I’m a sucker for “top” lists.
Top 100 movies of all time. Top Premier League strikers. Top vacation destinations. You name the list, and I’m likely to click and read who or what got the top ranking.
Achieving status like this requires deliberate focus and hard work. As I have seen through my work, creating and sustaining a positive workplace culture that is compelling and attractive globally is not easy.
The first is that creating a great place to work must be one of the key priorities on the CEO’s agenda. It’s the CEO who must take culture and engagement seriously.
The second critical success factor he shared is that it’s important “that every single person in the company should feel genuinely and personally responsible to contribute to make his or her work environment a great place to work.”
His insights really resonated with me because they validate my perspective based on my leadership experience and in consulting with companies around the world. The bottom line is that a great workplace doesn’t happen by accident.
A lot of people think that a great place to work is defined by how many foosball tables it has, and how much free food it gives away in the company cafeteria. Those things can help, but on their own they are not a substitute for strong and compelling leadership.
When employees believe their executive leaders and the rest of their managers are working well together, employee engagement jumps to 72%. However, when employees perceive executive leaders and managers not working well together, engagement drops to 8%. That’s a pretty staggering difference.
This research confirms something I’ve always known in my own career—there is a strong connection between leadership and employee engagement and workplace satisfaction.
This means we all need to pay attention to the kind of work environment we are creating within our teams, departments, functions and companies. Every leader has accountability for creating the most compelling work environment they can. Are you? Here are a few questions for you to consider, whether you are a CEO, middle manager, or front-line supervisor:
- How important is creating a great workplace to you as a leader?
- Do you believe it’s your accountability, or something warm and fuzzy for the human resources department to worry about?
- Do you have a personal vision of what a compelling workplace should look like?
- How often do you engage in conversations with your employees on the current work environment, discussing what is currently strong and where it can be stronger?
I believe the leaders who really focus on creating the best workplace they can will be rewarded with the best talent and employees who are committed to driving the highest performance.
Are you one of these leaders?
This week’s Gut Check for Leaders asks: Are you creating a great place to work?
We have many resources to help you become the most accountable leader you be, develop accountable leaders on your team, and scale leadership accountability across your organization.