TrendWaves #199: Culture, Talent and Engagement

Posted 3 Aug 2016
by Gary Nelson

TrendWaves - Leadership & organizational trends and insights for Business LeadersIssue #199 – This post is part of the TrendWaves blog series, an NBOGroup publication on Leadership & Organizational trends and insights for Business Leaders.

Culture and Employee Engagement

The debate of 2016 is not that engagement is low but HOW do we increase stakeholder, employee and customer engagement. The survey is a metric of health and the purpose of the individual and the organization. The leadership and culture can be the solution to increase engagement.

How so?

Saint Benedict developed the Monastery at Monte Casino in 530 A.D. where he wrote his famous rules for balance and harmony in organizations. The first rule is about daily behavior to achieve balance. The second rule is for senior executives to guide them in leadership of complex organizations. These teachings are as valid and alive today as they were 1500 years ago. Benedict used the position of Abbot as the leader of the community. Financial responsibility and community responsibility. This responsibility and the community in support of the purpose of the organization are fundamental to a healthy culture.

The same in business and modern organizations of all shapes and sizes. Full engagement and commitment to purpose is the responsibility of leaders at all levels. The leaders have the most precious asset under their responsibility - People, clients and stakeholders. Think about every leader being responsible to this common statement "our most important asset is our people!"

As Benedict states, the recommendations on that sort of talent/person to be considered for Abbot are:

Those who have the most impeccable credentials;
Those who are humble and not arrogant;
Those who will not play favorites or show biases;
Those who understand and support the policies and procedures that have bound the organization over time;
Those who truly value and care for the corporate assets.

Engagement is the responsibility of every leader and team member. The formation of which these chosen leaders becomes the opportunity. Not on boarding, or training but forming. Training provides lessons in techniques and skills. Formation is more strategic in that it is the teaching of Vision and Values, Purpose and Fraternity or Culture. Age should not be a criterion for leadership, but talent and track record.

Think about your leadership selection process:

  • Are you selecting those who endorse and support purpose and culture? Or are you selecting an individual on their record of keeping commitments?
  • Are we selecting candidates and rewarding incumbents who are not biased or show favoritism with those they like vs. those they don't?
  • Are we selecting or keeping those who have shown total respect for the corporate assets?

We all need to include in our talent management programs these truths, in our replacement tables those who exhibit these truths, and do we retain those who have shown weaknesses in any of these areas of need? 

We, as leaders and thinkers in this knowledge age, have responsibility to select those who demonstrate and are recognized for holding the values, competences and attitudes that will foster our culture and growth. The best way to do this is through a well run 360 degree feedback survey!

What is a "well run" 360? It is thoughtful in categories that are specific to our organization; values, attitudes and results to strategy/vision. Second, all participant groups are well informed of the processes, confidentiality and benefits of the exercise. Next is the actual running of the 360 survey to achieve the highest participation rate. 100% is possible! Lastly, development plans are implemented and followed through; raters are thanked for contributing and management supports the OJT development.

Topics: Employee Engagement , Leadership , TrendWaves

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