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Employee Engagement in DreamWorks

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Laura Santaolalla Lorenzo

on 20 April 2015

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Transcript of Employee Engagement in DreamWorks

In a interview Satoshi Kon, a japanese worker in animation industry, shows unintentionally a small but important way of working. He said that in every other company the movies are divided.
Employee Engagement
in DreamWorks

Communication in the Workplace
Communication in the Workplace
in DreamWorks
Motivation, Job Satisfaction and Job Involvement
Motivation, Job Satisfaction and Job Involvement in DreamWorks
Reference list
Communication can be defined as the process of transmitting information and common understanding from one person to another (Keyton 2011). It is essential to building and maintaining relationships in the workplace.

Communication includes writing and talking, as well as nonverbal communication, visual communication and electronic communication (Mallet-Hameer 2005).
The Communication Process
If the idea received is not the one intended, communication has not taken place; the sender has merely spoken or written (Gou and Sanchez 2005).
Communication in the Workplace
The elements in the communication process determine the quality of the communication. A problem in any of these elements can reduce communication effectiveness (Keyton 2011).
Directions of communication
(Lunenburg 2010)
Communication Networks
A network creates structure for the group because it controls who can and should talk to whom (Keyton 2002).
Groups generally develop two types of communication networks:
Lines of organisational information
In addition to formal communication flows and networks, there are informal communication flows which have their own networks.
Centralized networks are usually superior on simple tasks while decentralized networks are superior on complex tasks (Guo and Sanchez 2005).
Allow each group member to talk to every other group member without restrictions.
Can create communication overload.
Restricts the number of people in the communication chain.
Group members may feel isolated from group discussions or dissatisfied.
Employees have always relied on the oldest communication channel: the corporate grapevine. It is an inevitable part of the organisation informal network founded on social relationships rather than organisational charts or job descriptions (Johnson
et al.
But the grapevine can increase rumors and carry out wrong information about the company in certain topics.
The Evolution of Employee Engagement
Introduction to DreamWorks
DreamWorks was founded the 12 of October 1994 by : Jeffrey Katzenberg, Steven Spielberg and David Geffen
The company has its headquarters in Universal City. LA
In September 1997, DreamWorks releases their first feature film,
"The Peacemaker"
A year later, in 1998, the first two animated films:
"The Prince of Egypt"
In 2004, a separate division of DreamWorks was created,
DreamWorks Animation SKG,
to produce animated films and TV.
In 2006 the company is sold to the producer company
Paramount Pictures.
In 2008 DreamWorks found a new financial partner:
Anil Ambani.
The first author who provided a definition of employee engagement was
William Kahn
in 1990, he established that employee engagement is :
"The harnessing of organisation members' selves to their work roles; in engagement, people employ and express themselves physically, cognitively, and emotionally during the role performance"
An actual and accepted definition:
"The emotional commitment the employee has to the organization and its goals, which means that the worker really cares about the company and the role that he is performing and is not motivated by the salary"
(Kruse 2012)
The first definition
Questions we may ask
Why is employee engagement so important?
Why engaged employees perform better than non-engaged employees?
DreamWorks creates and produces 3D, animated and feature films, original TV series, shorts, interactive media, live entertainment, consumer products, publishing, and trailblazing technology.
Virtuous circle
The motivation is the desire to do something in order to accomplish a goal (Armstrong 2012).
Job involvement
The job involvement is a cognitive state of psychological identification with the job (Kanungo 1979).
Depends on two aspects
: (Lodahl and Kejner 1965)
Psychological identification with the work
Importance of work productivity to individual self-esteem
Job involvement is influenced by:
Work environment
(Newton and Keenan 1983)
Personal traits
(McKelvey and Sekaran 1977)
The higher the identification, the higher the satisfaction
Content theories
Processes theories
Job satisfaction
Expectancy theory

Workers make choices based on their expectations.
They perform at a level that gives them the greatest benefit

(Vroom 1964)
Achievement motivation theory

Need to accomplish something and be the best, while taking calculated risks
Motivated by recognition and feedback.
(McCelland 1961)
Maslow, 1970:
Needs hierarchy theory
Motivator, hygiene theory

Motivator needs: responsibility, achievement, recognition
Hygiene needs: policy, relationships, working condition, salary
(Herzberg 1966)
Job characteristics theory

Link between job characteristics and psychological conditions that lead to greater motivation.
It affects the psychological condition, and promote the worker's motivation

(Hachman and Oldham 1976)
Goal setting theory

Motivation determined by individual desire
Goal commitment influenced by:
External factors
Interactive factors
Internal factors
(Locke 1968)
Equity theory

Motivation influenced by perception of fairness of treatment
If Equity: motivated to produce the maximum to have a good treatment
If inequity: motivated to reestablish the situation
(Adams 1965)
Job satisfaction is a combination of positive and negative feelings that workers have towards their job. (Davis and Nestrom 1985).
It depends on people's characteristics, and it influences the psychological well-being (Wang 2007).
Five areas of job satisfaction
(Mumford 1991):
Task structure
Job satisfaction / dissatisfaction
Job Satisfaction
Job Involvement
For DreamWorks Animation supporting their employees’ ideas and keep the employee highly motivated is essential for the company. Therefore, it implements a number of different and interesting strategies to engage its workforce, fostering a greater level of creativity (DreamWorks Animation 2014).
The ability to foster both technological innovation and creativity simultaneously is why Dreamworks was recently named the 12th best company to work for in 2013. Creativeness is fostered through:
Working in small teams.
Education programs to improve everyone’s skills.
Having the best work environment.
(Grose 2013)
Keep Dreamworkers inspired, curious, and always learning is the most formidable goal the company achieves. Because of the very intense work they do and in order to motivate them, the firm offers:
Education programs to help employees develop existing skills and learn new ones.
Classes and workshops (i.e. figure drawing, cinematography, storytelling and sculpture).
Perks such as free breakfast, lunch at the campus or games rooms to chill out between work.
Special events such as Ping Pong Tournament, Halloween Costume Contes, Holiday Bazaar weekly movie screenings release day parties, and even yoga classes.
"Employers who want the most engaged and innovative employees will support each individual's skills", states Dan Satterthwaite, head of human resources. That is the reason why they collect employees from all over the world, therefore they can learn from each other's culture or values in order to apply those ideas to their work.
DreamWorks' method to get all their artists involved in their work is admirable. As CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg always says, "We challenge our employees to be their own CEO's".
"Supporting talent, admiring talent is what make great stories and that is what we try to achieve and to be about" states Jeffrey Katzenberg.
Letting employees pitch a movie concept
Allowing employees to take risks and opportunities.
Permitting them to fail and reach as many times as they figure something out and they grow, rather than tell them what to do.
DreamWorks is dedicated to
provide the best work environment possible for the company’s artists, with water fountains, walking paths so that they are enjoy innovating and creating their work just as much as audiences enjoy watching it.
“What engages people is to feel integrated and part of the company, no matter what your job is” says Dan Satterthwaite.
In order to obtain this, the company gathers around employees in work small teams (no more than 6 or 7 people).
“Our employees are as colorful as our film characters” says Tim Johnson, executive producer of `How to train your dragon´.
Not only employees love what they do, but also the environment looks like more a family environment, so they have always a lot of energy and willingness to work .
"It’s a blast to come every day to work. There is always something new, something excited happening in the campus. As there are great opportunities, there is a lot of unexplored ideas that are always a new challenge to overcome”
says Teresa Cheng, producer of Shrek Forever After.
At DreamWorks Animation, one employee will make one character, while another will draw a river. Everything is done in teams, therefore workers communicate each other on every scene.

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DreamWorks communication networks appears more difficult. However CEO's agreed on an intranet development to keep workers inform of any news in the company. In addition, workers are also allowed to propose their own ideas.
A CEO's presence...
Directions of communication
Communication Networks
Lines of organisational information
As DreamWorks Animation has three major locations spread around the world, the company has to be
effective regarding internal communication
. That is why Jeffrey Katzenberg, DreamWorks' CEO, created a
videoconferencing system (with 3 human-size TVs and another one to share documents)
with the aim of recreating the real conditions of a physical meeting.
DreamWorks has a policy of openness, and Katzenberg is always available to answer the hard questions from his employees.
CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg communicates daily with his employees trough blog posts and his staff appreciates “the transparency between the employees and the CEO”.
Paul-Augustin Dennery
Lucie Muret
Nerea Prieto
Alvaro Rua
Laura Santaolalla

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Thank you!
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