The recipe for employee engagement success

A recent piece for Forbes noted that although employee engagement drivers vary according to metrics such as individual personality, geographic region, industry, company size and corporate values, the firms that made Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work 2013 list had some things in common. Companies with open leadership positions would do well to keep these factors in mind when identifying candidates likely to spearhead successful corporate engagement efforts.

Culture club

It’s hard to overstate the importance of company culture. As anyone with executive recruiting experience should know, cultural fit – or lack thereof – can mean the difference between success and failure for a candidate who seems perfectly suited to a position on paper. Indeed, the strong corporate cultures at Facebook and Google (which ranked first and sixth, respectively) appear to have had a major positive impact on the companies’ rankings in lists similar to Glassdoor’s. According to Forbes, the search engine titan “communicates an environment of playfulness from whimsical doodles to April Fool’s Day jokes,” while Facebook goes hard when it comes to “articulating its values on posters, in meetings and through other employee communications to ensure employee values align with the company.”

Bond beyond the boardroom

Those on the talent development task force at this year’s Wall Street Journal CFO Network conference pointed to the importance of cultivating community and global involvement groups – a strategy that has certainly worked for transportation equipment manufacturer Cummins. Forbes reported that last year, more than 27,000 Cummins employees undertook community service projects as part of the company’s Every Employee, Every Community initiative, noting that “when colleagues feel connected, productivity improves.”

Communication, communication, communication

Communication is key to driving change, bolstering motivation and fostering a sense of inclusion in the workplace. The news source stated that workers at software corporation SAP, which ranked 42nd on the list, understand their place within the company – specifically, “what they’re expected to achieve and why it’s important to the greater good of the organization.” Leaders are encouraged to solicit and listen to employees’ feedback, which results in workers feeling as if their opinions are truly being heard.

Outdoor equipment retailer REI takes the concept of a two-way management/workforce dialogue to the next level by using social media. According to Forbes, nearly half (4,500 of REI’s 11,000 employees) have logged into its online “company campfire” to read and take part in discussions with their colleagues.

Meanwhile, DHL Express fosters engagement and loyalty through the spirit of recognition. The international express mail services company “has an incredible culture of thanking employees, whether that’s through monetary rewards, honoring top performers at its annual Hollywood-style black-tie event or pinning notes of appreciation on the company corkboard,” the source explained.

In terms of executive search and recruitment, culture is a critical factor that should not be overlooked, both in terms of determining whether a potential candidate is a good fit for a position and gauging whether he or she has what it takes to develop a solid cultural framework that will boost worker engagement.

About Caldwell Partners

Caldwell Partners is a leading international provider of executive search and has been for more than 40 years. As one of the world’s most trusted advisors in executive search, the firm has a sterling reputation built on successful searches for boards, chief and senior executives, and selected functional experts. With offices and partners across North America and in London, the firm takes pride in delivering an unmatched level of service and expertise to its clients.

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