What kind of culture creates engaged employees?

Chili’s Grill & Bar, Cousins Subs, and MOD Pizza are three food service businesses that have identified  the vital role that communication plays in company culture.

“Communication is the key,” says Scott Svenson, co-founder and CEO of MOD Pizza. “Culture travels through stories.” He also agrees that employee engagement leads to lower employee turnover rates and higher customer attrition. (link NRN)

“We also do engagement surveys, and we track sales and profits…it is working. Even in tough times, we can see that engagement does matter,” says Kelli Valade, president of Chili’s Grill & Bar. Svenson also believes taking care of your staff will lead to better customer care and higher profits.

There are nine types of culture that can engage employees, according to research from Dr. Hua Jiang from Syracuse University, in addition to communication.

1). Openness and transparency: In addition to communication, being open and transparent while communicating is important–especially in the workplace. When information is candidly shared, employees feel more comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings in an unbiased, accurate way.

2). Integrity and trust: When employees are able to trust each other and share values like honesty and integrity, the office becomes a much more enjoyable workplace.

3). Participation and empowerment: When employees are encouraged to participate and share their thoughts and opinions, they become more immersed and engaged in the decisions being made around them.

4). Fairness:. Each employee needs to have equal treatment by management–and peers– and be given equal opportunity for growth, recognition, and praise.

5). Support: Each employee needs to feel that they are being supported by the company. For example, Employees want to know that their ideas being heard and given equal attention.

6). Innovation: Employees should feel that open-mindedness is encouraged, as is thinking out of the box and taking initiatives within the company.

7). Sharing and learning: Employees should be encouraged to interact and share with their coworkers to promote continued education and innovation.

8). Diversity: Differences in perspectives, gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation are respected and valued.

9). Happiness: Achievements are celebrated, appreciated and rewarded.