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article imageQ&A: How CEOs can better bond with their employees Special

By Tim Sandle     Jan 20, 2020 in Business
Lack of access to a company’s CEO impacts employee engagement. A leading expert argues that it is critical that employees have a direct line of communication to their company’s CEO in order to feel connected to the social tissue of the organization.
According to data released by Globant, regardless of job title, employees identify their peers as the top group that inspires them to stay with their current employer. Despite this, however, nearly two in three (62 percent) employees wish they knew their co-workers better, with 55 percent citing difficulty getting to know the company’s CEO.
Why is this important? Authentic relationships with both co-workers and upper-level management is essential for employee engagement, creating an environment where employees feel they’re valued and recognized.
Dr. Sanja Licina, Future of Organizations Lead at Globant, also believes this, and thinks that 2020 needs to be the year companies effectively connect employees and execs to eliminate hierarchies.
Digital Journal: What are the key findings from Globant's "Powering a People First Culture" report?
Dr. Sanja Licina: Following are a few highlights from Globant's "Powering a People First Culture" report two out of three employees (62 percent) wish they knew their coworkers better, and 83 percent believe that knowing their coworkers better would make them a more engaged team member.
Regardless of their job role or title, nearly all respondents surveyed (97 percent) say it’s important to have their strengths noticed at work. Only about one third of those surveyed (31 percent) strongly agree that the way their organization operates is a good reflection of company values.
Seventy percent of respondents have felt limited from giving more feedback at their organizations. In the same vein, nearly three-fourths (72 percent) said they are not satisfied with their organizations’ current feedback processes in key areas like career development (73 percent) and job performance (70 percent).
Three-quarters of respondents (74 percent) would be more open to using technology to build stronger relationships with co-workers if these solutions looked like the ones they use in their personal lives.
DJ: How important are positive workplace relations? What benefits arise if employees know each other better?
Licina: Positive workplace relationships are important for employees and also have a positive impact on the business. Nearly two out of three employees (62 percent) wish they knew their coworkers better, and 83% believe that knowing their coworkers better would make them a more engaged team member. Additionally, 51 percent of employees identify their peers as the top group that inspires them to stay with their current employer.
At Globant, for example, we see that employees who both send and receive recognition from others within the organization are seven times more likely to stay than those who don’t engage with others in the organization through recognition. During a time where talent retention is a major challenge for many companies, helping employees strengthen relationships with others is one area employers can turn to keep their best workers.
DJ: Is it more common for employees to know their co-workers better instead of those higher up the organization?
Licina: In our study, we found that employees feel less connected to company leaders than to their peers and direct reports. In fact, over half of all respondents (55 percent) say it’s hard to get to know their organization's CEO. This may be in large part due to the amount of exposure they have to their teams and leaders - the less exposure they have, the less connected they feel.
This is where employee engagement and peer recognition technology, like StarMeUp OS, can really help CEOs and other executives connect with the rest of the organization, as these tools make it easier to share recognition and feedback. Technology can make executives more connected with and accessible to employees across the organization, creating stronger connections among employees at all levels of the company.
DJ: How can leaders ensure employees understand the company's values?
Licina: The best way for leaders to ensure that employees understand the company values is to lead through example, and recognize those employees who embody the values themselves. With the help of technology, both of these activities can be done at a much larger scale. For example, leaders can post photos and videos of themselves at different events to show their embodiment of various values through their own behavior. When it comes to employee recognition, there are many benefits in making it public and also occurring in real-time. Leaders providing public recognition of their employees when they do something exceptional that is aligned with company values not only has a great impact on the person who receives the recognition, but also shows leader involvement in the culture and sets an example for other employees to follow.
DJ: What are the benefits of employee engagement?
Licina: There is a lot of research that points to the many benefits of employee engagement, such as greater satisfaction, higher productivity, longer tenure, etc. In some ways, there is less doubt about the benefits of employee engagement, however, many organizations are still looking for better ways to engage their employees. In an increasingly digital world, companies who have not yet incorporated technology into their engagement strategy have a great opportunity to do so and give their culture a boost by making technology a key component in the employee experience journey.
DJ: How important is effective internal communication?
Licina: There is more content generated and more information available than ever before. Couple this with all of the different mediums through which we can absorb communication and the numerous ways we can stay up to date on the most important information, which completely complicates the information gathering and sharing processes. This is why when it comes to organizations, being able to show the most relevant information to employees through a channel that is the most suitable for them is key. There is no doubt that effective communication is important - companies want to make sure that their employees are well-informed, and the employees want to be in the know. Yet often times, this is still a key challenge for organizations and a large point of dissatisfaction for employees.
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