At the start of 2015, a report by Deloitte identified employee and engagement and company culture as “the No. 1 challenge around the world” for businesses. Of the more than 3,300 companies surveyed, 87% ranked culture and engagement as “important” and 50% as “very important”.

What was so interesting about the report was the ‘twinning’ of culture and employee engagement, each being mutually exclusive rather than separate issues. The authors suggested that it was the transparency of this culture in terms of potential exposure through social and other media, that could be either an advantage or an issue.

The report’s authors identified the qualities of a successful company culture as:

  • meaningful work
  • deep employee engagement
  • job and organisational fit
  • strong leadership

Organisations surveyed may have recognised the need for such a culture, but the report identified a gap between the importance they laid on the need , and their actual capability to make it happen. On a global scale, many countries including the UK showed a capability gap score, suggesting a shortfall in their ability to implement the cultural and engagement changes they knew they wanted.

Couple this with a Gallup poll finding that only 13% of the global workforce feel they are ‘highly engaged’, and there is clearly a void opening up between what companies want, and what is actually happening.

The Deloitte report lays this issue firmly at the management door:

“Leaders lack an understanding of and models for culture: Culture is driven from the top down. Yet most executives cannot even define their organization’s culture, much less figure out how to disseminate it through the company.”

This is not just a corporate issue. The 2015 Status of Care report by the CQC into safety in the NHS and care sectors in England exposed major concerns in 75% of the hospital trusts visited.

CQC chief executive David Behan saw management as both the problem and the solution:

“What we know from our report and from other research is that the leadership of an organisation sets the culture of that organisation. If the leadership says the important things around here are quality and safety, then that’s what people attend to.”

His report identified five crucial areas of leadership that had already turned around failing trusts. These were:

  • Effective engagement and communication with staff and people using services
  • The skills, experience and visibility of management
  • A strong and positive organisational culture
  • Learning when things go wrong
  • Governance processes to support and underpin success

So, in an interesting twist of the usual ‘public sector learning from commercial companies’, what can companies learn from the NHS’s achievements?

We would suggest that one of the key elements is a sense of urgency for management, driven as much by the needs of their staff and the patients in their care as the knowledge that each hospital would be re-inspected within the year. So many corporate change programmes can get bogged down in decision-making, budgeting and consultations. While all are important, the cumulative effect can be a loss of momentum and motivation.

At TalkFreely, our system was designed to make the implementation of an employee engagement network simple, easy and cost-effective. With no additional hardware to install, no security issues, and just a simple app to install, creating an employee network can literally take a matter of days.

However, we also recognised that the biggest challenge to a successful employee network is not technical but emotional. Our team invest considerable time in listening to your company wants to achieve with an employee network both now and as your business grows. Any employee engagement network must be YOUR network, customised to your requirements not an ‘one size doesn’t fit all’ solution that will constrain and restrict.

Our cloud-based platform has the capacity to ensure your network can evolve, but as the Deloitte report suggest, we also need to ensure your company has that capability too. Our team will work with you to get everyone up to speed on what can be achieved, including your management, and ensure the solution is a great fit for your company culture and ethos.

For more information, contact TalkFreely now, or check out our demo video. We look forward to talking to you soon.