Employee engagement and culture are now central business issues, not just arcane topics for HR to debate. And due to increasing prevalence of people sharing everything on the internet, it is more important than ever.
In an age of corporate transparency, greater workforce mobility, and severe skills shortages, engagement, and retention have emerged as top issues for business leaders. These issues are not simply an HR problem anymore.
Culture and engagement is the most important issue companies face around the world. An increasing amount of organizations say that it is one of their top concerns.
Organizations that focus on creating a culture driven by meaningful work, deep employee engagement, job and organizational fit, and strong leadership are outperforming their peers and will likely beat their competition in attracting top talent.
Organizations today exist in a time where every current and prospective employee can have access to their inner workings through portals like Glassdoor and LinkedIn. Every corporate decision is immediately publicly exposed and debated. Organizations no longer have the liberty to hide behind a facade and maintain their own narrative.
Organizations can either let this turn into an advantage for them or their Achilles’ heel. What they can’t do is stay in their own bubble and control what the world thinks of them.
What is the crux of the matter?
- Employees are now your biggest ambassadors; their perception is increasingly becoming how you will be perceived in the industry:
As the job market has evolved and adapted to new technologies, power has shifted from the employer to the employee. Through websites like LinkedIn and Glassdoor, a perception can easily be created of a companies’ culture.
- Leaders lack an understanding of what goes on in the trenches:
Due to the hierarchical structure of most organizations, leaders seldom have an accurate idea of the scenario at the bottom of the pyramid. This leads to communication gaps and dissatisfaction among employees.
- The new world of work changes the way we engage people:
In today’s connected world, it is easy to create an environment where the employees feel that they have a voice and enabling them to take a more active part in the success of their organization. The lines of bureaucracy and hierarchy tend to blur with the ease of communication through technology leading to a more open way of working.
- Employees’ motivations have changed:
Employees nowadays prefer work-life balance, work culture and nature of work over the money that it gets them. This shift is significant in terms of providing motivation to be productive. If an employee is happy at his/her place of work, he/she is more likely to stay there longer.
Although culture and engagement play such a critical role in business performance, most organizations don’t sufficiently analyze their shortcomings and strengths. Usually companies have an annual or bi annual survey to gauge the performance and morale of the organization. The effects of these surveys are too little too late. The need of the hour is periodic surveys among the employees so as to keep up with the pace and reality of the people. Long term strategies based on periodic surveys can save time and effort and improve productivity as well.
Fortunately, tools like Officevibe and BASH.AI have emerged to provide organizations with real-time sentiment and employee feedback. A new array of tools includes employee engagement tools, and culture assessment tools to help leaders rapidly assess when engagement is high and when problems are arising. These new tools make it possible for organizations to monitor employee engagement with the same level of rigor and speed as they measure customer engagement.
Ultimately, the issues of culture and engagement are driven by management. Aggressive growth plans, financial stress, or going through layoffs or mergers often sees a radical shift in culture of a company. Along with being held accountable for growth, managers should be responsible for fostering cooperation and cohesion in the work force. HR should also understand the impact of performance management, work-life balance, and flexibility on engagement.
Where companies can start
- Engagement starts at the top:
By prioritizing employee engagement, an organization can make sure that every employee puts their best foot forward and motivates others to do so as well.
- Measure in real time:
Using real time tools to evaluate and assess organizational culture, commitment and motivation.
- Make work meaningful:
Focus on leadership, coaching, and performance management to help employees make their work meaningful. Leaders should be encouraging and transparent
- Listen to the Employees:
Their desires, needs, and values will shape the organization’s culture for the better.
- Simplify the work place:
The less the clutter in a work place, the easier it is get results. Needlessly complicating things will lead to frustration and inefficient workflow.
The adage “culture eats strategy for breakfast” applies to every organization in today’s age. Business and HR executives must realize that highly engaged companies attract the best talent, have the lowest voluntary turnover rates, and are more profitable over the long run. By focusing on driving engagement through the right corporate culture, companies can improve execution, retention, and financial performance.