Incentra Insights

Core Values and Employee Engagement

Posted by David Chittock on Mar 13, 2015 3:53:00 PM

Two female employees

Forbes recently published an article entitled, “Employee Engagement 101: Does Your Culture Value Humans?”  In it, the author states that there is still a deep disparity between an organization’s culture and its core value proposition which unfortunately results in a high degree of employee disengagement.  In other words, the author claims, there is a gulf between the organization, its brand, and the human beings who work there. 

Why the Gap?

It would seem pretty obvious that an organization’s core values would inform its culture and positively impact its employees.  So why isn’t this happening? 

Quite simply, the reason is that many organizations have been slow to recognize the full spectrum of human needs, wants, and desires within their workforce.  Most organizations tend to focus primarily on the levels of performance and types of behaviors needed to reach business and organizational goals.

However, they often neglect to address those factors which most directly impact human behavior and performance – the employee’s life experience.

Taking a Deeper Dive

In our last blog post, we explored the reasons for relatively low employee engagement levels by suggesting that organizations are using the wrong engagement model.  In other words, they are only focusing on what happens at work and ignoring what happens to people outside of the workplace. 

We suggested that organizations should use the “Whole Self” model to design their employee engagement programs. This means looking at all the factors that affect human behaviors and attitudes. In this post, we’d like to go a little deeper.  What can a company do to close the gulf between its brand and its employee experience?

Living the Core Values

The key to all of this is to clearly understand the core values an organizations brings to its customers and the people it serves.  In other words, what specific values does your brand communicate to the world and how do you embody it? 

If your employees are not embracing and living your core values, there will be a dichotomy in your organization between your value proposition and your employees’ experience,  So how can your ensure your culture engenders your core values within your employees? 

Remember They Are Human Beings

It’s often easy to overlook the fact that employees are human beings with needs, wants, desires, and life challenges.  Sometimes when we want them to go above and beyond for the organization , we forget we may be imposing hardships that can be demotivating and stress inducing.  Here are some questions to ask yourself if you suspect your corporate culture is contributing to your employee’s disengagement:

  • Do you avoid scheduling late day meetings that negatively impact working parents?

  • Does your company provide any type of childcare?

  • Do you allow flex time for workers with family related responsibilities?

  • Do your support telecommuting?

  • Does your company offer a wellness program?

  • Do you sponsor community volunteer initiatives?

  • Do you have a company Employee Assistance Program?

  • Do you generously provide sick/vacation days?

Closing the Human/Culture Gap

If you can say yes to even some of these questions, you are on your way to closing the culture gap. The companies that have stepped up to these important aspects of an employee’s life are going to win the employee engagement battle.  The new generation of employees are here and they want to be treated like human beings. Don’t be left behind. 

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Categories: Employee Recognition