The corporate culture that drive employee engagement

Building a corporate culture that drives employee engagement would be a success factor for any organization. In this blog post you will find five bullets on how you can implement such a culture using your intranet.

What is it that fires up an employee so that he or she will go that extra mile to achieve better results? Why are some employees prepared to sacrifice their dinner plans for the benefit of a customer project? And what is it that drives an employee to approach the same problem from new angles, again and again, until it is resolved?

The simple answer is – because he or she wants to.

Research show that employees will more than willingly put in that extra effort if they believe in the organisation and feel connected to your mission. And this is particularly true if they are inspired by their work and can see a clear path of personal development from their current work position.

A common denominator for organisations with high employee engagement is that their leadership and internal communications constantly inspire and motivate their employees to strive higher. In this blog post we set out five steps that will help you rewire your internal communications and in doing so boost employee drive, innovation and engagement.

#1 Set meaningful and inclusive goals

In order to ensure the personal engagement of your employees, it’s imperative to set personally-tailored goals. It’s been proven time and time again that clearcut individual goals are highly effective in incentivizing employees to take bold steps forward, sometimes in uncharted territory. 

Your employees need to understand what is expected of them and how their individual work and goal achievements will contribute to the realisation of your overall business objectives. Visualising these targets and the work involved in reaching them will help people understand and at the same time strengthen their motivation.

For optimal effect, however, the targets need to be defined in a certain way. Just focusing on the employee’s personal development will admittedly increase his or her motivation, but this will not help steer the organisation towards common future goals. For this, you’ll need to break down your overarching strategic objectives into personalized targets for each employee.

According the Gallup study Re-Engineering Performance Management, employees whose managers involve them in goal-setting are 3.6 times more likely to be engaged than those employees who are not involved.

A great way to implement and visualize these goals could be to use the intranet, displaying the overall objectives but also presenting a target breakdown for functions and/or individuals. The intranet is also the given platform for monitoring the organisation’s progress in reaching both organizational and individual targets.

#2 Create the right culture

In many cases, organizations with a younger workforce seem to invest more resources into building a corporate culture. Why is this? The simple answer is that it’s because the younger seek employers who fit their own set of values and principles, lifestyle and view of the world. Above all, the organisation’s mission must match the individual employee’s opinions, values and ambitions.

A report by Deloitte and the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative (BJKLI) states that two-thirds of millennials choose employer mainly based on the latter’s goals and purpose. The mission of the organisation must be unequivocal, and not only be about making money. Monetary targets are in fact of secondary importance to the younger employees, with only 27% of millennials seeing financials as acceptable goals by an employer when the question was posed in 2015.

Since the culture of an organisation has such a critical impact on an organisation’s ability to attract and retain employees, it should influence every aspect of communications – from recruitment ads to company training programmes and daily internal communication.

In addition to publishing your culture manifest on the intranet in clearly understandable terms, your core values and policies should be woven into all communications processes and materials. They should, for instance, be referred to in business agreements, employment contracts, project documents, customer care process instructions, policies for online meetings, etc.

But, most importantly, it is absolutely crucial that management and your official communicators live, communicate and work in accordance with the principles and values of your organisation.

#3 Sharing is caring

Your younger employees not only set a higher standard for your company culture. They also require authenticity, openness and transparency if they are to thrive in your organisation and be willing to engage.

Management must naturally communicate openly and honestly if they want to earn trust and create a transparent communication environment. But the real power of communication and authenticity lies in the hands of your employees. When they share visions, values, ideas and updates from the organziation as their own, they thereby guarantee open, authentic and transparent communication throughout the organisation.

Content shared and commented on by employees often generate more engagement than information posted by management and the official channels of an organisation. So it’s good policy to encourage the whole organisation to initiate and participate in discussions and problem-solving initiatives, and to post, share and comment on content on the intranet - and perhaps also on the web.

#4 Flexibility is king

It can hardly be news to you that most people appreciate the possibility to work from a location and at times of their choice. According to a study by EY and Timewise, 87% of full-time employees in the UK either work flexibly or would prefer to do so. The proportion rises to 92% for people aged 18-34.

Furthermore, most organisations record higher productivity when employees are given more flexible work conditions. Morgan Stanley discovered that companies that didn’t offer flexible working underperformed the MSCI World index between November 2011 and October 2016, a gap that widened steadily year by year.

A modern and mobile-friendly intranet makes it easy to embrace flexible working for the whole organisation. Any type of work that doesn’t require physical handling or geo-specific services can be executed efficiently via the intranet.

#5 Ensure quick and meaningful feedback

Having well-structured processes which ensure quick and constructive feedback on employee contributions in your internal channels very much determine the success of your communications strategy. If feedback is slow or half-hearted, or indeed if your employees get no feedback at all, then there’s really very little point in following steps 1-4 above. Their level of engagement will not be altered in the slightest until you have completed step 5.

Once again it is easy to see where the corporate intranet could fit in. In many cases organizations are using gamification to acknowledge acheivements and people contributing to enterprise targets. Openly sharing operational - and in some cases individual - performance not only drive higher usage of the intranet, but also help to create a culture of reaching your targets. Providing feedback in social and transparent conversations is also contributing to developing a culture with continuous improvement.