The Winning Formula: Cultivating Employee Alignment 

We’ve all heard about engagement levels and organisational culture but what do we actually know about how to develop an engaged workforce and how to cultivate a strong working culture to deliver organisational success?   And how do we ensure that employee goals are fully aligned with those of the business? 

If we start by looking at the employee journey, there are three parts to the cycle of engagement: setting people up for success with the right tools and resources and crucially, the right expectations; motivating them to successful performance in their roles; and then maintaining high performance levels and engagement with the company and its values.

1) Enable Performance

As any gardener well knows, the secret to beautiful blooms is in the preparation of the ground: you need to work the soil before you sow the seed, plant in the right spot and at the right time, and water to help it to grow. Similarly, before a new employee joins, you need to prepare the way for them so that they can flourish. Before they have even started, the recruitment process should set the scene for them so that they have clear expectations of their role and the company before they begin. They need a detailed job description and a clearly defined mandate. The timing should be right (having people hanging around is awkward and demotivating for everyone, as well as a waste of money), and all the necessary resources must be in place. Give them the tools and information they need to succeed in their role, from setting up the relevant technology to imparting crucial knowledge, such as systems and processes and a network of key contacts. A good recruitment and induction process, as well as clear organisational vision, will ensure that all these needs are met during the very early stages of employment, giving that person the best possible chance to succeed in their role.

2) Drive Success

A gardener’s responsibilities do not stop after planting; time is taken to nurture the seedlings by watering, pruning and tending to them. In management terms, this translates to specific time allocated for monitoring and motivating teams and driving them to succeed. Monitoring could be in the form of progress updates, regular catch ups, tweaking performance where necessary and managing workflow. Motivating others is more specialised (and this is where good managers are worth their weight in gold) whether it’s setting targets and incentives or just straightforward feedback; praise for success and constructive encouragement when things don’t go according to plan. Good managers engage with their staff regularly, the gardening equivalent of watering: leave it too long and your plants will shrivel up; over-water and they will drown. The balance needs to be set but once you have achieved this balance, regular contact will drive heightened awareness and develop an ability to spot when someone needs support and when to leave them to it. Of course, motivating others requires the manager to be motivated themselves, lest it appear disingenuous, which means the managers also need to be nurtured and inspired by business leaders, thus creating another tier of motivation and the beginnings of a culture of engagement for success.

3) Engage Your Talent

If you know your perennials from your annuals, you’ll know that the former lives for more than two years. Generally, this is what businesses are aiming for when they recruit new talent. Retaining top talent is about good nurturing, clear purpose, strong communication and good relations with management (remember most people leave their line manager, rather than their employer). But it’s also about employees understanding their part in the bigger picture, about being personally invested in the company’s values, aligning their own belief system with that of the business. This is where genuine passion and enthusiasm come from: because most people are not doing something solely because it’s a job and they get paid for it (i.e. as a means to an end), or because they get something out of it (i.e. personal development).  What makes the difference between them ‘showing up’ and ‘stepping up’, in other words giving of their absolute best, is whether they understand and believe in the goals and vision of the organisation. This creates clarity of purpose, loyalty and longevity, as well as inspiring employees to go over and above expectations in their work, boosting productivity and adding genuine value to the bottom line.

Passionate, inspired employees don’t leave businesses after a year, they stay for the long haul. But they still need nurturing. High performing, engaged employees need information and knowledge sharing, involvement in decision making and appreciation and acknowledgement. They thrive as part of a strong team with shared goals and beliefs. Get it right and they will spread the word throughout their network, telling others of the fantastic organisation they work for, boosting your employer brand in the process and attracting more bright talent. Get it wrong and you could have wasted a lot of time, money and effort. Organisations with high performance cultures have an inclusive and involving management style. They don’t dictate. They ask, they question, they communicate and they are responsive.

Winning Culture

Let’s start with the engagement level, which is the extent to which people feel committed to the organisation and buy-in to the delivery of the company’s vision. This can be an individual sentiment that varies widely across the business. Conversely, the team culture is the emotional connection that people feel to the organisation and to each other, the feeling of a collective working to the same end goals and the desire to work together to achieve these aims. Because it’s inter-personal, this is a collective or shared feeling, more deep-seated than engagement and therefore more impactful to an organisation’s success. Think of it on a broader sense: a group of people working together to achieve a shared goal have far greater collective power than a group of individuals working separately, even if their goal is the same.

Winning Strategy

Building a successful organisation is about creating strong leadership, ensuring that business managers and leaders are capable of shaping the working environment in order to deliver business success. It is not just about measuring engagement levels – that’s not enough; it’s about creating winning strategies to define not just where the organisation is headed, but also how to get there, building a genuine and holistic approach to achieving shared goals. The structure of the organisation and the processes within it need to be aligned to ensure that the strategy is deliverable and that performance can be properly managed to deliver continued success and improvement.

The WinningFormula

At great{with}talent we have developed The WinningFormula, specifically designed to help you pinpoint which areas of your organisational strategy and culture are delivering success for your business, and which areas might be holding you back from achieving organisational excellence.  It’s much more than just an engagement survey. The WinningFormula  is a holistic assessment of your business strategy and culture, which delivers insight into what is important in the context of your organisation and your people. It gathers opinion from the heart of the business, providing meaningful feedback and resulting in prioritised action lists so that you know exactly what to address, in what way and in what order, to achieve rapid results and maximum impact. Our user-friendly reports will help you to drive change and improvement where it matters, producing impressive results time and time again. Results that translate into key measurables, such as employee retention, employee engagement, productivity and profit. We can facilitate gathering feedback from everyone, or just from targeted groups depending on your needs, and you can be up and ready to launch the project in a matter of days.

The WinningFormula is very quick and easy to use, requiring only a couple of hours of your time – we do the rest. Our reports have impressive completion rates, use super secure IT and turn data into tangible advice within just a few days of closing the data collection process.

If you think this might be the answer to achieving a blossoming company culture, you can have a closer look at our product or view a sample report on our website The WinningFormula. If you’ve still got questions, you can contact us for a chat. The WinningFormula can revolutionise engagement within your business. We would love to be a part of that journey with you.

Further information on The WinningFormula is available on our website.

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