Employee engagement is a topic that has come up again and again recently on The Emergenetics Blog. It’s not surprising since there are many factors and techniques that contribute to employee engagement….and subsequently many topics for writing. And while commonly we would be discussing Learning & Development programs or workplace environment, what I have been thinking about recently is the role of company culture and common purpose in keeping employees engaged.
Why is this on my mind? Well, as I write this post I am on my way to Denver, Colorado for the Emergenetics International Blue Meeting. It’s our annual mid-year company review and it’s our way of honoring the Analytical Thinking attribute of the Emergenetics model. It’s a business driver because we take a look at our company performance and calibrate together to ensure our daily actions are still in line with our company and departmental objectives. But perhaps more importantly, it also helps foster a sense of common purpose in each and every employee who works for our company.
This article from Inc cites a Deloitte survey showing that 73 percent of employees who say they work at a “purpose-driven” company are engaged, compared to just 23 percent of those who don’t.” I would take it one step further. It isn’t just from working for a purpose-driven company that drives employee engagement. I’d bet that a purpose-driven company actively and regularly communicates their purpose, mission, and core values. They probably also find ways to ensure that the company’s purpose means something special and unique to each and every employee.
That is why I think the Blue Meeting is such an important event for Emergenetics International and it is why I think that it’s an easily replicable employee engagement driver for any other organization, too. Hosting some form of a mid-year company review can help you do the following:
How often do we stop, take a break from our day-to-day tasks, and evaluate where we are as a company, as a team, or even just our individual roles? How frequently do we ask ourselves if we have done what we said we wanted to do and if we are still in line with our objectives? My guess is that it probably doesn’t happen as often as you might hope. Having something scheduled (like an annual company mid-year review) is a good way to make sure it actually happens.
Alignment is what the Blue Meeting is all about. If Step 1 is taking another look at our objectives and actions, Step 2 is to ensure that actions are in support of the objectives. It seems simple, but alignment can have huge implications on the overall performance of your organization. And the more people involved in the alignment process, the bigger the potential impact. As Ken Perlman writes for Forbes, “Most leadership teams stop at ‘mostly aligned’ and accept it as sufficient. They tend to forget that ‘mostly aligned’ is amplified exponentially further down in the organization, creating more and more distance among an organization’s members. By the time you’ve reached the rank-and-file, the organization is only slightly alive.”
This is crucial and often an under-looked activity in supporting company performance growth. According to this article, in Industry Week, one of the top factors in developing a well-aligned organization is that “the members of the organization must understand how the top strategic objectives translate to personal goals.” Reflection assists us in clarifying our thinking and honing in on what the big picture means for us individually.
The previous steps might be about optimizing and “tweaking” our daily routines to enhance overall performance, but it is important to recognize all of the awesome work that took place during the first half of the year. According to our Guest Blogger OC Tanner, recognition and appreciation “creates good feelings, cheerful memories, better self-esteem, feeling more relaxed and more optimistic,” which not only impacts company performance but also has direct implications on long-term employee engagement.
Going into our Blue Meeting mid-year review this week, I am excited for the opportunity to connect with my co-workers, celebrate all of the great work that we’ve done so far this year, and think strategically about what we are going to accomplish before January 1st rolls around the corner.orner.