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CEO panel recap: Engagement, culture and transparency

Limeade CEO Henry Albrecht joined David Niu, CEO of TinyPulse, and Mike Metzger, CEO of PayScale, on a panel discussion about Engaging Employees in 2016. Teri Citterman, author of “From the CEO’s Perspective,” hosted the breakfast event’s lively discussion. EngagementThe group chatted about engagement, culture and transparency.

Here are memorable highlights paraphrased from the discussion. Check out the audience’s take on Twitter at #WTCSeattle.

Top takeaways from engaging employees CEO panel

 

On employee engagement:

  • David — The definition of engagement is giving discretionary effort — but it’s really more about the traits that make that up. Are you happy, positive, engaged on social media, recommending people, recognizing efforts? That’s what matters to me.
  • Henry — It’s all about the underlying emotional connection to work. Real emotional connection is true engagement. And to foster that, an organization needs to be trusting and trustworthy.
  • Mike — Engagement is about innovating every day. Just as important is having strong alignment between the company and the people it’s hiring.

 

On transparency:

  • David — We used to say you don’t leave a company, you leave a manager. Now we say that you don’t leave a manager, you leave your team and peers. That’s why it’s so important to be transparent.
  • Henry — Transparency and trust is key. The opposite of this — which is every leader’s worst nightmare — is hypocrisy. Sounds great to have a mission, but if the day-to-day doesn’t match up, it’s not authentic.
  • Mike — There’s a 30- or 40-point difference in an employee staying at a transparent company versus one with a non-transparent environment. Take pay, for example, 60 percent of employees are paid at market rate but only 20 percent believe they are. They’d be 30 to 40 percent happier with their pay if their managers talked openly about what it is and why.

 

On hiring:

  • David — It’s important to frontload the job description. Design it with a catchy headline to pull in candidates. Use the job description to sell your company, mission and values. Then, let it work for you with a solid job overview.
  • Henry — We try to get a fit for the company, not just the job. We use a team approach and ask questions based on each of our values to make sure the candidate will be a culture fit.
  • Mike — We don’t boil culture down to one question. We use our team as a litmus test of culture when we’re hiring. Anyone on the team can say the candidate won’t work out.