Why is an organisation’s mission important for employee engagement strategies?
When discussing employee engagement strategies, conventional wisdom has it that an organisation should embrace an overarching mission and connect its people to it in order to engage them. This premise is discussed in a Harvard Business Review article, “To Give Your Employees Meaning, Start with Mission”.
Why employee engagement strategies should be high on your list of priorities
It’s no secret that engaged employees benefit organisations with better productivity and lower absenteeism and turnover rates. Consider these statistics and you’ll understand why most successful companies have documented employee engagement strategies (Maritz Motivation):
- Bain & Company found that over a period of seven years, companies with high levels of employee engagement grew revenues 2.5 times faster than those with lower levels of employee engagement
- Fast Company found that happy employees are 12% more productive than unhappy ones
- A Gallup study found that where employee engagement strategies led to highly engaged workplaces, sales increased by 20% and customer satisfaction scores rose by 10%
However, despite Maritz Motivation finding that 78% of organisations have formalised employee engagement strategies, in its State of the Global Workplace study Gallup found that only 13% of employees are highly engaged.
Five employee engagement strategies to create alignment with your mission
It is important that organisations do not forget the primary purpose of employee engagement strategies: engage your people with the work they do, the people they work with, and the place in which they work. When people are engaged with these three motivations, they are more likely to care about company mission. They are more likely to want to know why they do what they do and they can help the organisation fulfil its mission.
The core of an employee engagement programme is created by providing a cultural foundation which enables employees to engage with their work, their team, and the company for whom they work. These five employee engagement strategies should help to build the cultural environment in which your employees can accelerate toward engagement with your mission.
1. Leaders should communicate the behavioural qualities of your mission
It is generally accepted that non-verbal communication provides a considerable proportion of the meaning associated with our words. When leaders, managers and supervisors exhibit the behaviours expected by their organisation’s mission, people are more likely to adopt these behaviours themselves. For example, if your organisation’s mission includes corporate social responsibility, then leaders should be seen to willingly give their time to a good cause.
2. Develop human capital
By hiring people who align with organisational values, and then developing them in line with those values, organisations will immerse their people in their purpose and culture. If you promise an environment where personal development is encouraged, then you should ensure that developmental opportunities exist.
3. Create organisational structures that support desired culture
Organisational structures should support organisational culture. Such structures may include organisational hierarchies, processes and procedures. For example, if a culture of collaboration and team work is part of your desired culture, a workplace divided in a way that reinforces siloes will not support this. Similarly, a rigid organisational hierarchy may not support a decentralised organisational culture.
4. Foster value-oriented objectives
If your organisation sets personal objectives and goals, ensure that these include behavioural and value-orientated objectives and not just those linked to tangible, task-related outputs. This creates an important message that it is not just “what” people do that is important but “how” they do “it” is equally significant.
5. Recognise performance appropriately
Like all employee engagement strategies, recognition should be appropriate to local and organisational culture. Performance recognition programmes should consider cultural norms. For example, an organisation that wishes to promote collaboration should recognise teamwork as well as individual performance.
By embedding culture at the heart of your employee engagement strategies, commitment to work and loyalty to the organisation should grow naturally and in line with the values and behaviours determined by your organisation’s mission. This is the point at which engagement with work, colleagues and the workplace will develop preparedness to fully engage with your mission.
The Big Picture People’s Learning Maps are designed to help define and embed cultural shift within organisations, as a key tool to support employee engagement strategies that are aiming create a sense of belonging in the workplace.
To learn more about the process, and how our Learning Map could help redefine your organisational culture and engage your employees with your vision of their future, get in touch with The Big Picture People today.