HR Management

The Cost-Effective Secret Weapon for Improving Engagement

The statistics on employee engagement aren’t promising for employers these days. Gallup reports that only 30% of employees are engaged. If your employees are among that number, you might be missing out on a cost-effective way to boost engagement—building and maintaining a values-based environment.

Matthew Baker writes on that workplace culture is commonly misunderstood and measured by metrics like the number of office nap rooms or ping-pong tables. At its core, Baker counters, a successful culture is a system of shared beliefs and behaviors. A values-based culture exists when employees associate meaning with their behaviors based on specific company values.

To determine if you have such a culture, Baker suggests asking some employees about a challenging decision they faced and the beliefs that helped them make the decision. Were they guided by their own personal values, financial goals, or emotional attachment? Or was the decision rooted in your company’s values?

Baker says a value-based culture relies on employee autonomy and empowerment—employees are more likely to drive better results if they feel ownership over their work. Values provide boundaries, but the space inside those boundaries gives the employees freedom to shape their work.

While making decisions based solely on a set of established work flows, processes, and calculations requires intelligence and attention to detail, it doesn’t capture and sustain employee interest. Making decisions within a values-based culture, on the other hand, fosters heightened engagement.