Investing in Culture through Employee Engagement


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Employee engagement can be thought of not only as how someone feels about what they are doing and their overall work experience, but also as the emotional commitment he or she has. This means they don’t just work for a paycheck or the next promotion, but work on behalf of the organization’s goals.

When employees care – when they are engaged – they use discretionary effort and go that “extra mile.” You’ll find the “engaged” programmer working overtime when needed, without being asked. Engaged employees go above and beyond to help the organization achieve success, which in turn helps the culture flourish. Studies have shown that engagement also has a powerful impact on individual well-being, affecting physical and mental health.

According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), employees fall into three categories:

  • Actively disengaged (17%) – these employees are busy acting out their unhappiness and undermining what the organization is trying to accomplish.
  • Disengaged (54%) – disengaged employees “sleepwalk” through their day, putting time, not passion, into their work.
  • Engaged (29%) – employees who are engaged are those working with passion and feeling a real connection to the organization.

At SA, we continually strive to create an atmosphere where our people can do amazing things. Some benefits of an engaged culture include:

  • High morale
  • High productivity
  • Low turnover

Over the past couple of years, we have been focusing on the following areas that surfaced as a result of employee engagement surveys. Associates volunteered to be part of these committees, and some great ideas and programs resulted:

  1. Recognition – our recognition committee created three programs for associates to show their appreciation. Post-it Praises allow anyone to write a quick thanks for help or job well done on a daily and weekly level. The Rock Stars and President’s Award programs recognize those who have gone above and beyond in the previous month or quarter, respectively.
  1. Communication – the communications committee created a monthly newsletter to help disseminate important information to associates between monthly staff meetings, which provides updates from departments and committees. Additionally, we restructured our company-wide staff meetings and account review process to make each more interactive, informational and strategic.
  1. Activities/Events – we also created an activities committee to provide opportunities for associates across departments to mingle and interact. Instead of focusing on department-specific events, the activities committee has established monthly socials, allowing peers to celebrate the week or month’s successes together.

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As a company, we want to continue to drive performance and retention through employee engagement – to make work fun, meaningful and enriching.

     “To find joy in work is to discover the fountain of youth.” – Pearl S. Buck


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