How Does Workplace Culture Relate to Employee Engagement?

There is a shift in the marketplace as more and more organizations are starting to realize the importance in cultivating a good workplace culture. It is a key factor in measuring how successful your organization is in attracting and retaining good employees. 

Sleep Walking Through Your Job

In 2018, Gallup pollster reported that only 16 per cent of Canadians were engaged in their work, compared with 70 percent who were not engaged and 14 percent who were “actively disengaged.” And this, Gallup continues, is better than the global average. Gallup defines engaged workers as those who “work with passion and feel a profound connection to their company.”  

Tara Talbot, vice-president of human resources for Workopolis, observes that career goals have changed in the last 20 years. Today’s employees want to find stability with a better work-life balance. “The world in business and employment is shifting so quickly,” states Talbot, “that there is not the stability that there used to be.”

Reasons employees quit can vary, but there is a consensus that people often gravitate to a new employer “for their culture.” Former CEO of IBM, Louis V. Gestner, Jr., explains, “Until I came to IBM, I probably would have told you that culture was just one among several important elements in any organization’s makeup and success — along with vision, strategy, marketing, financials, and the like. I came to see, in my time at IBM, that culture isn’t just one aspect of the game, it is the game.”

How does culture relate to employee satisfaction and employee engagement? Let’s define ‘employee satisfaction’ and ‘employee engagement’. Managers can confuse employee satisfaction as a key to increasing employee motivation. A satisfied employee can do a job without being engaged. An engaged employee is one willing to dedicate their time and energy to the work. They are motivated to perform to their best ability. It is less to do with salary and more to do with value and feeling valued. This motivation can be attributed to a positive workplace    culture and bottom line results.

How does workplace culture relate to employee engagement?

  •  Culture and engagement are related, but different. Employee engagement is how employees feel, whereas culture is what employees believe and how they act.
  •  One culture doesn’t fit all. Applying surveys allows HR to determine who fits best, and least, in their culture.
  • The stronger the culture, the higher the employee engagement, the greater the retention.

What’s needed?

Changing culture and engagement is too difficult to do on your own. Help is at hand from professional employee engagement surveys.

  • Find out what behaviours are essential in your organization
  • Once these behaviours are identified, break them down into measurable activities
  • Use surveys and focus groups, through survey providers, in getting an indication of accurate behaviour and feedback
  • Use frequent light-weight pulse checks on how employees are feeling about things. Use the more in-depth surveys for your culture and behaviour measurement.
  • Create dashboards that show how your team’s behaviour and engagement alignment is tracking over time.

Organizations who have a strong culture are outperforming their competition and attracting top talent. It is attributed to meaningful work, deep employee engagement, job-and-employee fit, and strong leadership.

Employee engagement is a personal change to improve an organization. Positive cultural change is an organizational change to improve overall performance.

How ready is your business to accommodate change?

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