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Be intentional about workplace inspiration

3 min read


Is your work environment lifeless and dull or active and inspiring?

Most organizational leaders put greater thought, time, and energy into their products and services than they do their culture. Yet culture drives everything that happens in organizations, day to day.

Who knows best whether or not your organization provides a safe, inspiring workplace? Employees do. They don’t miss a thing.

To learn what employees think about your work environment, you need to ask them. You need to make it easy for employees to give you regular, honest perceptions of your work environment.

Glassdoor does a great job of gathering employee insights on employees’ companies. Glassdoor asks employees to rate their companies in six areas: culture and values, work/life balance, senior management, compensation and benefits, career opportunities, and their approval of the company’s CEO.

Ratings in each area contribute to the company’s overall score on a “five star” scale. Top scoring companies earn coveted spots in Glassdoor’s “Best Places to Work” list. This year, the top five are (click to see the Glassdoor review of that company) Bain & Co., Twitter, LinkedIn, Eastman Chemical, and Facebook

You can check out how employees rate your company on Glassdoor. Better yet, do it yourself. Engage employees in an annual “how are we doing?” survey and gather responses on these same key areas. Some of my clients use systems like or to conduct regular feedback surveys with employees.

Asking employees is the starting point. Understanding employee perceptions is easy. The hard work begins with sharing what you’ve learned, soon after the data is in. Don’t wait — and don’t hide the results. Share what you’ve learned, and share what you plan to do about gaps that employees see.

If you don’t share the results, employees’ confidence in management will fall. By sharing the results, you make a promise — to fix things, to make things better.

Once you share the results, start making needed changes. You’ll likely need to revise policies, procedures, systems — and probably some people — to increase workplace trust and dignity.

Why care about workplace inspiration? Our culture clients work hard to align plans, decisions, and actions to boost workplace inspiration — and the results are worth it. Clients who use our system consistently enjoy 40% gains in employee engagement, 40% gains in customer service, and 35% gains in net profits.

What do you have to lose?

What do you think? How safe and inspiring is your work environment? How well does your company ask employees what they think about your company – and work to resolve issues that arise? Share your thoughts about this post/podcast in the comments section below.

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I invite you to add your experiences to two “fast & free” research projects I have underway. The Great Boss Assessment compares your current boss’ behaviors with those of great bosses. The Performance-Values Assessment compares your organization’s culture practices to those of high performing, values-aligned organizations. Results and analysis are available on my research page.

Podcast – Listen to this post now by clicking the podcast link at left. Subscribe via RSS or iTunes. The music heard on these podcasts is from one of my songs, “Heartfelt,” copyright © Chris Edmonds Music (ASCAP). I play all instruments on these recordings.