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2020 has shone a spotlight on work culture like nothing we’ve seen before. For the first time we have been physically disconnected from our colleagues on a daily basis and the familiarity of being in the same space as one team feels like a lifetime ago.
There are pros and cons to every situation, but whatever your feelings are about working from home or making a return to the office, there is no doubt that good company culture is vital for achieving business success as well as individual growth, wellbeing and productivity.
Even if investing in culture isn’t at the top of your agenda yet, it will be front of mind with your staff, potential new recruits, customers – and let’s not forget, your competitors.
The way we treat each other matters. It isn’t about jumping on the bandwagon or creating policies you’ll never use. It’s simply about allowing humanity into our workspaces and creating a nurturing and safe space for your culture to grow, wherever your team may be.
Our culture has always been important and is integral to everything we stand for as a brand, but until two years ago, we were basing our success on gut feel alone. That same gut feeling was also telling us that we needed to know and understand more.
We decided to start measuring employee engagement through the software platform, Engagement Multiplier. Each quarter, Engagement Multiplier issues a ten minute secure and anonymous survey to everyone within the company, allowing us to continually measure our engagement levels and put action plans in place where needed.
On completion of each survey a report is created and shared with the team. This is also where we are shown our Engagement Score and what it means. We breathed a huge sigh of relief when we received our first score of 75. Any score over 50 is deemed successful, but you need to be scoring over 75 to consider your team ‘engaged’, so there was still work to do.
The process of the survey was painless, but the insights we received were invaluable. We were able to absorb the feedback we received (the good and the not so good) to make improvements and build on the things that were working well.
Measuring employee engagement is one of the most cost effective and valuable ways to improve your internal culture. Here’s the top three things we’ve learnt:
- Don’t be afraid of the truth. We usually learn the most from the things that sting a bit and it can be hard not to take it personally. If you start to feel defensive take a step back, try to look at it constructively and take some time to digest the information. Don’t forget that you have asked your team to be honest, and the fact they are prepared to do so means they care.
- Small changes make a big difference. Your gut feeling is there for a reason and unless you’ve been hiding under a rock (or your duvet) your overall score shouldn’t come as a huge surprise to you, but the feedback you receive might. More often than not, you’ll find that you’re on the right lines, but missing the obvious – and that usually boils down to communication. Making small changes like improving information sharing, celebrating successes, tweaking a few processes and getting a better tea selection can make a huge difference.
- Showing you care carries huge value. The overriding feedback we get from our team is that the simple act of being asked for feedback makes them feel valued and they appreciate our readiness to listen and be open to change.
18 months on and we have just achieved a score of 89.9% with 100% participation. I can now say that my team are completely engaged with confidence – the facts don’t lie! I also know there is still room for improvement and probably always will be.
One certainty about culture is that it will continue to change and evolve in tune with the world around it and the people within it. Internal communications is a continuous cycle of improvement, but it doesn’t need to be painful or expensive to get right.
What do you think engagement is like within your business? Let us know what’s worked for you on firstname.lastname@example.org! If you’d like some help with increasing engagement within your business, check out our Confident Communication Planning product.
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