We have said that among the four things necessary to build engagement in the workplace are a mission and culture that support the behaviors associated with engagement. The specifics of the culture will be unique to each organization, but there will probably be some common ground among the organizations most successful in promoting engagement.
These organizations will have a strong mission that attracts and keeps dedicated employees. The mission will be carried out in an environment of trust that is supported by the organization’s culture. The culture will be applied throughout the organization by its leadership, making decisions that affect every aspect of the organization’s activity and the selection and development of its employees.
This sounds simple, but in truth, it will be challenged every day. Although engaged employees will be more productive and lead the organization to greater success, protecting the engaged environment takes valued time and resources. It is not always the “short cut” to getting things done.
The culture of engagement requires effective and consistent communication. Time must be taken to ensure that everyone understands priorities and has the information they need to be effective contributors. It also requires that individuals have the opportunity to respond, and that questions and suggestions can be applied to create maximum benefit.
In the engaged environment, an actual acceleration in productivity, as well as an increase in opportunities, will occur. It will be necessary to plan for this to ensure that opportunities can be met, and that the appropriate resources will be available to meet increasing customer expectations.
Staffing, processes and reporting structures may need to change in support of increased levels of engagement. As the organization becomes more responsive to opportunities and customer needs, it will become more dynamic and flexible. This will provide for competitive advantage, but will require a transition from more “company centered” behaviors and planning. As individual employees feel comfortable making contributions, talents and interests not formally addressed in their job description will be discovered. Changes will allow for the application of these talents in support of the company’s mission and the employee’s personal development.