Meaning: A Key to Employee Engagement – Connecting Hands, Minds, Spirits, and Hearts

MAGIC: Five Keys to Unlock the Power of Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is much more than ensuring employees are “satisfied” with aspects of their jobs, including compensation, benefits, and basic work conditions. Engagement refers to the passion and energy employees bring to their work—the discretionary effort they put forth as a result of the quality of the employee/employer relationship.

Meaning is the first “key” in the ENGAGEMENT MAGIC® employee engagement model. What is Meaning? It’s a very real and personal connection between what you value and the work you do. Your work is something of value—something of worth. It is a major part of your self-identity, or at least involves a connection between who you are and what you do. In order to be engaged at the highest level, you must see the significance of your work and how it allows you to contribute to a greater purpose. You must personally connect to the mission of the organization, and see a clear intersection between your role and your values.

What is the source of a person finding Meaning in their work?

For one of my clients, the director of Emergency and Trauma Services for a successful regional hospital system, the meaning is clear—anyone who receives an email from him sees, as part of his signature line, the following quote:

“Is nos operor, sic alius may ago”
“This we do, so others may live”

For him and his staff, the meaning is inherent in the work they do. In this high-stress, fast-paced environment of emergency medicine, they are able to face the daily job challenges with the knowledge and conviction that they are, quite literally, saving lives. As the daily pressures pile up, that connection between what they do and what they believe is apparent. This leader ensures meaning is never lost. Each team member finds meaning in what he or she does, and each knows the importance of his or her role in driving the mission of the organization.

But what is the relevance to you and me? Are we clear about the meaning of our own work? What if our work isn’t about “saving lives?” And what if the connection between our personal value system and the day-to-day work we perform isn’t as obvious?

Meaning: A Key to Employee Engagement

In order to find meaning in our work, we must clearly see the connection between what we value and what we do. For some, assembling a piece of equipment connects with a love of technology. Or it may connect to an innate desire to provide superior customer service by providing the best technological solution. Or, perhaps that piece of equipment is a pacemaker, which may be used to save the life of a father of two. That meaning is different for each of us. However, if we don’t see the link, our engagement is not as high as it could be. We might need our leaders to make the link between our hands and our hearts and minds—the connection between our work activities and how we think and feel about them.

Leaders must help employees find meaning in their jobs.

If leaders want to maximize employee engagement, then they must take an active role in connecting the work with a higher purpose. Steve Jobs wanted to “make a dent in the Universe,” and his most engaged employees wanted to help him do just that. They had the sense that their effort (and, under Jobs, suffering) was worth it because their efforts would change the world.

Jack Welch helped employees, from the top of the organization to the bottom, to see the link between their efforts and “winning,” and he wrote the book on how to do it. As a result, GE employees typically see themselves as unflappable winners who are always ready for the next challenge.

What have you done, or what have you seen leaders do to make the “meaning” connection for employees in your organization? What advice do you have for making a strong connection among hands, hearts, and minds? What results have you seen in terms of employee engagement?

Without Coaching and Goal-setting, Your 360 Degree Feedback Process is a Waste of Time and Money

Feedback is a vital part of performance, growth, and development. Understanding ourselves and how we interact with others helps us to understand the impact we have on those around us. The perceptions of others within our circle of influence, whether those perceptions are accurate or inaccurate, determine our level of success. Regardless of the accuracy of these perceptions, our interaction with others both influences and is influenced by the perceptions of others. This is where 360 degree feedback enters into the picture.

Based on the philosophy that individuals should receive a full 360‐degree picture of performance by gaining multiple perspectives, multi‐rater feedback gathers input about an individual’s performance and behaviors by soliciting feedback from those stakeholders impacted by that individual. Similar to the 360 degrees of a circle, an individual is figuratively at the center of that circle, and feedback is gathered by way of a survey from those in positions to observe that person in action: supervisors, direct reports, peers, customers, etc.

engaged your workforce connection

The use of 360 degree feedback, has increased dramatically over the past two decades. Some estimates suggest that as many as 90% of all Fortune 500 firms use some type of multi‐rater feedback with their managers. However, the success of 360 degree feedback programs varies greatly. The question that rises to the surface is, “what makes a 360 degree feedback program successful, versus one that fails miserably?”

In studies conducted by DecisionWise researchers over the past decade, we have found some interesting facts about making the 360-degree feedback process more effective. Two areas stand out more than any others: Coaching and Goal Setting.


The first DecisionWise study regarding the effectiveness of 360-degree feedback was conducted in a two-year study with a group of 345 managers from a large multi-national technology consulting firm. Each of these managers had participated in a 360-degree feedback assessment earlier that year. A total of four different 360 feedback surveys were used for this group, meaning not all completed the same 360 feedback instrument. However, on each of the assessments, these managers received feedback from supervisors, direct reports, and peers.

Six months after completing the 360-degree feedback survey, DecisionWise asked these managers via an online survey to self-evaluate their perceptions of the survey effectiveness. They were asked to rate the degree to which they agreed with two overall statements:

  1. Overall, I feel that the 360-degree feedback process is effective.
  2. I have made meaningful positive change as a result of the 360-degree feedback I received.

They were also asked to rate various elements of the process, such as whether the administration of the survey was simple, whether they received coaching, and if they had set goals based on the survey. The results of this research were very telling:

92% of those that received coaching reported that the overall 360-degree feedback process was effective. In contrast, only 34% of those who did not receive coaching felt the process was effective.


For purposes of this study, the concept of “coaching” was left to the interpretation of the manager being rated. For some, this meant a simple debrief in which he or she sat down and reviewed the results with his or her supervisor, peers, mentors, or and outside coach. For others, the idea of coaching was deeper, and included more extended coaching sessions. This was intentionally left to their interpretation, as the desire was to allow the participant to determine the level of coaching needed in order to get the maximum benefit from the assessment.


A follow-up to this study was conducted two years later and nearly identical results were found. This study went one step further, and asked a number of raters (those providing the initial feedback on these managers) whether they had noticed changes in the managers’ behavior and performance after the 360 assessment. An analysis of the results of the raters’ responses showed a clear correlation between the self-reported effectiveness (the managers’ ratings of the process and their subsequent improvement) and the change noted by these managers’ raters. These correlations provide further support to the theory that coaching and goal setting dramatically improve the outcome of a 360-degree feedback process.
Further analysis also showed that when participants had set specific goals to address areas of their 360 feedback, it was far more likely that their 360 feedback showed significant improvement the following year than when goals were not set. This finding added additional weight to the theory that goal-setting is key to improvement.

Findings summary

The research yielded some additional interesting insights:

92% of those who responded positively to “I received sufficient coaching” answered positively to “Overall, I feel the 360 process is effective.”

87% of those that set goals felt the 360 process was effective.

94% of those that received coaching and set goals felt the 360 process was effective.

Conversely, only 34% of those who did not receive sufficient coaching felt the 360 process was effective.

Less than 40% of those that did not receive coaching set goals based on their 360 feedback.

Just half of organizations provide 360 feedback coaching

One interesting note—despite what we clearly note in these studies, we find that less than half of the organizations using 360-degree feedback today emphasize coaching and goal setting as part of the process. These studies leave little doubt as to the importance of coaching and goal-setting in making a 360 process more effective, and appear to indicate that a large number of organizations conducting 360 assessments could dramatically improve the return on their investments.

So, do you want to ensure your feedback process is effective? Add goal setting and coaching. The research seems to clearly point out that these two factors make the difference between 34% feeling their multi-rater feedback was helpful, and 94% saying the process was effective.

360-Degree Feedback Survey Download

Learn how to coach on 360 degree feedback results

Related Post: Top 10 Leadership Coaching Issues

Related Post: 3 Principles of Effective Leadership Coaching

Related Post: 5 Reasons to Use a Leadership Coach

10 Best Practices to Improve Employee Survey Participation Rates

A company with locations all over the US finally decided to run an employee survey.  The company’s noble hope was to measure levels of employee engagement to better understand the causes of rising attrition rates.  After an inspiring meeting with the VP of HR (let’s call her Susan), the HR team put its entire weight behind the survey project.  The HR team was excited about this new opportunity to leverage employee feedback.

Download: Sample Employee Engagement Survey

In the coming weeks, Susan led her project team to design and implement the survey internally.  The survey launched and ran for two weeks—plenty of time for employees to respond.  When Susan received the survey results one week before her next meeting with the executive team, her heart sunk—only 37 percent of the employees responded.

What went wrong?

Why were so many of the employees unwilling to respond to the survey?  Susan’s story represents a common issue we hear from new clients, especially when trying to run an employee survey for the first time.  We’ve found that poor survey participation can be traced to a failure to implement one or more of the following 10 best practices:

  1. Get stakeholder buy-in.  Yes, support from the executive team is critical, but communicating that support throughout the organization is impactful. Have the CEO communicate the importance of the survey in multiple ways: a simple email, company newsletter article, or announcements in meetings will do the trick.
  2. Communicate expectations to managers. All leaders in the organization should understand the purpose of the survey and what it means to them.  Tell them they will receive their team’s results and that they will need to develop an action plan. Managers who know that they will receive data are more likely to encourage participation within their team.
  3. Guarantee confidentiality.  Our database of over 20 million employee survey responses highlights a number of workplace issues that need to be addressed.  One of the most shocking issues is that 34 percent of employees are afraid to speak up at work.  If employees are afraid that candid feedback will be received unfavorably (odds are about a third of your employees feel that way) then they need to feel like survey responses will be kept completely confidential.  Outsourcing the survey rather than running it internally can give employees confidence in speaking their minds. Don’t let your employees’ fear of retribution damage your response rate.
  4. Limit demographic questions.  When employees see a long list of questions asking them to indicate their age, gender, and tenure, they will fear being identified and opt out.    A better way is to tie demographic information to each response based on a unique code rather than asking it on the survey.   The less employees feel they can be identified by their responses, the better.
  5. Keep the survey short.  Sometimes it is difficult to limit the number of questions because there are so many things that leaders want to know.  We recommend about 50 questions total.
  6. Limit open-ended questions.  While open-ended questions are excellent tools to use to capture employees’ true thoughts and feelings, a survey with too many open-ended questions won’t be well received.  Limit yourself to two or three precisely worded questions that invite open, candid reflection on company strengths and organization-wide areas of opportunity.
  7. Target survey reminders. A two-week administration keeps the survey window short, yet catches people who are traveling, on vacation, or on sick leave. Send several survey reminders, but only to those who have not submitted a survey. When using an online tool, track participation at the location or department level so you can send targeted communication to groups with lower response rates.
  8. Provide time to take the survey. With shift employees, be sure to schedule time for them to take the survey while on the clock.  Plan sessions for those that need to take it on paper to gather as groups to hand out and collect the results.
  9. Offer incentives.  Consider holding a competition across the entire company.  One effective method is to hold a competition between company locations, with the location(s) with the highest participation rates receiving a prize.  Companies without multiple locations can instead compete on a department level.  Incentives make the employee survey process more memorable and engaging.
  10. Promise to share the results. When employees know that the results will be shared with the entire company, they are more invested in the process and likely to participate.

What are some ways your company has tried to increase employee survey participation?  What successes have you seen?  Share your stories with us.

Employee Engagement Survey

Using Open-Ended Survey Questions

Some organizations avoid using free-response questions on employee surveys simply because they want to keep the survey short or they don’t think they can analyze all of the comments—let me be the first to tell you that having open-ended survey questions on your survey can be a real benefit to your survey results.

Download employee engagement survey.

Open-ended survey questions really bring to life the attitudes and opinions of respondents and provides a wealth of new information. Here are four main reasons why qualitative responses are beneficial to the survey process:

  1. Open-ended questions add color and nuance to quantitative data.  For example, when responding to the agreement-scale question “I have the tools and resources necessary to do my job,” employees might disagree.  Only when you see the comments associated with the survey are you able to understand that your technology team needs extra monitors, or your designers need updated software, or the front-line restaurant crew needs new uniforms (actual responses we’ve seen).
  2. Open-ended questions provide explanation to previous responses.  We often find that employees use the comments section of the survey to explore in greater depth their previous responses, volunteering valuable background information on both positive and negative feedback.
  3. Open-ended questions inform leaders of immediate team needs and quick wins.  When we consult with companies on how to best leverage employee feedback, we always tell them to look for quick wins: survey data that highlights a specific, easily satisfied need.  Acting on quick wins is perhaps the best way to promote trust in the survey process.  One year, a client noticed a common request for an espresso machine in the lounge.  Easy fix!  The espresso machine was purchased and installed, and employees knew their feedback was heard and acted upon.  By acting on quick wins, organizations create trust between their employees and the survey process, and ensure that employees will speak up in the future—creating a culture of feedback.
  4. Open-ended questions give individuals a voice.  Individuals might have something on their minds that wasn’t captured in the 45 or 50 agreement-scale questions that they would still like to share.  Open-ended questions allow individuals to share this feedback, creating even greater value in the survey process.

Even with four very compelling reasons to use open-ended questions, organizations take a variety of approaches.  Our best-practice advice is to use a very limited number of open-ended questions—we usually recommend two.  In my next blog I’ll share two common approaches and the benefits (or costs) associated with each—stay tuned.

Employee Engagement Survey Sample Download

Can You Trust Your Employee Survey Results?

Manager engaging with employee

What if I told you that 26 percent of your employees either blatantly lie or inadvertently misidentify demographic questions on employee surveys?  If you’re like most managers we work with, you’ll immediately distrust the survey process and its reported data—and that’s completely fair.


Download employee engagement survey.

The fact is, when employees are asked demographic questions (e.g., department, manager, tenure, job class, age, or gender), 26 percent of them respond incorrectly.  Perhaps these employees lie for fear of excessive respondent transparency; perhaps they lie because they distrust the intentions behind the survey and seek to sabotage its validity; or, perhaps they misidentify because they simply don’t know the answers.  Whatever the reason for the inaccuracies, the statistic still holds true; we’ve tested and validated this conclusion with a broad set of our clients, and continue to find the same error rate.

How do we know?  When we conduct employee surveys we can track responses based on email address or some other unique identifier.  We receive a file from the client that includes demographic information like tenure, department, manager, etc. and match it to the unique identifier. On some surveys we asked for demographic information on the survey and then compared responses to the data provided from the employee file to find the discrepancies.

Bad demographic data kills action planning

While cumulative employee  survey results are accurate in aggregate (the questions that deal with engagement and satisfaction), these responses cannot be effectively separated by department or manager by relying on employee responses to demographic questions.  This is especially important when you are trying to report down to front-line managers and conduct organization-wide action planning. Not many things are more embarrassing than providing the operations manager a report for her department that lists 122 total respondents, while her department only has 97 employees.  Whoops.

The solution?  Design a survey that codes demographic data behind the scenes.  Instead of asking employees identifying questions (which can cause people to not participate), use a system that allows you to track responses yourself.  This is the practice we employ, and the strategy we recommend to all of our clients.  By making demographic data a pre-programmed part of the survey, your results will be just as accurate as the company’s HR records.

Now I know what you are thinking: “What about confidentiality? What if employees find out?” Transparency is the key.  If there is a low-trust environment, then wait a year or two to track demographic information.

During the first year, report the data at high levels and share the results with employees.  During consecutive years, filter the data down the management chain so employees can meet to discuss what to do in their work groups.  Only the executive team and HR should be able to access employee survey results covering all demographic categories and departments as long as data is provided in groups of five responses or more.  This will protect anonymity and confidentiality.

When you’re ready to start this year’s employee survey, ask yourself how you want to track responses.  If you plan on using demographic data gathered from the survey, don’t plan on being able to deliver accurate reports to department managers.

Employee Engagement Survey Sample Download
Related Post: 5 Employee Engagement Survey Best Practices
Related Webinar: Employee Engagement Survey Roll Out Best Practices
Related Post: 10 Best Practices to Improve Employee Survey Participation Rates
Related Post: 12 Tips to Turn Employee Engagement Survey Results into Increased Organization Performance

Team Effectiveness: Getting Alignment on Purpose

This is the time of year that I interrupt my regular reading to revisit my favorite book. For the second year running, I’m “reading” Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables, unedited. By “reading” I mean listening to it in the car as I travel to and from work every day.

When I shared my enthusiasm for the unedited edition with one of my co-workers, he was incredulous. “But, you have to go through page after page of the author’s description of the priest. The story is about Jean Val Jean, not the priest!” I tried to explain that the story was much bigger than Jean Val Jean. I could see instantly that my co-worker’s perspective was much narrower than mine. I defended my love of the full book, carefully explaining that the book examines larger themes, such as the nature of law and grace, moral philosophy, justice, religion, and the nature of love—romantic and familial. Hugo examines these themes from the varying life experiences of all the characters of the book, not just from Jean Val Jean’s.  But my co-worker wasn’t buying it – he seemed to think I was taking something that was quite simple and pure and making it unnecessarily complex and grand.

We felt very differently about the book because of our different perspectives of what it was about. We had both read the book. All of it. And our experiences were different. For my coworker, certain characters and narratives seemed wholly unnecessary. These were frustrating to him – they diluted the story line. On the other hand, these same characters and narratives seemed essential to me because I saw them as part of a larger, universal story.

This difference in perspective, in my view, is analogous to what I often see in the leadership teams with which I work. One recent example is the global HR team of a rapidly growing organization. The team was struggling in part because they had different perspectives about the primary purpose of the global team and the relevance of each role on that team. Some shared a perspective that was centered around the HR function and how to overtly promote the importance of employees in the company’s vision, mission, and strategy. On the other side, some team members (including the team leader) saw the purpose of the team as HR business partners, who were empowered to build people initiatives into the fiber of every business decision without needing to call out a distinct people strategy.  Though a few team members adopted the leader’s perspective, many on the team were frustrated by it, frustrated because they thought their leadership story was about People as THE main character, while the team leader was trying to get them to see People as just one of a whole cast of characters integral to the overarching vision and mission of the organization, and every business strategy and objective.

To be successful, leadership teams must operate with shared meaning and purpose, wholeheartedly supported by each team member. This alignment doesn’t mean team members have to squelch their point of view – in fact, it requires each to openly share his or her perspective.  Alignment on purpose is the outcome of shared meaning, which can only occur when disparate points of view are shared and appreciated.

In the situation with my coworker and our perspectives on Les Mis, I think we are both better off for having shared our views. While our different ways of interpreting the story are not part of our team’s work purpose, the process of sharing our perspectives helps us discover what we have in common, and our ability to respect disparate points of view bodes well for us working together toward our shared purpose of serving internal and external stakeholders with great care. Both the priest and Jean Val Jean would be proud.

5 Employee Engagement Survey Best Practices

Prior to joining DecisionWise, I worked as an HR business partner and a senior HR generalist.  In both of these roles, I spent a lot of time administering employee engagement surveys and interfacing with company leadership to prove survey validity and efficacy. Any HR practitioner knows that getting buy-in from executives for an engagement program can be challenging. To do so, we need to adhere to a set of engagement process standards.  Over the years, I created a list of employee engagement survey best practices that made the survey process valuable to both company leadership and the participating employees:

  1. Encourage employees to participate—A survey isn’t effective unless it has high participation rates – perhaps I’m stating the obvious, but I’ll take a moment to elaborate.  Without high participation, company leadership will perceive the investment as a sunk cost because we can’t truly know what the employees are thinking and feeling.  Some of the best ways to encourage participation are also the easiest: start a competition, provide small incentives/prizes, and talk about the survey’s confidentiality (more on that later).
  2. Focus on what you really want to measure—When working with clients, we make a point to discuss the difference between engagement and other feelings like happiness, satisfaction, and motivation.  Engagement surveys should include engagement questions.  Don’t clutter the survey with questions about benefits or other items that cannot be changed.  Use a small number of anchor questions to measure overall engagement, then use the other questions to determine what is driving engagement in your organization.
  3. Ensure and maintain confidentiality—If employees feel like they will be personally identified by their responses, you can bet they’re not going to give you candid (i.e., valuable) feedback. Promoting confidentiality will help employees speak up without fear of retribution, and will yield a significant ROI on the survey process.
  4. Report results back to employees—Since employees already made an investment of their time and energy by thoughtfully participating in the survey, they would of course be eager to see the overall survey results.  Transparency throughout the survey process (1) reinforces the principle of confidentiality, (2) shows the employees their opinions are valued, and (3) demonstrates that the organization intends to act on the results.
  5. Choose a few key items to improve, then act—Few things are more frustrating than taking the time to provide honest, candid feedback, without ever seeing any changes made.  Unless the organization turns employee feedback into results, employees will become bitter and distrustful about the survey, which will ruin any survey opportunity in the future.  As we work with clients, we help them focus on quick-wins: smaller issues highlighted in the survey results that can easily and immediately be fixed.  By focusing first on just a few quick wins, the organization shows employees that it is going to act on the survey results, which augments employee confidence in the survey process and the goals of company leadership.

Next time you start an employee engagement survey in your organization, follow these steps.  If you do, you’ll successfully lay the foundation for a culture of feedback in your organization.  Having a culture of feedback is one of the key elements that helped our friends at CHG Healthcare be ranked No. 3 on the 2013 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For list.  Wouldn’t it be nice to see your company among those ranks?
Employee Engagement Survey Sample Download
Related Webinar: Employee Engagement Survey Preparation Best Practices
Related Webinar: Employee Engagement Survey Roll Out Best Practices
Related Post: 10 Best Practices to Improve Employee Survey Participation Rates
Related Post: Employee Engagement Lessons from the Fortune “100 Best Companies to Work For”:

Hourly vs. Exempt Employees: Who is more valuable?

Turner worker working on drill bit in a workshop

Last week I had the good fortune to work with a very successful organization that has operated in the retail space for over 100 years.  The average tenure of the company’s executive team is 15 years, with its Vice President of Operations (let’s call him David) having been at the company during the extent of his 25-year career.
David told me a remarkable story of joining the company as a janitor (his official title in 1988), working as an hourly employee during the night shift.  I asked him about the factors that contributed to his advancement, to which he responded, “I have always had good bosses that believed in me.”  In his 25 years within the organization, David not only advanced but also held various positions that allowed him to see every side of the business.  Because of his experiences, David is able to quickly relate to both the hourly maintenance staff and the board of directors.  The point of this story is that hourly workers comprise a potential pool of talent that is too often overlooked and underdeveloped.
In a 2012 study of 2,743 employees within an international manufacturing company, my team and I found significant differences between the attitudes, beliefs, and values of hourly verses exempt employees.  For example, only 51 percent of hourly employees felt that they had a voice in the organization and could speak up without fear of retribution or negative consequences, compared to nearly 70 percent of exempt employees.
Relating to growth and development, the differences between hourly and exempt staff members are more pronounced: only 39 percent of hourly employees reported receiving counseling in their careers, compared to 54 percent of exempt employees. More interesting still, hourly employees perceived more career opportunities than their exempt counterparts.
The results of this study bring to light two fundamental realities:  (1) hourly employees, who often have the most insight into the day-to-day operations of an organization, think that their voices don’t matter; and (2) hourly employees have desires to progress in their companies, but they are not receiving the guidance needed to advance their careers.
Engaged and committed hourly employees can have a significant impact on an organization’s success.  Keep the following characteristics of hourly employees in mind:

  • Hourly employees often represent the majority of customer-facing roles;
  • They are directly involved in production-line;
  • They directly impact quality; and,
  • They are advocates and supporters of safety.

The reasons above suggest that engaging hourly employees is essential in gaining competitive advantage in markets where hourly workers are a significant demographic.  Organizations that provide the conditions for these hourly employees to thrive wll experience lower talent-acquisition costs, improved operational performance, and best-in-class customer experiences—they will be known as employers of choice that provide opportunities for people like David to advance.
Related Webinar: Employee Engagement and the Hourly Employee
Related White Paper: ENGAGEMENT MAGIC®: The Five Keys of Employee Engagement

Putting People First: The Key to CHG Healthcare's Success

Employees listen to their leader

Who is CHG Healthcare Services and how did they manage to rank #3 on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list, right behind Google and SAS?  This medical staffing company has about 1,400 employees and is based in Salt Lake City, Utah.  They have made the list since 2010 (#26) and have been making steady changes since to improve their culture and attract and hire the best employees. That CHG also ranked #6 on Chief Executive Magazine’s list of Best Companies for Leaders, and #5 on Training Magazine’s Training Top 125 list is also worth mentioning.

What does CHG do that yields these amazing results?  Well, they simply put their employees first. By visiting CHG’s blog, we’re able to see a number of exciting—and affordable—things the company does to show that it values its employees.  To celebrate Valentine’s day, the CHG office inBoca Raton, Florida kicked off an entire week of love on Monday morning with a breakfast of waffles and continued the week by voting for the most “loveable” employee, passing out treats, wearing red to compete for a $25 gift card and enjoying a barbecue lunch.

Consider another example. Surgery Team Placing Manager, Chris Willett, shared that he likes that:

“CHG recognizes others’ successes. In a sales environment, it is nice to get the company-wide recognition for our efforts and successes. This helps us keep a positive attitude.”  When asked about his favorite part of his job, Chris responded that he likes “the intensity and the fact that there is never a dull moment.”

As we have conducted the employee engagement survey for CHG over the course of the past seven years, we have seen their scores rise as a result of their focus on employees.  This change didn’t happen overnight; it took a lot of hard work and focused leadership to gain the trust of employees and change the culture of the organization.

The CHG “About Us” webpage sums up their corporate philosophy:

“For us, success is achieved by Putting People First. Our culture of Putting People First is our competitive advantage in the marketplace and the reason we can provide high-quality service to the healthcare facilities and healthcare professionals with whom we work.”

Has it paid off?  Today, CHG is the second-largest healthcare staffing company when measured by revenue and is the most profitable company in the industry.  Turnover decreased by more than 10 percent in the first three years of their people-focused efforts, and continues to decline. This is especially significant in an industry that typically sees turnover rates higher than 50 percent. Turnover is now more than 60 percent lower than the healthcare staffing industry average.

Learn more about the work we’ve done with CHG by viewing our webinar, Creating a Culture of Feedback.