How to Empower Employees to Scale a Strong Culture: Results from a Novareté Alignment Study

Washington, DC – our nation’s capital and this year’s home to the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) Annual Conference & Exposition. Over 15,000 attendees from all around the world gathered in 200+ sessions to learn about HR strategy, Employment Law & Legislation, Talent Acquisition & Retention, Personal & Leadership Development, and more. Since the bulk of these individuals were Human Resources (HR) professionals, we thought it would be the perfect time to continue our exploration of alignment. We conducted a similar study on a local scale and now had the opportunity to test the national market.

Similar to our first study, we made one of our scenario-based Dilemmas available for the attendees of the conference to answer – one specifically selected from our cloud-based software program that we felt would touch home with HR Professionals.

The Dilemma – Wasted Time

You’ve been less productive at work because of lack of sleep. You’re an hourly employee and submit a timesheet for payment. For this period, you’ve easily wasted two hours due to lack of productivity. Although you’ve exceeded past expectations, you’re considering subtracting two hours from your timesheet before submitting it.

What do you do?


The Results

The results (outlined in the pie chart below) show nearly half of the responders answered C. Seek advice from your supervisor and follow her guidance, with the rest of the responses relatively evenly distributed.



What’s Alarming

Recommending seeking advice from a supervisor isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In certain environments – maybe a hospital or the military – I could see it even being beneficial. But what if you’re in a start-up environment or a non-profit, or a marketing firm or a daycare? While there are specific environments that rely and thrive off a hierarchal system of reporting, there are thousands more that would be positively impacted by empowering employees to make decisions on their own.

What You Can Do – The Solution

Most employers know we have an “engagement problem.” (psst. Did you know you can leverage disengaged employees?) Employees come to work to punch a clock and check out. This type of mentality discourages employees to think on their own, which is affirmed by messaging from HR and top leadership. Messaging like “ask your supervisor how to fill out a time sheet” tells an employee to hesitate on completing routine tasks without asking approval. Why should a supervisor’s time be wasted on menial questions that happen every month (maybe twice a month or weekly)? This isn’t productive or scalable.

We need to switch from micro managing issues to teaching employees how to think; not only on their own, but in alignment with the company’s values. We need to teach employees how to live out the company’s values on a daily basis so when tasks or challenges come up they don’t need to go to the supervisor. They know how to act with the company’s values front of mind.

The first task is to test what your employees know: what do they perceive to be the right thing to do in dilemmas like Wasted Time. Next is to review the benchmarking and start a discussion. See how members of your team compare to one another relative to their responses, and how your team compares to other teams. Then talk about the differences on an ongoing basis.

Get Your Free Culture Assessment Today!

At Novareté we want to make this as easy as possible for you. You can start your team evaluation now – for free – by answering the Culture Assessment dilemma deck via the link below. See how your team aligns on Dilemmas and begin the discussion to positively impact your productivity and success.