Meaningful Experiences Shape Attitudes

Interactions that reach employees on an emotional level can accelerate engagement.

High-performance cultures do not get that way by chance. They are built strategically and methodically through well-choreographed experiences that cultivate employee engagement.

Every experience that employees have with their company contributes to their beliefs about the organization. These beliefs influence how they think and make decisions. This can become very advantageous to companies that have an urgent need to unify the workforce around a common goal.

The secret to unlocking the potential of each experience is to have a thorough understanding of what drives and motivates employees. For the majority of today’s workforce, the underlying purpose behind the work they do and who it is for carries a sense of pride. Unlocking a strong desire to help a company achieve its goals is rooted in the emotional connection employees have to their company and its purpose.

Armed with that insight, leaders and communicators can create experiences that provide perspective and context, illustrate the impact of employees’ work and paint a compelling picture of the company’s strategic direction.

Through interactions strategically viewed as meaningful experiences, employees develop attitudes and opinions that drive engagement. When companies are building their ideal internal culture, these experiences can be one of the most powerful methods for accelerating cultural transformation.

Although each interaction has an impact on employees’ perceptions, the experiences employees have with senior leaders are often the most powerful. Whether it’s a one-on-one exchange or a presentation to a group, leaders leave lasting impressions.

Especially in larger organizations, employees may not have much access to the CEO or other senior leaders. This can leave employees feeling that the leadership is disconnected and lacking adequate insight into the challenges employees face. This makes it difficult to gain employee buy-in for new initiatives or changes.

Employees are more likely to lend their support when they can be part of an authentic exchange that shows a leader’s personality and allows an opportunity for feedback. They want to see the true personality of the leader in order to know that they can be trusted. And they want to have a chance to provide input so they know their perspectives have been heard. This type of experience can leave employees feeling understood, valued and confident in the decisions of the leader.

Employees are also always watching to see if their leaders are modeling the same values and behaviors that have been requested of the workforce.

When they see leaders consistently demonstrating the same changes they have asked employees to make, it strengthens trust and credibility and often leads to continued growth of employee support over time.

By leveraging the impact of meaningful experiences on the workforce, leaders and communicators at all levels can continuously build employee engagement and shape the internal culture.

A version of Jessica’s article first appeared on JPL‘s website. 

Published by Jessica Walter, MS, APR

Speaker, Consultant, and Certified Leadership Coach

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