Category Archives: WorldBlu

Engaged and Committed or Dazed and Confused?

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There are a great deal of research and writing about engagement. Sometimes, I think it’s all we see. And there are a lot of solutions providers who will help you measure engagement, diagnose why engagement is low, increase engagement – and any other thing you want to do with or about engagement.

Here’s the challenge:  every one defines engagement in a different way. It’s enough to drive you crazy. It drives me crazy. Maybe not dazed and confused, but definitely crazy. I spend most of my time at the intersection of corporate culture, business performance, what I call humanity. You could just as easily call it engagement – except I think humanity is bigger than engagement.

My particular bias against “engagement” notwithstanding, my friends at Effectory International in Amsterdam have published a very interesting report introducing their compilation of this year’s Global Employee Engagement Index (vol. 3). I am interested in this report for three reasons:

  1. I know and like these folks a lot
  2. I actually like their definition of engagement
  3. They’ve indexed engagement globally – in 54 countries around the world

It’s pretty interesting reading. Here’s how they think about engagement:

The basis of engagement – or what people want from work:

Effectory 1

This is a much more complete definition than most. I like the “compelling company culture” language – not a one-size-fits-all definition of culture. I like the inclusion of freedom (see www.worldblu.com ) at work. And I especially appreciate the inclusion of immediate managers in the mix, along with exceptional leaders in the C-Suite.

I also think that their data have credibility because they can show regional differences in engagement drivers around the world:

Effectory 3

With data that show a global average of engaged and committed employees of 29%, they are also able to break it out by region:

Effectory 2

The discussion that follows is engaging (see what I did there?) and the analysis of this year’s data covers topics like:

  • Why businesses need employee engagement
  • What people want from work
  • Why engaged and committed employees leave
  • Specific strategies for strengthening the four “pillars” of engagement

There are several case studies, as well as a number of key takeaways that you’ll want to note as you think about your culture and your employees.

You may not have heard of Effectory International, but you should get acquainted with their work through this analysis and report. It may reduce your level of dazedness and confusion. I think you’ll thank me.

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Filed under China Gorman, Culture, Data Point Tuesday, Effectory International, Employee Engagement, Employee Loyalty, Engagement, Freedom at Work, Global Employee Engagement Index, WorldBlu

Business Resilience and Freedom

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Creating a great workplace culture that is employee focused is hard. Worthwhile and hard. Creating a freedom-centric culture is also worthwhile. And even harder, because it is focused not just on creating a culture that is based on trust, it is focused on creating a culture without fear.

WorldBlu, is an organization dedicated to developing world-class freedom-centered (rather than fear-based) organizations and leaders. Their vision is to see one billion people leading and working in freedom. Founder and CEO Traci Fenton has spent 20 years studying the effects of freedom in organizations and has come to agree with leading thinkers and scholars like Warren Bennis, Philip Slater, and others, that democracy in the workplace is inevitable because “it is the most efficient social system in times of unrelenting change.”

Traci and her team have just published the results of some interesting analysis in a report titled, Freedom at Work: Growth & Resilience An empirical analysis of how freedom and democracy in the workplace impact business performance. If you’re convinced, as I am, that corporate culture impacts business performance, then this analysis will be of great interest.

Each year since 2007 WorldBlu™ has published its list of Most Freedom-Centered Workplaces™. In that time, more than 130 companies in every industry that range in size from 5 to more than 60,000 employees from all over the world have met the standard to become WorldBlu™ certified. Companies like DaVita, Menlo Innovations, Glassdoor, WD-40, Great Harvest Bread Company and, yes, Zappos, all proudly claim to be cultures free from fear.

This report, Freedom at Work: Growth & Resilience, looks at WorldBlu™ certified companies and how they fared in terms of s growth and survival during and after the Great Recession of 2007. The data are impressive. S&P listed companies’ revenue growth rate during the 3-year period of 2010 – 2013 – the end of the downtown and beginning of the recovery paled in comparison to WorldBlu™ certified companies during the same period.

June 16 2015 WorldBlu 1Additionally, the exit rate of WorldBlu companies during that same time period was less than half the national average.

June 16 2015 WorldBlu 2As the report states, 2007 – 2011 were bleak years for businesses and their employees. And many businesses around the world failed, closed their operations or sold out. Case studies from Menlo Innovations and DaVita are fascinating examples of organization leaders who take their commitment to culture several steps further than creating trust between leadership and employees. They truly approach their entire ecosystem in a democratic fashion and the results were significant. Take a look.

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Filed under China Gorman, Culture, Data Point Tuesday, Freedom at Work, Traci Fenton, WorldBlu