Imagine we could all wake up every morning saying to ourselves, “I’m excited about going to work today, I understand the value I offer and how it supports the rest of my organisation”. This is the crux of employee engagement - understanding our role in an organisation and feeling able to contribute towards the goals.
According to the Harvard Business Review, 71% of employees rank employee engagement as very important to achieving overall organisational success. If this is the impact engagement can have on performance, then we should be doing more to keep employees focused.
Give Me Something to Believe In
One of the biggest parts of employee engagement is communicating the why - helping people to understand the purpose of the organisation, and giving them a chance to get involved and make a meaningful difference.
Some organisations truly understand the importance of placing why at the forefront. Take for instance IKEA whose mission is to “create a better everyday life for many people”. In everything from their marketing to their product range to the family focused culture, the resonance of creating a better everyday life for many flows.
Their mission is so tangible that it has led to the concept of the IKEA effect; the cognitive bias that means we place disproportionately high value on products that we have partially made. IKEA understand from their consumers to their employees that establishing a strong mission, communicating it clearly in word and deed and providing space for the contribution of others makes for a very strong business model.
What part do I play?
This makes us think - how can we do the same for our organisations? Well, we can revisit (or perhaps visit!) our organisation’s purpose, and ask ourselves what parts resonate with us? What does it mean to me as an individual, to us as a team? How might we adjust the language so that it contains the sentiment of the original and becomes something we can live everyday? What adjustments might we make about how we do things to live with stronger purpose?
It’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture and then we’re left wondering ‘what’s this all for?’. Helping people to connect the dots between the why and what they do every day is vital to creating an engaging culture.