Want Highly Engaged Employees? Start With Company Culture

A company’s culture has a powerful impact on its performance. Culture is the glue that binds an organization together. Competitors can have the same product but they can’t have the same culture because that’s what makes each company unique.

Companies who invest in their employees by helping them to understand what the organization’s values are and why they do what they do will always stand out. Employees who buy into an organization’s core values will be more engaged and more productive. That’s what creates winning cultures in successful organizations.

As a result, these companies gain a competitive advantage that can’t be duplicated. Happy employees equal happy customers’, which in turn equals higher profits. Sounds simple enough, right? If so, then why is only 30 percent of the American workforce engaged at work while 70 percent of employees (some 70 million in the US) are somewhat disengaged or actually checked out? According to a Gallup poll from September 2014, $450 to $550 billion is lost annually in productivity due to disengagement.

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Why do so many companies miss the mark on employee engagement? When it’s a well-documented fact that employees are a company’s greatest asset, why don’t companies invest more in their employees? Or, if they are investing in their employees, why are so many employers still not seeing productivity improve?

If this is happening in your organization, how can you change it?

To start with, do you have the right employees? By providing perks, games, and more time off, you might keep employees longer, but if you don’t have the right employees who believe in your company values and vision, all you’re doing is keeping unproductive, disengaged employees just there for a paycheck.

When it comes to engaging your team, the first place to look is at your company’s core values. Your organization’s core values are the pillars, the foundation, of your company: They are the driving force that will create a culture of engaged employees.

Related: Building Company Culture 

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When those values don’t exist or are just an overlooked plaque hanging on a wall, then one will have found the evidence that’s keeping the company from creating a winning culture: a lack of highly engaged employees and lower profits directly affecting the bottom line.

Engaged organizations have strong, authentic values and empower their employees to have confidence in making decisions on a daily basis. They will be grounded in mutual respect, commitment between employer and staff, feel understood, and find purpose and meaning in what they do.

According to a recent report from The WorkHuman Research Institute at Globoforce, employees familiar with company core values are:

  • Able to help achieve company objectives
  • See company culture as positive
  • Identify themselves as highly engaged

How can any company expect employees to be fully engaged if they don’t know what the business embodies and believes in? If these values aren’t being brought up in the hiring decision process and onboarding plan, then chances are high that your organization will have less engaged and less productive employees, and may not even a good cultural fit. This will have a real impact on your bottom line.


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Here are two things that are worth your time to consider:

1. Start bringing your values to light.

Get them off your wall and bring them into the boardroom, every employee/staff meeting, and start engaging your employees to adopt them into their everyday actions. As the employer, you can begin rewarding your employees when you see them implementing your company values.

2. If you don’t have your company core values identified, or your mission and vision defined, it’s time that you get this done.

It takes real effort, and it’s not an easy process, but well worth it if you’re looking to engage, retain, and grow a highly productivity team. You can get help from trusted outside resources to help you through the process.

To learn more about companies who get this right and who have created highly profitable businesses using core values to create winning cultures, check out my whitepaper,  “How to Create More Value in your Business”.

Tarrytown-based business coach and cultural strategist Kathy D’Agostino is CEO of Win at Business Coaching, LLC. She has more than 20 years’ experience helping organizations and leaders grow their bottom line and focus on sales and new business development.


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