Tuesday, September 25, 2012


First there was Maslow who created an avenue to employee benefits, then Employee Rewards, and more recently Employee Engagement. Today, Culture seems to be the buzz word.

We are consistently evolving employee rights into human improvement strategy. The fluff is gone and even kindness has an ROI metric:
~ Does a rewards strategy cheapen the process of recognition?
~ If we build metrics of profitability to drive our Employee Rewards strategy, have we turned the
process of saying thank you into a commoditized system?

Human effort cannot be commoditized, nor can we simply hug someone and expect to retain them as an employee.

Creating an engaged company culture is extremely difficult because it takes thought, the formulation of relevant initiatives, and an ability to drive results through employee adoption.

When the aforementioned are aligned - 3 things happen:
  • Organizational transparency creates engaged company culture
  • One's participation in building an engaged culture creates personal empowerment
  • Organizational engagement permeates beyond the four walls of any company
The Key to Organizational Engagement
I have conducted a forum on Cultivating Employee Engagement throughout 2012. While the preferred methods for cultivating employee engagement vary, we have all agreed that creating transparency is necessary:
~ Enterprise applications are replacing performance reviews.
~ Executives are polling employees for thought leadership from the trenches.
~ Core Values and departmental objectives are aligned to create mutually beneficial success.

The silos are being removed, the executives are listening, and programs once viewed as fluff are driving revenue production.

How Does It Feel?
All corporations have a commitment to community service because we all come to realize that it is better to give than receive. Perks that were used as recruitment bargaining tools are being replaced with a need for purpose. We are discovering what Tony Hsieh knew long ago: when you put purpose and passion together, the profits come naturally. It's about people not numbers!

HR is no longer an administrative department. Employee performance evaluations are being replaced by people empowerment initiatives. Leaders in HR are taking bold strides to
change organizational cultures through programs that challenge convention. We are disrupting the accepted norm for the sake of open and honest company goals!

I'm Out of Here!
~ How does it effect your company culture when an employee leaves?
~ Does leadership shun the departed individual as a "bad egg"?
~ Are customer's upset by losing a valued partner?
~ Do you pretend your former comrade no longer exists?

Your internal culture feeds everything. The way you treat your employees is transparent to your customers and competitors. If an employee has no faith in your company culture, she will be afraid to wear your logo at the local coffee shop. If an employee doesn't believe in your products and services, he will have trouble selling them. If leaders treat us like numbers on a spreadsheet, we will commoditize ourselves into obscurity.

This is the ripple effect of company culture. The things we discuss when the door is shut reveal themselves despite our intention to mask them. Our employees wear their joy (or discontent) on their faces. If we dislike our work...life sucks....if we love what we do, we share it with the world.

It is time to tear down the silos, open the door, acknowledge our strengths (as well as our faults), and to strive every day to do things the right way!

Don't Forget to Remember!


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