The key to employee engagement…


We do a lot of culture work with our clients – your business culture is the foundation for all of your talent activities, and the key to attracting & keeping the best people. We have talked in the past about Netflix’s Freedom & Responsibility culture and how it revolutionised their business, you can check this out here

In an age where companies are far more transparent, workforces are more mobile and there are severe skill shortages, you need to be aware of ways to engage stakeholders and create an exciting culture.

So what is this worth to you?

  • 87% of businesses say that culture is one of their top challenges.
  • Companies with engaged employees outperform those without by up to 202%
  • Only 12% of employees leave for more money – most leave due to the business culture.

How do you position your business at the top of the food chain?

According to research 4 out of 10 workers are disengaged globally – and most of the time it is due to something falling short in their company culture. Here are some key drivers for engagement and examples of companies that have done them right.

Reward System: A fair and creative reward system will go a long way to engage your employees. It is important to consider what you would like to achieve from your employees, and then design a reward system around that. Google’s work culture philosophy is to “create the happiest, most productive workplace in the world” and they have proven this model by topping “Best Place to Work” polls around the globe. Google focus on creating a culture that fosters creativity and engagement, and their rewards system is centred around this goal. Key benefits include: 20% “me” time for employees to pursue any passion projects, paid meals and on-site gym, doctor and health facilities to make employees lives easier, creative work schedules and amazing office environments. Creative benefits is something that all businesses can access – just build something around your own budget and be different to your competition.

Strong Leadership: In order for you to see improvements in engagement, and changes in culture, it is crucial that you have an experienced leadership team that can coach and mentor your staff, to encourage a progressive and engaging work environment. You should consistently assess the ability of your leadership team to make sure they are getting the best out of employees. DHL Express and Ken Allen put in place an employee engagement program that focusses around strong leadership and employee recognition. Rather than relying on HR to implement an engagement strategy, Ken and his team of leaders worked directly with employees to show them the value of the work they do for DHL. Their engagement program looks at engaging employees the way that you would customers, and included Bruno Mars, DHL passports, employee appreciation weeks and global collaboration. Through strong leadership, employees at DHL know their value in the business and work together to make DHL “the most international company in the world.”

Trust & Responsibility: In order for your employees to be innovative, and explore new and creative ideas, they need to be allowed a certain amount of freedom to self manage. We have talked about Netflix’s Freedom & Responsibility culture, and how it transformed their business from a 100 employee strong SME, to a global giant with a presence in over 40 countries and millions of subscribers. A relatively new business to “Best Place to Work” polls, Wegmans Food Markets place full trust in their employees by operating a peer to peer management and reward system. As part of this they give employees store gift cards to reward other employees when they do well. The company proves its worth as an employer by having a very high referral rate, with one in five employees being related in some way.

It is vital that when you work on developing your business culture, you consider employees at every step. Employee engagement should be your key result area – this will impact everything from recruitment to productivity to retention. The organisations that perform the best in talent activities are the ones that have developed often unconventional ideas that make them stand out from their competition. You can read more about defining culture in our resource: Thinking Points for Defining Organisational Culture

If we can help with any of your culture or employee engagement questions please drop us an email at