Building Culture

Culture has become a buzz word in the #HR world. We went from Employee Benefits to Employee Rewards to Employee Recognition to Employee Engagement which has created an emphasis on Organizational Culture. Google has created a city to engage their employees; Zappos has re-invented old town Las Vegas for the same purpose. With our personal brands now more prominent than our company logos, the emphasis on culture is no longer the exception but the rule.

Through endless speaking engagements, daily consultation with Global HR Leaders, and weekly twitter chats, I have discovered that the essence of Employee Engagement thrives on a primary concept: you get what you give!

Rodd Wagner and his team of consultants have conducted a study that emphasizes reciprocity in the Employee Engagement life cycle. With the recession reaching its conclusion, employees have taken the power back. Indeed, that which we give our employees will come back to us: good for good and bad for bad!

Be Boldly Transparent       

In this day-and-age of social media, if you mistreat your employees 10 million people will know about it before the report hits HR’s desk. Act accordingly. We cannot afford to work in silos any more. We cannot protect managers who do are marginalizing their employees talent nor can we empower employees simply based on their willingness to raise their hand. In conducting HR seminars throughout the last two years it has become apparent that our biggest challenge is finding our silent leaders. The collective has determined that he/she who speaks the loudest is seldom the most prominent of our thought leaders. We need to create a workplace that encourages everyone to share their ideas!

Give It Meaning

In 2012, I conducted forums for every NCHRA chapter searching for the essence of Employee Engagement.

When I posed the question: What is Your Definition of Employee Engagement?

The most popular answer was: The opportunity to be part of something bigger than myself!

I cried at the #SHRM13 conference when my friend (and yours) Blake Mycoskie told the story of seeing his mother voluntarily clean a child’s infected foot from across a room. It made me think of how my mother (who was battling breast cancer at the time) would have done the same thing. Blake’s is a company based on a cause. There is probably not a clear boundary between the two.

Question: would you leap out of bed to get to work every day if you knew every order you processed would buy a pair of shoes for a child?

Organizational Culture is the place where Engaged Employees meet to make the world a better place. It’s not just a job. If we spend the majority of our waking hours at work, we better believe in what we are doing.

We should have faith in what we do and encourage our employees to do the same.

By The Numbers

HR’s ticket to the board room is based in our ability to prove that Employee Engagement produces measurable results.

How much does it cost to replace an employee?

How many employees have you lost this year?

How much would it be worth to create a place where people would race on Monday morning (instead of Friday afternoon)?

  • Dave Kovacovich  


The SHRM Blog does not accept solicitation for guest posts.

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