Recognise This! – Without a strong company culture foundation, employee engagement efforts will collapse like a house of cards.
I had the opportunity to sit in on a presentation on the power of employee engagement to change cultures and manage talent given by Stacey Harris, director of strategic HR and Talent Management Research for Bersin & Associates.
A few statistics Stacey highlighted:
* 77% of companies assess engagement levels
* 65% of executives feel employee engagement is an important or very important metric
* 57% felt employee engagement metrics proved the impact of talent management efforts
* 72% of senior leaders have employee engagement as the top HR reporting tool/metric (beating retention, performance rating and many more)
* Yet only 35% felt they were getting highly actionable, positive business outcomes from their engagement efforts
Are you surprised by that last point? I’m not. It’s not enough to run surveys, believe in the importance of engagement or agree it’s a key metric for reporting. It’s what you do with what you learn from the surveys that matters more. No, it goes beyond even that. It’s understanding that you can’t “create engagement” through another initiative. You have to be ready to create a culture in which employees want to engage – a culture of recognition and appreciation.
As I’ve said several times before, your company culture is now a highly visible part of your employment value proposition. Stacey reinforced this, saying: “Your culture trumps any other recruitment, retention or engagement efforts.”
Stacey also shared a case study reiterating a point I’ve made before that increased employee engagement improves business performance, but the inverse is not true. Employees don’t become more engaged simply because they work for a financially successful company.
Employee engagement matters. Company culture matters. Strategic employee recognition in which you frequently reinforce your company values and objectives for all employees through positive praise and recognition of their efforts, behaviours and achievements creates such a culture of appreciation in which employees choose to engage. Why? Because they know their efforts matter in helping to achieve a greater purpose and those efforts are noticed and appreciated by peers and managers alike.