The house was packed on February 4th during a rapid fire discussion on why more companies don’t view employee engagement as a strategic initiative. Despite the research (not to mention common sense) showing that engaged employees provide higher service, which leads to higher customer satisfaction results in increased sales and causes high profit and ultimately higher returns for shareholders, it’s still difficult subject matter for companies to implement.
The three rockstar CEOs who joined me on stage are experts on employee engagement. David Niu, CEO, TINYpulse, Henry Albrecht, CEO, Limeade and Mike Metzger, CEO, PayScale shared their insight, wisdom and experience on what causes employee engagement as well as where companies fail.
One of my biggest takeaways was that companies are mistaking expense for effort. A lot of what leads to employee engagement is cheap, but companies don’t or won’t make the effort. #HugeMistake. Transparency is key. The more employees perceive leaders to be transparent, the more engagement increases and the more committed they are to the work.
What companies get it? Mike named Apptio, Chef, Amazon (yes, Amazon) Tableau and Tune as companies that walk the talk. You might not like the talk, but when you go to work at a company like Amazon, the expectations are very transparent and you’d be hard-pressed to be surprised. Porch and Microsoft were also mentioned – Porch being a company that’s successfully weathering the storm and Microsoft being a company that’s re-inventing everything about its culture.
Here are a few summary points:
DAVID – The world and competition is changing so rapidly now so why do we still do employee surveys once a year? There’s no way a company gets their arms around their finances, accounting, inventory, marketing, etc. once a year? So it makes no sense to do that with your people – your most important and most expensive resource.
HENRY – Engagement is the meat of the “great company sandwich.” The bread on one side is intentional culture and the bread on the other side is employee well-being.
MIKE – Engagement is a measure of team member commitment and willingness to contribute their discretionary IP. It is all the choices a company makes for the team that impacts engagement and pay is one of the bigger factors.
‘You have to create culture where people feel ownership for outcomes & drive themselves to do great work’ – @payscale #wtcseattle
“I’m a huge believer in the power & creativity of millennials” –PayScale CEO #WTCseattle
“The office ping pong table has nothing to do with #purpose.” Henry Albrecht @Limeade ON #EmployeeEngagement #WTCseattle #WTCSECEO
The Millennial generation is impressive. If u want to succeed in the tight labor market, you have to care about employee wellness #wtcseceo
Find more CEO advice in my book “From the CEO’s Perspective” where I interview 20 top CEOs on how they are developing leaders in today’s world.