An organization’s culture can be its greatest asset (Southwest Airlines) or its greatest liability (Wells Fargo). However, according to the 2017–2018 National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) Public Company Governance Survey, only 18 percent of board directors have a good grasp of their organization’s culture. Quite interesting, since directors have a fiduciary responsibility to their organization, and we know there is a direct correlation between employee engagement and the bottom line.
The 2017 NACD Blue Ribbon Commission Report on Culture as a Corporate Asset notes that, “asset managers expect boards to influence firm culture, set ethical standards, and promote a culture of accountability on the board.” The report also calls on boards of directors to take a proactive approach to the oversight of culture as a means to driving sustained success and long-term value creation.
On Oct. 1, I had the honor of speaking at the NACD Annual Meeting in Washington DC, and I assure you that I did you proud. My session attendees – all board directors – left knowing what you and I already know: It’s about time that people other than Human Resources (HR) professionals address the global employee disengagement crisis. This issue cannot be solved by HR alone. You can succeed in creating an amazing culture that no one can imagine leaving if you approach employee engagement as a team. You will not succeed if HR is the only player on the team.
WHAT CAN I DO? If your organization has a Board of Directors, your CEO or Leadership Team typically meets with them monthly or quarterly. Find out who creates the agenda. It’s usually a Board Director, the Chief of Staff, or a high-level employee in Finance or Operations. Request a meeting with this person and share this blog. Your board directors can no longer sit on the sidelines. They need to understand your organization’s culture. Through this board “discovery” process, it’s likely that your CEO will come to the conclusion that things are not where they need to be, and he/she needs to embark on a measurable employee engagement journey in your firm. You can do this… If Not You, Who?
Jill Christensen is an employee engagement expert, best-selling author, and international keynote speaker. She is a Top 100 Global Employee Engagement Influencer, authored the best-selling book, If Not You, Who?, and works with the best and brightest global leaders to improve productivity and retention, customer satisfaction, and revenue growth. Jill can be reached at +1.303.999.9224 or firstname.lastname@example.org.