In a recent Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends Study, employee engagement and culture were ranked as the most important trends impacting the workforce today. While factors like an effective goal setting framework (such as OKR goals), ongoing feedback, and development opportunities have always been important, this was the first time for these less-tangible criteria to be named as the topmost priorities. This development is reflective of the changing nature of the business landscape, and there are a few things executives can do to compensate for culture and engagement becoming increasingly important.
Why Is Engagement So Important?
Today, employees are seeking a meaningful experience at work more so than ever before. Not only is it important to their happiness; it’s also critical to their ability to stay engaged. Thus, if executives fail to create a meaningful purpose to which their employees can connect through a healthy corporate culture, performance will suffer as a result. Plus, you may experience a turnover problem, as your top performers will find a meaningful work environment somewhere else.
A healthy company culture is thus incredibly important to establishing a competitive edge in your industry. When maintained well, your culture can attract top talent; conversely, an unhealthy company culture can drive away both current and existing employees, as well as customers.
Yet, when asked, many executives are unable to verbalize their company culture. The problem is this: if a CEO can’t explain their own company’s culture, how can they expect their employees to identify it, let alone find a meaningful connection to it?
Communicate to Drive Culture
Developing a company culture may seem like a challenging feat, but there’s one simple tactic you can start with: clear, ongoing communication.
Among the topics, you should be communicating about are objectives, progress, and any identifiable obstacles. One-on-one meetings are an essential step, as they allow managers to check in and discuss these important priorities weekly with each of their direct reports. You can also support a continuous feedback loop through weekly pulse reports, which allow you to check in with teams in real-time.
Improving employee engagement starts with building a strong company culture. When you’re communicative, you can continuously provide clarity and align your teams with your company strategy, values, and priorities. As a result, you’ll retain and engage your A-players, and your strong culture will also act as a powerful tool for recruiting additional top performers. Ultimately, a strong culture and high employee engagement levels are the two leading factors separating outstanding organizations from the average.