stop trying to make your employees happy

By in Culture and Engagement
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Building a culture that is centered on employee perks is actually detrimental to employee engagement. Despite the conventional thinking that gym memberships, flex time, and holiday bonuses increase satisfaction (and consequently engagement levels), more often than not organizations have failed to see an uptick in engagement when they increase the extras.

That’s because, when employees feel disengaged, trying to make them happy (a fleeting emotion for most), does not make them more engaged. Rather, treating the cause of disengagement with the tools necessary to make employees more resilient is really the best use of your time.

If you find that the general office consensus is employees who are simply punching a clock and collecting a paycheck, it’s high time that you reevaluate your efforts in building an engaging culture.

Here’s what we recommend.

Six Aspects Matter Most

After talking to nearly 10,000 employees around the world, we discovered the six aspects of culture to which every organization should be paying attention. We call them Talent Magnets.

Successful utilization of these six Talent Magnets strongly improves employee engagement. They include:

  • Connecting employees to your organization’s reason for being (purpose)
  • Providing employees with the ability to grow and learn new skills (opportunity)
  • Enabling employees to innovate and do meaningful work (success)
  • Recognizing employees’ outstanding work (appreciation)
  • Improving employees’ physical, social, and emotional health (wellbeing)
  • Creating a strong sense of trust, empowerment, and caring from leaders (leadership)

Organizations that marginally improve in each of these six areas see dramatic improvements in engagement in addition to other business metrics such as revenue growth and expansion. Instead of investing resources in fleeting perks to create a culture that engages employees, work on improving one or two of the six key talent magnets, and you’ll start to see better success.

By o.c. tanner
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