The customer may be king, but what if your employees don’t stick around long enough to crown him? Leaders are worried about employee engagement: 86% of executives and HR professionals feel that a good company culture is very important; 85% ranked employee engagement the same way in a recent Deloitte study. They were out-ranked only by organizational design (92%) and leadership (89%).

Based on the webinar presented by Josh Bersin, of Bersin by Deloitte, as a part of TalentWeek by Qualtrics. Click here for this presentation and others all available on-demand immediately.

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The new world of work

Today’s world of work has become a relentless technological experience. That’s exciting and even fun, but it can also present challenges for leaders. The “average” US worker checks their phone over 150 times a day and spends 25% of the day checking email. Corporate chat tools have made everyone responsible to everybody else. This technological experience has scrambled the organizational structure. Rather than having a simple command chain, many functions are interconnected and require collaboration across all levels of the organization.

The “average” US worker checks their phone over 150 times a day and spends 25% of the day checking email.

This multi-connected workplace is accompanied by technological changes, ever-present connectivity, and our multi-generational workforce. In short, workers are overwhelmed, distracted, and both younger and older than ever. In the US, 50% of the workforce is under 35, and they aren’t sticking with one company for 30 years anymore, especially with millennials feeling that 7 months is loyal. Your organization has become a waypoint – somewhere to meet people and gain experience. Without an experience, they will leave. This attitude is why executives and leaders are beginning to give more priority to culture and engagement.

Employee Engagement and Culture

The average employee recommends their workplace at a 3.2 / 5, according to Glassdoor ratings. Companies performing above this are not necessarily large or small or in a particularly “sexy” industry. Rather, they are focused on their people. If you look at Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work you see companies of all size, all industry, and all ages. The reason is that employee engagement is not a simple thing: it takes leadership commitment, investment, and a complete and integrated focus.

50% of the U.S. workforce is under 35, and they aren’t sticking with one company for 30 years

We have studied this area in great detail, and developed a model that brings it all together. We call it “Simply Irresistible,” and it’s a modern and updated way of thinking through the entire landscape of employee engagement.

Simply Irresistible: Engagement and Culture for the New World

Five overarching indices comprise the irresistible organization. These five include 20 attributes to consider when creating your own irresistible company

Meaningful Work: Your people need to feel like what they are doing matters

  • Autonomy and freedom to contribute – If your people feel like they are contributing, you’ll see them innovate and engage.
  • Select the right fit – Make sure you have the right people doing the right work.
  • Small empowered team – This makes your team more mobile and brings decision making closer to the line.
  • Time for slack – Overstaffing increases profitability. When people work more than 50 hours a week, they actually get less done. Down time allows your employees to gather their thoughts and focus on time for innovation.

Supportive Management: Your management can make or break your engagement programs

  • Clear and transparent goals – This will eliminate conflicting information and tasks. Everybody will be able to see what you work on.
  • Coached not evaluated – “Nobody wants a manager that is always judging them.”
  • Invest in manager development – People usually become leaders over time and they learn from different experiences at work. Train them up.
  • Agile performance management – This means more than just a yearly performance review.

Flexible Environment: Your employees spend a lot of time in your work space, they need to feel comfortable there

  • Flexibility – At work, feeling like we can work when and how we want increases productivity.
  • Humanistic workplace – Make sure your people have their needs met at work. This can be break areas, quiet areas, or even nap areas; each culture needs something different.
  • Culture of recognition – At zero cost, you can start to recognize your employees’ successes. Cultures that practice this have 35-40% lower voluntary turnover rate.
  • Inclusion and diversity – People want to be heard and welcomed

Growth Opportunity: Everybody is looking to grow in their position

  • Training and support on the job – Make sure your employees keep learning and get better.
  • Career and talent mobility – Options need to made available to your employees
  • Dynamic self-directed learning – Enable employees to ask each other questions and learn from each other.
  • High-impact learning culture – Tools need to be made available to all employees

Trust in Leadership: People look to leadership; that’s a fact

  • Mission and purpose – Leadership should embody the mission and purpose of the organization.
  • Invest in people – Make sure you are training up your people to become leaders.
  • Transparency – If employees know what their leadership is doing, it’s easier to get on the same page.
  • Inspiration – Inspiring leaders are able to convey your company vision more effectively.

With this model, companies have reduced turnover, improved engagement scores, and ultimately boosted their culture and company brand.

To learn more check out Josh Bersin’s session from Talentweek, hosted by Qualtrics at

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