We know that culture, more than strategy, contributes to business success. We also know Top Workplaces are intentional about culture. The first step in building a positive organizational environment is to gain a measure of the current culture climate. So, how do you do that? At Energage, we’ve studied workplace culture and employee engagement for more than a decade. Our data and experience has taught us that the single most important measure of culture is engagement. Our research has also revealed 15 culture drivers: The all-important levers you need to know how to control if you want engagement to improve. While many business leaders discuss employee engagement, the term can have a variety of meanings. For our purposes, I’ll discuss engagement in two different contexts:
- The way employee engagement feels
- How to measure engagement.
What employee engagement feels likeIn an organization that has developed a culture of high engagement, visitors can feel the energy and passion as they walk around the building. The sense of caring about coworkers and customers is palpable. Employees collaborate. Both staff and customers feel appreciated and valued. On the other hand, a culture of disengagement is also easily discernible. Employees fly out the door at 4:59 p.m. They pass the time playing games on their phones, isolate themselves in their cubicles, or exhibit a lack of creativity and initiative.
How to measure engagementA third-party survey is the best way to measure employee engagement. It also provides a useful picture of organizational culture. At Energage, we look at three things:
- Motivation: Are employees motivated to give their best to a project? Or do they give the minimal amount of effort required to meet the parameters provided to them?
- Retention: Are employees committed to staying at the organization? Turnover rate is a critical indicator of employee engagement. Our research shows that employees who believe in the organization and where it is headed are more likely to stick around for the long haul.
- Referral: Will employees recommend your organization to their friends? The best workplaces hire half of their new employees from personal references provided by existing staff.