[Employee Engagement] - "What keeps us, what drives us."

2 min read

“Tending to and prioritizing relationships and community is what I needed to see/re-discover what I already knew.” —ADA

Culture First Milwaukee recently held a monthly community gathering event that centered around quality in-person social connection but also highlighted an energizing discussion on a topic that every organization is trying to tackle today. If you are not familiar with Culture First, it's a global community with a shared belief that a better world of work is possible. The local chapters are the local communities of practice where you can share, connect, learn and grow with others who share a passion for this belief. Personally, this space is one of the most positive, energizing, and inspiring spaces I have ever been in. Every community gathering, every workshop, every discussion, we get to explore how we can truly build a better world of work.


This social gathering was a perfect example of this. The topic that we came together to openly explore was, "what are the cultural values that keep you at an organization, and what are the values that drive you away?"

At a high level, this is what the results were…



After the discussion, and reflecting on these word clouds a bit more, I formed this perspective around what business success is all about. On one side, the side that "keeps people around," are the values that can fully unleash human potential. And if I know anything about the people in our workforce, they want to work at a place that enables them to reach their full potential.

So what is this telling us? The #1 strategy for success is to really take care of your people. Give them the opportunity to be productive, grow, and listen to everything they say.

“As human beings, we are not problems waiting to be solved, but potential waiting to unfold.”
― Frederic Laloux,

On the other side, the side that "drives them away," are workforce environments that constrict and limit human potential. It keeps people sheltered and bottled up, keeping them individually limited from reaching their full potential. Quite honestly, employees are simply fed-up with working within organizations like this. It makes so much sense to me why people are leaving organizations when they withhold these elements.

“Traditional hierarchies and their plethora of built-in control systems are, at their core, formidable machines that breed fear and distrust.”
― Frederic Laloux,

I believe our jobs, as corporate leaders, team managers, people leaders, and HR professionals, are to help our companies achieve these things for our people. Because when our organizations enable these cultural elements to thrive within our companies, our people are able to reveal and reach their full potential - Which means the organization will thrive as well.

Remember that your employees are your company. In a sense, you work for them. If you take care of your people, they will take good care of the company.

So what is one thing you can do today?

Ask your employees two key questions:
- What would keep you at this organization?
- What would drive you away from this organization?

And do those things!


Want to join our Culture First communities? RSVP below:

- Culture First Milwaukee

- Culture First Works

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