A senior leadership team was surprised to see negative scores on an employee engagement survey. I conducted focus groups and confidential interviews to learn more. Like many organizations, the company had gone through significant changes and restructurings and this caused uncertainty. However, the thing that seemed to be at the core of the negative scores was the experience of a lack of inclusion or respect. People did not feel that their managers cared about them or listened and valued them. A climate of distrust had been created where people did not openly speak with one another.
The cost is high when people don’t feel valued. Usually they believe it is because of the way they look or their function or role. When people feel there will be retribution for speaking up even more energy is required to create an open and inclusive environment where people feel engaged.
Just as in any relationship, we need to take stalk of the climate we are creating. Are we respecting others and seeing them as individuals with hopes and needs? How you can create an open and inclusive environment? Begin by genuinely engaging in conversations to demonstrate interest and respect.