“Employee engagement” and “company culture” are concepts that have become more prevalent in the hiring process; the concept of the job interview as a 2-sided evaluation has never been more popular. Now, instead of organizations merely interviewing candidates to see if they are a good fit for the position, potential employees are evaluating whether the company as a whole meets their employer expectations. In order to attract and keep top talent, organizations must create and promote a superior company culture that engages employees, makes them feel valued, and motivates them to become proactive members of that culture.
For the most part, the conversations around company culture/employee engagement have been one-sided; the focus has been on how organizations can foster engagement to attract, delight, and keep talented individuals in the organization. It’s been a one-sided equation, but there is an underlying element to employee engagement: if the employee wants to be engaged by the company, that person will have to produce tangible results for that company. It has to be a fair exchange. The new conversation around employee engagement isn’t about how managers should engage employees; it’s about the reasons why they should engage employees – and what those employees should deliver to the organization.
The real question managers need to answer is: how is my investment in engaging this employee returning value to my company? To answer this, professionals need to quantify each employee’s value. The best way to do that, according to recent research, is to align engagement with organizational priorities. With clearly articulated goals, individuals see where they fit in the big picture, and what exactly is expected of them, allowing them to engage more fully with their work. It also helps managers more easily quantify the value expected from that employee, which will help create a basis for clear, consistent communication. The employee will know exactly what is expected of them, and how it helps the community as a whole. It’s not as sexy as a ping-pong table, but it is a better type of company culture.
How can you influence employee engagement so that it impacts business results? Try these strategies:
- Align individual employee goals with overall organizational goals
- Create a process where the direct manager and employee discuss and agree to these performance objectives and alignment
- Create a formal recognition program to recognize and reward behaviors that exemplify organizational strategy
- Support managers with automated performance management systems and similar technology
How else can you help align employee engagement with business results? Aberdeen’s “Employee Engagement for Business Results” outlines three tactics managers can use; learn them today, and start building a better culture for your employees – and the company as a whole.