I just got done reading a blog post from a friend of mine, Matt Norman, who is President of the Dale Carnegie Training group in the North Central US. His blog, Norman Views, provides me with insights into a variety of issues connectiing relationships with work.
His most recent blog discusses how Best Organizations captivate People's Hearts and Minds. The main thrust I took from the post is that when employees feel valued, they become engaged. That reminded me to two things - the group I ran at a previous company and a discussion we had in the last Afila Group roundtable meeting.
A number of years back, I ran a small division within a very large company. We had a small team of sales and marketing people with dedicated operations support. We were unique, did things differently than the larger organization because we had a different value proposition and we developed our own micro-culture within the larger organization. I strived to value my team even though the company didn't value us too much because of our size.
The company decided to take steps to integrate the division into the core sales and marketing channels and I was the first to leave the organization. At the end of that year, the division was one of only two groups that hit their plan number for the year. I felt compelled to send a note to the team to congratulate them on such a great performance in the face of such micro and macro-economics headwinds.
I was the only one to do so.
The team willingly, and unwillingly, left the group as it eventually became non-existent.
Our most recent Afila Group meeting had a discussion of Strategy vs. Culture, the one that was floating around a lot a few years ago and has resurfaced on LinkedIn recently. Although not completely related to engagement, we came to the conclusion that both strategy and culture are equally important. However, it's the systems and processes that are put in place to execute on the mission and values of the company that bring forth the differentiation between comparable strategies. When those systems and processes command the valuing of employees and empowering them to do what's right, it's inevitable that engagment follows.
Engagement gets talked about so loosely and casually. 'If the company communicates more' or 'tell your employees that they are doing a great job' doesn;t cut it. Valuing employees and driving engagement requires foundational effort, penetrating effort, lasting effort.
Does your company value employees and drive engagement? If so, how?
By the way, the photo has nothing really to do with the topic. I just wanted to put up a warm photo to combat the cold. It's the coast of Belize at sunrise. Does it engage you?