How to Create a Culture of Engagement

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Do you find yourself wondering how to create a culture of engagement in your organization?

How to create a culture of engagement and ownership is a common question we hear from leaders. And in many ways it’s become a kind of “sexy” topic for authors and thought leaders to write and speak about.

I came across an article by Emma Johnson at in which she asks what companies do to keep their employees more engaged. In the article she shares the perspective and examples from a few different executives.

What kind of culture do you want to create?

When we hear executives ask about how to create a culture of engagement, quite often it seems to be in response to behaviors they see within their organization that they want to change.

If you relate to that circumstance, let me ask you this question: Have you taken the time to explicitly define the type of culture you want to create within your organization? Better yet, do you have a clear picture of what your present organization culture looks like?

I ask because it occurs to me that many organizations we’ve been involved with are quick to identify what they don’t want, but haven’t spent as much time and energy understanding where they actually are and defining what they do want. Even if they say it’s a culture of engagement, they haven’t necessarily defined what that actually means to them.

Excerpt from How To: Create a Culture

“Nancy Mobley, CEO of the human resources consulting firm Insight Performance, says many organizations set out with a clearly established culture, but good intentions are lost in the process of building the business. ‘Culture is always the DNA of a company. Unfortunately, it is often the unspoken DNA,’ says Mobley, who authored Powerhouse: Creating the Exceptional Workplace. ‘Most business leaders have a clear perception of what they want to build, but often they don’t take time to articulate that.’

Identify the qualities you want in your company. These questions can get you started:

What are the organization’s core values?

What are your goals?

What type of work environment will help you reach your goals?

What kind of relationship do you want with everyone who touches your business: employees, vendors, customers and the community?

How will you measure these elements?

How will you hold your employees — and yourself — accountable?

Be wary of presenting perks and other employee benefits as culture items. In the event of a downturn, these items may need to be eliminated, yet a company with a truly strong culture can still thrive, Levin says. ‘There is nothing more demoralizing than layoffs,’ Levin says. ‘However, employees who are truly committed to a company’s culture can withstand having a perk taken away.’”

Click here to read the full article.

What’s your experience been? Do you have a clear picture of where you are and where you’d like to be?

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