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The Human Foundations of Employee Engagement

Humans are humans. The basics are clear. Leaders that provide purpose, clarity, recognition and trust, gain the advantage of aligned and engaged teams.

Humans are humans. The basics are clear. Leaders that provide purpose, clarity, recognition and trust, gain the advantage of aligned and engaged teams.

Purpose: How are we going to change the world together?

Clarity: What are we trying to build? Who is doing what? Who can help me?

Recognition: Where do my contributions fit in? Are they noticed? Are we making progress as a team?

Trust: Are people sincere? Am I being treated fairly? Do we share common values?

Employees that feel a distinct part of an extended team that is working together to accomplish great things dig in. They contribute a lot. They help each other. They’re engaged.

Organizations with high engagement are 78 percent more productive and 40 percent more profitable than companies with low levels of engagement. (Tower Perrin Global Workforce Study – 2007)

Purpose, clarity, recognition and trust embody your organization’s culture. They are what turn your organization from a collection of robots following flawed processes to a team of humans accomplishing things together. Articulate and energize your culture and amazing things will happen.

And without a strong culture, it becomes difficult to adapt and change. As Carly Fiorina, ex CEO of HP observed, "... more than 70% of large-scale change efforts fail, and of these failures 70% are due to culture related issues."

Tools can help here. An intranet (digital workplace platform) that is designed to truly enable employees by bringing the culture to life, providing clarity, and sharing successes in real time can really embody the organization, creating a strong sense of people accomplishing things together across teams and locations.

But fundamentally driving engagement needs to be driven by the leadership team. A digital platform can help package and share the news, but what really matters is an extended leadership team that believes and lives the culture – communicating a clear vision, capturing stories of people pursuing that vision, and recognizing small contributions along the way. Every day.

Read more by
Brad Palmer

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