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5 Principles for Successful Employee Engagement

The fight for talent is seeing organisations locked in a battle to not only recruit but retain the best and brightest employees. While compensation and other benefits may initially help attract interest from prospects, a strong company culture is key to engaging and motivating employees beyond their initial engagement.

Building culture is about encouraging the positive attitudes, behaviours and ethics that make people want to work for the business. These can’t simply be drilled into employees during their onboarding process and forgotten about. Instead, they must be continually nurtured and given the opportunity to grow and evolve.


Mark Bottomley
Mark Bottomley
Regional Sales Director, North EMEA, Rockwell Automation

At Rockwell Automation, we believe that realising the benefits of an engaged and empowered workforce is reliant on walking the walk and talking the talk. Here are our five core principles for cultivating a winning company culture and an engaged workforce:

Principle #1: Culture Starts From the Top, But Thrives at All Levels

With a workforce covering more than 20,000 employees across 100 countries, we can attest to cultural harmony requiring dedication and focus. Furthermore, it can’t succeed without being driven from the top and instilled throughout the organisation.

Our CEO, Blake Moret, continues to play a pivotal role in driving our core ethos of expanding peoples’ possibilities and making Rockwell feel like a family that transcends national borders and departmental silos. Local organisations adopt this baseline into their ways of working and employees themselves use this to shape the role they want to play in the business.

Principle #2: Empower Change to Come From Anywhere

The top-heavy hierarchical structures that have traditionally been deployed by businesses are ineffective in the modern business climate. Indeed, 77% of employees see understanding their organisation’s vision and mission as being important to their job satisfaction, according to research from the Society for Human Resource Management.

Businesses need to unleash their employees’ potential by giving them the opportunity to shape the organisation they want to be a part of and grow with it. Modern companies operate a flat organisational structure focus and encourage all employees to step up and be a powerful voice in the business.

Principle #3: Fit the Role Around the Person

Every employee is different and has different expectations around simple things like how they receive training and recognition through to ways that they like to work or their vision of a productive work environment.

Deloitte’s Talent 2020 research finds that 42% of people looking for a new job are doing so because their employer doesn’t make full use of their skills and abilities. A further 37% cite a lack of career progress and 27% claim the lack of a challenge was behind them looking to pastures new.

It’s therefore important to enable employees to shape their own roles, and to be their best selves, whether that’s people who are new to the workforce or those that have been in the same environment for 20 years. However, many organisations struggle to see this and limit employees’ effectiveness by tying them to mundane sets of responsibilities and KPIs. Looking past these and taking a more fluid and flexible approach can unleash unique skills and produce unmeasurable benefits for employee satisfaction.

Principle #4: Deliver Beyond Compensation

There’s more to keeping people happy, motivated and engaged than simply offering a competitive salary and benefits package. Although these are clearly important, modern employees expect these, and are looking for a workplace that gives them more when they’re at work.

People also want to work in a place that makes them feel safe and supported, offers a diverse culture and provides engaging, stimulating employment. Creating such an environment requires a corporate commitment to helping people focus on skills development, personal growth and enhancing their health and wellbeing.

Principle #5: Ask for Employee Feedback, But – Most Importantly – Act on It.

Business leaders can spend a huge amount of time and resources trying to work out what their employees want and how to boost their productivity. We find the best way to get this information is to go straight to the source and ask our employees for their thoughts in our Global Voices research, which we now operate on a bi-annual basis.

The most important thing about our survey is that it's taken very seriously and we place high value on ensuring employees’ feedback translates into real outcomes. Our CEO dedicates time to really go through and understand employees’ responses, then every manager at every level of the business takes action on the feedback we receive. The results are then openly published throughout the organisation to help all employees understand how their local environment is working, across their country and globally.

Seize the Culture Opportunity

Motivated people deliver better results, will have more fun doing the work, and are likely to stay with the company for a longer period. And culture is key to cultivating this motivation. It is central to your organisation’s reason for being and what motivates your employees to come into work and give their all every day. Organisations that don’t recognise the role of culture will miss out on an opportunity to enhance productivity and engagement and see their talent move elsewhere.

For more information about how to enhance employee engagement by driving company culture, learn more about our Community and Culture of Inclusion.

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