Corey Wood MB

The Thin Edge of the Wedge.

Kudos for Top down Culture of Engagement!

The question consistently is raised by customers I interact with ; “How can we increase engagement within our employees?”  Although the answer varies on a case-by-case basis, there are a few key approaches that seem to have a great impact for ongoing engagement growth. Create a Top Down Culture of Engagement is my answer.

Just to be clear, I am not insinuating the responsibility of total employee engagement should rest on our CEOs, which would be very unfair considering the diverse responsibilities they may often have.  However they do play a major role in creating and maintaining a culture that does 3 key practices often:

  1. C level executives routinely engage in recognizing and appreciating the great things their employees are doing.
  2. Clear objectives, mission and ongoing status of “where we are” in the pursuit of these objectives is regularly openly discussed
  3. Consistent regular feedback

“In a study of 190 organizations, Gallup has found that executive leaders influence front-line employee engagement indirectly and directly. Primarily indirectly through their influence on the people they directly manage, and directly through specific performance management elements, including clear expectations, discussions of progress and a mission or purpose that people can identify with.”  says Jim Harter, Ph.D.,  Chief Scientist, Workplace Management and Wellbeing for Gallup’s workplace management practice.

Supporting the goals and objectives of the C level are the Managers and supervisors who tend to interface with more inner teams on a regular basis.  Therefore the tactical nature of managers is very clear in terms of Employee Engagement, as they become the organizational conduit for delivering and motivating their teams. Managers that empower employees by recognizing their individual strengths and communicating regular feedback to their employees tend to be more successful in their ultimate mandate of managing people.

“The Gallup findings indicate that when executive teams are highly engaged, the organization’s managers are 39% more likely to be engaged. When managers are highly engaged, employees are 59% more likely to be engaged.”  Jim Harter, This is an astounding number to be aware of! In other words if the top level of organizations take the time to engage and empower their management through all levels, these managers may be more engaged with their staff resulting in almost 60% more engagement.  Bottom line, is to create a Top Down Culture of Engagement. Empower each level to encourage and inform those reporting to them while providing consistent feedback, which aligns with the objectives and goals all employees are working towards.

“Gallup’s definition of engagement includes 12 performance management elements such as clarity of expectations, having the opportunity to do what one does best, someone who encourages one’s development and having one’s opinions count.” Gallup.

This may all seem obvious, however it may be a large shift in culture for many organizations that have not really understood the impact of the 3 Key factors listed above regardless of the size. Utilizing an employee Recognition system like Kudos Social Recognition tool, organizations will have the ability to effectively manage all three while gaining insightful analytics to identify strengths and weaknesses throughout the process.  Clearly being able to identify managers that require further training in organizational leadership alignment is a vital tool for Top Down Engagement to be fully realized.

Kudos to organizations that have already begun to implement this approach and adopt a social Recognition tool  to effectively administer this throughout their Top Down Culture of Engagement.  59% engagement is a worthy target to meet and I hope to see many potentially surpass this.


Corey WoodCorey Wood is a seasoned entrepreneur and Business Development Facilitator. He has helped businesses evolve for over 15 years providing strategic planning, training and sales support to projects globally. 

Corey engages using on and off-line resources, placing a high-priority on services that are innovative and strategic. Currently he is Director of Business Development with Kudos inc. in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Who Drives Employees’ Engagement? The Manager or the CEO?, Gallup article, NOVEMBER 4, 2015. Written by; Jim Harter, Ph.D., is Chief Scientist, Workplace Management and Wellbeing for Gallup’s workplace management practice. He is coauthor of the New York Times bestsellers 12: The Elements of Great Managing and Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements.



GallupKudosTop Down Culture of Engagement

admin • May 5, 2015

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