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How does culture create positive employee engagement?

Organisational culture happens whether its intended or not and it can accelerate or put the breaks on the success and growth of the organisation. With the focus on wellbeing and people wanting to feel a sense of belonging and community post Pandemic, the future of work will attract the best talent to those workplaces with the most engaging arrangements and systems.

Whilst today, organisations want to get back to business as usual, this will grow ever more unpopular. Setting the right culture will become paramount and it will require awareness and persistence by the Leadership.

Some organisations are already achieving positive levels of engagement from changing mindsets from control to engaging and promoting an inclusive and collaborative culture.

Our aim is to suggest a number of ways you can improve your company culture, which will, in turn, amplify your employee engagement.

What is Employee Engagement?

This describes the health of workplace interactions and relationships. Gallup defines employee engagement as "the involvement and enthusiasm" of employees in their work and workplace with year on year stats evidencing that the more engaged an employee, the more healthy the status of their interactions and relationships will be with the organisation.

Engaged employees are more likely to deliver great outputs and results, achieve and exceed goals, promote positive relationships and positively influence others, all likely contributing significantly to lower costs and higher profit margins.

Engaged employees are:

  • Aligned with the organisation Purpose, Vision, Mission and Values and understand how to embed these.

  • Inspired to see their future with your organisation

  • Motivated to learn and seek opportunity

  • Share positive feelings with others and be supportive

  • Feel driven to achieve, and exceed their goals

  • Feel valued and share value with others

  • Find that their work and private lives are in harmony

  • Feel that they can adapt easily with support and encouragement

  • Enjoy their work, the team and the journey with the organisation

  • Fully aware and understanding of the framework that supports them from policies and procedures to the tools and resources required to fulfill their job.

Engaged employees are 17% more productive than their peers with organisations seeing 20% higher sales and 21% higher profitability.

What Is Company Culture?

Company culture refers to everyones behaviours and core believes/values. These will be displayed in everyday behaviour and can be seen in decisions, conduct, interactions, relationships, displayed feelings.

Engagement can drive culture, as much as culture can drive disengagement.

Culture determines how employees respond and engage with one another, including external parties.

Culture is influenced by the Leadership. Behaviour will breed behaviour.

Employees make decisions and take actions every day which needs to align to the organisation requirements to help build your employer brand and maintain your reputation and credibility. Therefore, the way an organisation leaders treats employees and how employees treat one another can positively affect actions or place the organisation at risk.

Here are 8 warning signs of a company culture that might need some attention:

  • Values are not defined, understood or embed.

  • Communication is poor and is not open and two-way. Any surveys carried out may detect this.

  • Employees leave and any starting are unhappy or confused.

  • Employees may be unsupportive, leaders may jump to blame.

  • Higher rates of absenteeism.

  • An imbalance of working hours and private time, leading to quality problems, exhaustion, stress and general under performance.

  • Feelings of exclusion and no sense of belonging.

  • Missed opportunities, missed revenue and higher costs

  • Possible complaints from customers

  • Poor reviews on platforms like Trustpilot, Google, Glassdoor and Indeed

To create an engaged company culture, you might want to try:

- Engaging teams in the Purpose, Vision, Mission and Values either to set or refresh

- Finding fun ways to measure improvement, progress and achievement

- Use as many communication methods as practical to share news, information, stats and recognition

- Find time to lead and not manage.

- Encourage self sufficiency and self management

- Find time to frequently stay connected to the team/teams, including regular one to ones and briefings.

- Celebrate achievements and support through difficult periods.

- Demonstrate open communication and use feedback for continuous improvement (Behaviour breeds behaviour)

- Look at ways to engagement in wellbeing initiatives, including development, time balance, rewards, recognition, and clarity!

People want purpose and meaning from their work. They want to be known for what they are good at. To summarise, key drivers for employee engagement are:

- purpose

- development

- caring environment

- ongoing conversations

- focus on strengths

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