When we at the Katzenbach Center ask a client’s employees what it is that makes them proud to work there, we often marvel at how consistent the answers are throughout an organization, regardless of level, function, or team. These cultural anchors aren’t always immediately obvious to outsiders, but if you take a bit of time to speak with individuals within an organization, you will begin to uncover them.

Employees at a mission-based hospital network may be driven by the knowledge that their work enables patients to live longer, healthier lives. People working for a blue-chip company may take special pride in being associated with a premium, globally recognized brand. Individuals working at a startup may wear its related scrappiness as a badge of honor. Workers at a factory may relish their part in its paternalistic role as provider — of jobs, economic growth, and tax revenue.

This pride fuels “emotional energy,” something critical to both our understanding of organizational culture and employee engagement.

In a prior blog post, I discussed the fact that high scores on employee engagement do not always mean that your culture is supporting your strategy; and conversely, that low engagement scores do not necessarily mean that your culture is “flawed” or “broken.” Essentially, culture evolution is not synonymous with improving employee engagement. I did, however, mention one area of overlap — that is, when you identify critical behaviors that drive performance directly and harness sources of emotional energy, thereby also driving engagement. Let’s look more at what this means.

Emotional energy drives employees to go above and beyond, regardless of external incentives such as compensation and benefits. Specific strengths that are sources of pride within a company feed this emotional energy, which in turn drives people to work harder toward bettering the organization. The sense of pride that comes from this achievement further fuels emotional energy, motivating people to strive for even further success. And so the cycle repeats.

Read more: https://www.strategy-business.com/pictures/How-to-Harness-Employees-Emotional-Energy


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