Employee engagement, the life-Force of any organisation

image01The Accumulate crew used the lead-up to the festive break to set the tone for 2016, mainly around continuing our ongoing quest for new insights on employee engagement and loyalty.

One of our new employees (on secondment) had some interesting points to make on the pitfalls of Empire-building, however he also offered some great insights on the importance of corporate culture fostering individual expression, rather than pushing conformity and censorship. He cited Bret Easton Ellis’ recent Linked In post, also mentioning the ‘democratisation of culture’ as something to be avoided, lest companies end up with a disengaged workforce of drones.

He pointed out that while his original company had an established employee recognition program (“Death Stars”), few of his colleagues fully understood what living corporate values such as “Rule the Universe at All Costs” and “Crush the Rebel Scum” really translated to. Managers have recently started circulating examples of ‘quality nominations’ against these values on their internal Wookieepedia page to help spread the word and educate the broader workforce on the behaviours expected of them. Employees receiving nominations are awarded ‘Empire Points’ which they can redeem from a fantastic range of rewards from “Darth Mall”, their online program catalogue.

Top ‘Death Stars’ are eligible for the annual “Emperor’s Award”, which, among other things, entitles winners to participate in a short course on how to shoot lightning from their fingers.

image00The new culture of inclusivity, open communication and individual expression they have sought to foster has extended to their recruitment practices, attracting some terrific new talent from unexpected sources, particularly among the Millenium generation.

Our newest employee was at pains to reiterate that enforcing a one-size-fits-all culture on a workforce definitely has a Dark Side. He went on to say how critical it is that organisations make cultural values and employee recognition entirely relevant and meaningful to their specific workforce. One-one-one meetings with managers have been established to continue to develop that understanding of what makes their people tick, and the concept of ‘Death Star Champions’ has been introduced to help spread the word and build a strong culture of recognition.

We’ll continue to seek out and share examples of diverse recognition practices, to help the workforce awaken and improve engagement.