Enabling Employee Engagement

“Today employees don’t want a career, they want an experience.”

I overheard this a few days ago on my way to work and made me wonder if it’s especially true of millennials – a generation who is longing for balanced, integrated life styles.

According to an oft-cited Gallup finding, only 13% of employees are actually highly engaged at work. In an era of sensitive corporate transparency and greater societal mobility, company culture and team-member engagement have emerged as a top issue for business leaders. In fact, a recent study revealed that amongst 3,300 business and HR leaders from 106 countries, 87% of organizations flagged culture and employee engagement as one of their top challenges.

It pays off. Not to narrow people down to profit, but, to be sure, the pay-off of an engaged company culture is clear. Such organizations attract great people, have the lowest voluntary turnover rates, relate more vibrantly with stakeholders, and are more profitable over the long run. According to Great Place to Work, their 100 best places to work outperformed the S&P 500 by over four-fold from 1990–2009.

In what ways can companies move from engagement to thriving – realizing that the former is a means to the latter? And if acting upon two-way communication is at the core of what makes us flourish, how should we bridge the considerable distances between multiple team-members and decision-makers? “At a time when corporate cultures are being continuously debated shaped, and redefined on social networks,” says Steve Crabtree from Gallup, “the once-a-year survey is perilously obsolete.”

New modes of enabling engagement. Clearly the internet is now enabling new forms of interaction and joint problem-solving to engage their members – and I’ll shortly share one. But not before giving credit to Deloitte’s HR virtuoso Josh Bersin, who identifies 5 key elements of an irresistible organization: i) meaningful work, ii) great management, iii) growth opportunities, iv) inclusive, fun environment, and v) trustworthy leadership.

Considering Bersin’s insights alongside my own experience as an engagement consultant, I’ve created an employee engagement decision-space using an online Group Wisdom platform. It provides an interactive experience for organizations to empower teams in culture-building, supporting their quest to find shared solutions about defining their preferred work culture.

Feel free to explore our Engage-n-Thrive decision-space. I hope you can check it out and let us know what you think.