Keeping the Best On Board

The importance of traditions in employee engagement

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that when employees feel like they are part of something they contribute more than just positive energy. Their energy ripples throughout the entire framework of an organization and ultimately contributes to bottom line profitability, even though their exact effect is mostly immeasurable. This is what’s known as employee engagement, and it’s the new watchword for Human Resources professionals that are doing more than just doing their job.

Going the extra mile, however, is easier said than done. The Gallup organization’s recent findings conclude that even though employee engagement numbers are the highest they have been since the year 2000—most likely due to an uptake in the economy and increased employee benefits—there are still a whopping 69% of employees in the American workforce that feel disconnected and disengaged. As every HR professional knows, a lot of time and money goes into finding and training the right person for a job. It seems that far less is being done to keep them, however, or at the very least keep them “plugged in.”

Even though the subject of employee retention tends to be a lot like a multi-layered onion, one vital and often overlooked aspect of keeping good people on the job is using company traditions to connect employees with each other and with the company as a whole. Whether traditions have been in place since the company’s beginnings or they are newly instituted makes little difference; they are a great way to get people out of the doldrums of doing repetitive tasks. They can create new interpersonal interactions and foster new relationships by bringing people together to work toward a common goal—and one that is different than the usual profit or quota-driven goal.

Perhaps it’s time to evaluate the effect and worth of your company’s traditions. Are they connecting or alienating your workforce? Are they creative and stimulating, or are they uninspiring and routine? Should they be revamped, reinvented or left alone?

Watch my TEDx talk on the power of traditions.  Share your traditions on my Facebook page:  Top Tier Leadership!








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