to ensure improvement between survey periods.
Be it a large or a small client, Activate allows organizations to track the progress of their engagement programs at the team, department, and organization level. HR managers can check the progress of every manager’s action plans and support them in areas they are lagging. In the broader engagement space, Melissa and her team see a concerning lack of team-level follow-up efforts, and her company is well-positioned to break the chain of inaction. “One of our clients experienced a significant boost in their employee engagement by adhering to our recommended process and following the plan of action. In six months, the client saw a 71 percent boost in the population of fully engaged employees,” recalls Melissa.
With scientifically validated employee engagement tools under its belt, Activate stands head and shoulders above its competition. The company has recently completed the certification process for women’s business enterprises, woman-owned small businesses, HUBZone, and small business enterprises. Melissa believes these certifications will help position Activate more effectively as they seek to develop new partnerships and clients in the future.