Best-in-class organizations reach and maintain their status, even in the toughest of times, in part because employees, from c-suite leaders to individual contributors, are committed to the culture and vision. While competitive pay and benefits attract talent, when it comes to performance and retention, a passion for your organization’s values pays greater dividends than compensation.
The truth is, we spend the majority of our waking hours at work and want to feel what we’re doing is significant. We want to know we’re part of a team doing something remarkable. We desire a connection between our own values and beliefs about success and those of our team. This is where the magic of engagement happens: when we feel a connection between our own values and those we’re moving forward through our work.
Unfortunately, only 30 percent of employees are engaged and feel this commitment. During the Coronavirus pandemic we’ve seen this number fall as much as 15 percent for some companies. For the 70 percent of employees lacking full engagement, their actions toward fellow employees and customers aren’t necessarily always negative, but they don’t have the positive and healthy obsession and passion needed to build your brand and differentiate from the competition. In fact, employee engagement analysis and research supports that the ability to build stakeholder loyalty and compelling service hinges on employee commitment and passion.
Given the importance of engagement – how can you build a connection between your organization’s culture and vision and those of your employees?
1. Build Leadership Commitment to a Shared Culture and Vision.
Engagement and culture starts at the top. Good leaders must provide good answers; starting with the question, “Why should I follow you?”
With leadership aligned and committed to the same answer, consistently building the meaningful connections necessary across your teams will become easier. How can employee engagement research and analysis support this? Start with your Leadership Team – culture starts with leadership.
Surveys can build alignment within this key group. The Corvirtus CultureMap™, for example, measures leadership perceptions of culture, specifically (1) what it should be, and (2) what it is across five major categories of leader beliefs:
1) What is to be achieved
2) The right way to behave
3) The right way to care for stakeholders
4) The right way to compete
5) The right way to be unique
SAMPLE CULTUREMAP ITEMS
With clarity around where you culture currently is and where it should be, you can start to build an intentional culture.
2. Build a Strategy for Employee Engagement Survey Analysis that Includes Benchmarking.
Building engaged teams who are aligned with your values starts with the employee experience. Quality of the work environment, coworkers, supervision, and pride in the quality of products and services, are all knobs you can turn in the day-to-day experience of employees to build engagement – but how you turn them is determined by your culture and vision. Surveys that measure and analyze the entire employee experience, including engagement, can provide an initial benchmark of how daily life at your organization aligns with your vision and culture. What’s more, sharing results and building action plans with your teams communicates to employees even further that these values matter and are important.
Each input to the employee experience is unique to you. In thinking about quality of coworkers, for example, the behaviors and expectations you set will be affected by both your industry and also your culture, brand, and the unique products and services you provide. When we work with clients to measure engagement, we measure each input to the employee experience in ways that align with their culture, core beliefs, and definition of success. By also including measures of intentions to quit and willingness to perform, we are able to statistically link each input of the employee experience to retention and performance. As you can see in the sample report item below, consistent measurement can help you identify and celebrate positive trends while proactively mitigating areas of concern along the way to achieving your goals.
Your ability to achieve and maintain a best-in-class reputation hinges on building engaged teams that see a connection between their values and your vision of success. Surveys are just one, but a central, part of a feedback strategy that will teams, their day-to-day experience, and your ability to consistently execute your culture and vision for success.
If you’d like more insight on the employee experience, what drives it, and how to build key results like retention, read on with our Roots and Fruits of Employee Engagement Whitepaper.
Need a sounding board to build a meaningful strategy for active listening and engagement? We'd be delighted to connect.