Employee Engagement is a Two Way Street: Co-Creating Your Culture by Empowering Your Employees
The quality of your life is dependent on
the quality of the questions you ask.
This is one of my favorite quotes that I live by and teach.
When we wrote Engage!, we found that there are five key cultural indicators that are consist with companies that are highly engaged. Companies such as Southwest Airlines, Virgin, TOMS, Zappos, PUMA, and many others all had high indicators of these five keys that are embedded into the DNA of their culture and the way they do business. Those five cultural keys are Collaboration, Creativity, Connection, Celebration, and Contribution.
The trend we are seeing is that in order to attract and retain top talent in the future, companies need to actively work with their culture and these are the parameters to creating an amazing company.
BUT—and it’s a big but…
Employee engagement is a two way street.
I often hear frustrations from top management about the entitlement attitude that the younger generation has regarding the benefits they expect to receive from the companies. According to the Harvard Business Review[i], the Generation Y, or Millenniums, are over half of the global workforce now and within a decade will make up 75% of the workforce.
When striving to create an amazing company culture, leaders must realize that the culture is co-created with the people. And the employees need to take ownership for their own engagement and happiness at work.
No one is obligated to make you happy except yourself!
So yes, companies need to consciously work on their culture to make it a great environment to work and so that employees can thrive. And a big part of that strategy is empowering your employees to realize just how much skin they need to have in the game too.
Here are six simple yet empowering questions[ii] from world-renowned business coach Marshal Goldsmith on increasing employee engagement that helps employees take ownership for their own engagement.
- Did I do my best to set clear goals?
- Did I do my best to make progress towards achieving my own goals?
- Did I do my best to be happy?
- Did I do my best to find meaning?
- Did I do my best to building positive relationships?
- Did I do my best to be fully engaged?
When you start to focus on doing your best and knowing that it is only up to you to accomplish this, suddenly you start to bring your best self to work and into your own life.
Marshall Goldsmith says that with over 2500 responses in multiple studies, the results have only been positive:
37% feel better at everything
- 60% feel better at 4 of the 6
- 89% feel better at something
- 5% stayed the same
- 0% got worse
It’s time to look at employee engagement as the two way street it is and have both employers and employees understand that the best company cultures are co-created by shared vision, values, purpose, and passions that result in having a positive impact for the employees, the company, and society as a whole.