How the Best C-Suite Execs Drive Employee Happiness


Topics: Engagement & Productivity, Communication, HR, Internal Communications, Employer Branding, Employee Retention

Why do employees leave their jobs? Depending on whether you ask the employer or the employees themselves, you might get a different answer.

Employers tend to cite lack of upward mobility and limited salary growth, while employees often cite two additional factors: negative work-life balance and poor company culture. Even if an employer is willing to make a counteroffer with better pay and more responsibility, many employees will leave anyway if there is a lack of culture fit.

In today’s workplace, the impact of culture is so great, it simply can’t be ignored. Yet, it often falls low on the priority list for those who are in the best position to make a difference: leadership.

According to a 2017 CultureIQ report , among companies that score the highest on measures of strong company culture, leadership plays a key role. They found that, among “winning culture” companies, leaders are responsible for modelling the mission, values and desired behaviors, and employees have confidence and trust in their leaders.

When it comes to external communications, top executives frequently prioritize opportunities to step up and serve as the face and the voice of the company. They communicate what a company does and more importantly, who they collectively are. As a spokesperson, they are not just expected to speak on behalf of their business, but they must also show that they live and breathe its mission and values. Afterall, that’s what sets one company apart from the rest in the public eye.

Yet, when we look at internal communications, it’s not uncommon for top executives to be several layers removed from the responsibility of representing company values. Execu|Search found that 42% of employees “feel that executive leadership does not contribute to a positive company culture.” That’s problematic, given the weight that employees put on culture in their decisions to leave or stay with a company.

The fact is, as companies grow top executives are often inaccessible to many of their employees. Of course in some cases, it’s a matter of time constraints or lack of prioritization, but physical barriers can also be a factor. It simply isn’t possible to give every employee actual face time, particularly when some are working remotely or across multiple locations.

With the widespread use of smartphones however, physical distance doesn’t have to be a barrier to communication. Using the Qnnect internal communications app, top executives can reach all of their employees at once, meaning they can be beacons of company culture from wherever they are. Even busy CEOs can make time to send a short personal note or video message to their employees—if those employees are all reachable at the press of a button.

The results can be powerful . By communicating with employees on a regular basis, leaders can help to increase employee happiness, reduce turnover and establish a reputation as a positive place to work for prospective hires. You might think of it as the low hanging fruit of employee engagement and the key to increasing motivation—which can only be good for a company's bottom line.

Tony Boatman

Tony Boatman

Tony is the Co Founder and CEO of Qnnect. He is based in New York.