Here’s what we know about the state of the workforce today:
- 70 percent of employees are not engaged at work
- 96 percent of respondents to a 2013 survey from Strategy& believe their company needs to change its culture (ouch)
- When it comes to engagement, employees report that company culture is just as important as the actual job itself
So if you’re not seeing a lot of engagement around the office these days, it may be time to see if culture’s the culprit.
Here are three questions to help you decide:
1. Are you missing the mark with top business priorities?
An intentional culture gets results. If your #1 priority is to delight your customers (full disclosure: that’s a core value AND business priority at Limeade) but they’re cranky, look to see if your culture is misaligned. For example, are employees empowered to make decisions and resolve issues for customers? Or is there a bunch of red tape and bureaucracy in the way? At Limeade, this is where one of our values – “Own It” – really comes into play. We encourage employees to fail fast, fix faster and deliver results. Similarly, if you’re all about innovation and not seeing much of it, is there support for risk-taking with a bias for action and consistent recognition of new ideas?
2. Are you making decisions in a C-suite bubble?
People repeatedly cite that a key to engagement is feeling like their opinions matter. Employees at all levels want and need to be heard, to be involved in what’s happening within the company and how it affects their role. When you share the reins by allowing employees to create solutions, you create both ownership and responsibility – both of which drive engagement.
At Limeade, one of our values is “We’re a Team” – we grow, collaborate and engage together. That means we also solve problems and make decisions as a team to stay on track with our business priorities. While your culture may not mirror ours, giving employees a voice goes a long, long way. We do so by providing regular opportunities for feedback – like weekly TINYpulse surveys and quarterly performance reviews – and we take it seriously, using it to quickly tweak strategy, process and policy.
3. Are you less-than-transparent in your employee communications?
Honesty is king. After all, you can’t bring people together to form solutions if they’re in the dark about the problems. (At Limeade, we “Speak Plainly,” telling the truth simply and respectfully.)
Whenever you communicate with employees, be upfront about what’s happening – the good, the bad, the where-we-need-your-help. And make sure you’ve set up a channel people can rely on for regular, totally upfront updates, like a monthly or quarterly email, newsletter, CEO blog, lunch meeting or town hall.