What’s the best way to improve retention, recruitment, productivity, engagement and a range of other key performance indicators? There’s no one answer to this question. But there is one ideal place to start to get at one — an organization’s mission and values, which form the foundation of business success.
Sure enough, new research by my firm, Reward Gateway, an employee engagement platform, reveals that 98 percent of employers and 94 percent of employees believe that personal alignment with a company’s mission is important. If that sounds like good news, it is. It shows that — perhaps contrary to popular belief — the vast majority of people are not cynical about the significance of their company’s mission and values.
But there is also bad news. The research shows that less than half of employees feel fully informed about their company’s mission and values.
“The best way to bridge this gap is though continuous recognition that acknowledges people specifically for behaviors that demonstrate a company’s values,” said Rob Boland, group product and client success director at Reward Gateway.
Most senior leaders agree, according to our study. About 4 in 5 managers believe that they already have a culture of recognition at their workplaces. A further 9 in 10 senior decision-makers say their organization does enough to recognize people for embodying values.
Most employees disagree. More than 60 percent say their managers should be thanking them more, and 70 percent believe that their morale and motivation would improve as a result.
“Simply communicating your mission and values to people is not enough,” Boland said. “Actions speak louder than words. And the best action you can take to connect your people to your mission and values is to give people ample opportunities to recognize each other more.”
However, Boland added that merely thanking people for doing a great job is also not enough. Rather, it’s vital to encourage employees to be specific when they praise their colleagues by tying recognition to actions that relate to corporate values.
In other words, a mission and values statement is only as strong as a company’s ability to inspire employees at all levels and to recognize each other for behaviors related to them. As a result, according to Boland, “employees will not only feel more connected to each other but to your business’ mission and values in ways that can yield optimal business results.”
Debra Corey is group reward director at Reward Gateway. To comment, email firstname.lastname@example.org.