Affordable way to improve emplyee engagement

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A recent study showed that 70 percent of employees in the U.S. are disengaged at work, and three out of four are currently looking for a new job or are open to new opportunities. According to this data, more than half of your workforce is not committed to your organization or passionate about their job. This is hurting your business in every aspect, from your bottom line to productivity and team morale.

This does sound bad, but the good is there are many ways for companies to increase their employee engagement. There are some already known ways like employee wellness initiatives,  appropriately rewarding behavior, and mobility programs, but they are often very expensive. If you need an effective and affordable way to improve, employee engagement try building a values-based culture.

Although many measure the workplace culture according to the number of ping-pong tables and nap rooms, it is much different. Quality culture is based on a system of shared behaviors and beliefs employees use to interact with one another.

Values are what an organization sees as most important; they often include the way company operates, teamwork management, creativity, etc. Values are dogmatic and open to interpretation. This kind of workplace culture can be formed when employees associate the meaning of their behavior on specific company values.

Employee autonomy and empowerment to function are two of the most important things for values-based culture to function. When employees feel ownership over their work, they are most likely to drive better results. It is true that values set boundaries, but what allows the employees to shape their work and have more freedom is innovation and exploration inside the boundaries.

The ability to make decisions within a values-based culture increase engagement. On the other hand, making decisions solely on a set of calculations and processes requires attention to detail and intelligence. It is boring, and it does not capture the interest and attention of employees. Both small and large companies can achieve great results by implementing a values-based culture, but values can and probably will differ from one company to the other.

Management consulting company called McKinsey & Company is one of “Top 25 Places to Work, ” and it has the important values: stick to the highest professional standards, improve our clients’ performance significantly and make an unrivaled environment for exceptional people.

This company also has an event that is held every year called “Values Day.” Values day includes discussing what the values mean and role-playing scenarios where they test the values in difficult situations.

Another example is Fresh Books, a software company based in Toronto. They have nine governing values: ownership, passion, respect, honesty, change, empathy, fun, trust and strive.

At FreshBooks, there is an annual retreat in honor of the values that offers an ongoing program named “Values Cards which encourages employees to nominate each other for a gift card when someone presents a perfect example of one of the values.

There are numerous more examples; Union Square Hospitality Group has four values: hospitality, excellence, integrity and entrepreneurial spirit; Southwest Airlines also has four values: servant’s heart, warrior spirit, fun-LUVing attitude and work the Southwest way, they also have culture director.

Every place has its different values, as it was mentioned. However, if the values are implemented in the culture, they dictate the company’s essential way of functioning and represent the best way to engage its employees.