Pick up any business newspaper, review business news online, read Gallup’s 2012 “State of the American Workplace: Employee Engagement Survey. . . ” or just talk to your peers, employee engagement seems to have reached an all time low. If you are not finding this to be true in your company, consider yourself very fortunate.
When statistics from reliable sources like Gallup show a 70% rate of employee disengagement, we’re faced with a realization of the financial, human risk, quality of life, and health and well-being impact on the longevity of our companies.
The good news is the culture in our companies can drive the kind of change needed to turn disengaged employees into engaged employees.
If you’ve created a culture where employees feel empowered and encouraged, and their contributions are valued, they are most likely engaged in the work they do. And, if that same culture attracts the best talent because they want to be part of the company’s success, you’re on the right road with the right team.
Conversely, if you don’t have that kind of culture, make time to create the cultural platform that will encourage current employees to score high marks for engagement, and model the culture to new employees so they have a clear path to follow.
Understanding the basics
There is no mystery to creating a great company culture where every person in the company (top-to-bottom, side-to-side) is engaged, empowered and valued. But, it helps if you understand how culture evolves and why it is so important.
But, when an organization’s culture evolves by happenstance, most employees find it difficult to work in that kind of environment. If the culture has not been clearly defined, articulated or conveyed by the organization’s leadership, employees can feel “caught in the middle.” Many times employees will say things like:
If your organization’s culture is well planned, and visibly reflects the organization’s success, it will make it easier for new and tenured employees to learn and model the behaviors needed to be valued members of the team. And, when employees are valued, they are engaged in their work, and feel encouraged to make contributions to the success of the organization.
Looking into your company’s mirror
Strengthening an organization’s culture starts with a common platform, structure, and language that make it easier for everyone to accept their responsibility in achieving personal and organization-wide behaviors and performance. Ask yourself these questions, and see if your company’s culture is driving engagement or disengagement.