Workplace Pride: An Underutilized Tool to Boost HR’s Strategic Position

Workplace Pride: An Underutilized Tool to Boost HR’s Strategic Position

HR has struggled for years to gain a seat at the C-suite table, to be valued as a strategic player at the highest levels of organizational decision-making. In 2017, a Gallup report offered “four strategies that can help HR leaders maximize their human capital potential and position themselves as prominent organizational leaders.” Almost a decade earlier, Compensation Force and HR-industry bloggers had commented on research co-authored by the Human Capital Institute that concluded, “… while talent management has become a top-level concern for organizational leaders and boards, the HR profession has not yet made the necessary strides — in business acumen, prestige, and influence — to earn the right to own this concern.”

The traits separated by dashes in the previous sentence and written in 2008 — business acumen, prestige, and influence — remain elusive goals for HR leaders in companies of all shapes and sizes. Why? We at WorkProud believe the four strategies that Gallup laid out in 2017 remain a good starting place for answering that question. (In a moment, we’ll suggest there’s something else you can nourish and leverage to take these strategies and your career even further.) Meanwhile, Gallup concluded HR needs to: 

  1. Analyze what matters. “To generate meaningful insights that drive performance, HR leaders need analytics that generate discoveries, not bigger data. They need to properly mine and process the human capital data they have.”
  2. Stop viewing employee engagement as the goal. “HR leaders should view employee engagement as one component of a holistic strategy for building exceptional workplaces.”
  3. Own your role in realizing a culture of engagement. “HR leaders are responsible for transforming words into actions — for inspiring the desired employee behaviors and beliefs.”
  4. Connect HR initiatives to customer initiatives. “HR leaders who … connect employee engagement to customer goals can help leaders tackle burning business problems and emerge as influential strategic advisers.”

Most strategies aimed at helping HR boost its value to the business still focus on a version of those four goals. They talk, for example, about how to use data (especially big data) to leverage employee engagement and HR programs to boost performance and increase customer satisfaction. Or they discuss how HR can forge company culture. The thing is, the jury is still out on whether these initiatives by themselves make much difference on bottom-line performance.

So, What’s New?

Workplace Pride: An Underutilized Tool to Boost HR’s Strategic Position

Here’s what’s new and can, in fact, support any strategy aimed at helping HR win a seat at the table: realizing and capturing the power of a unified employee experience to tear down silos, nurture innovation, provide insights, and most importantly, help HR focus on workplace pride as a business lever.

I put it this way in a recent LinkedIn post:

 “Being PROUD is this generation’s workplace inspiration. People want to be PROUD of their work. They will give their best when they find places to work where they can be proud of what they do. This is a huge opportunity for innovative CHROs to showcase their ability to contribute to business results by focusing on better understanding their people and to inspire workplace cultures around being PROUD.”

In other words, just like using meaningful data or aligning HR initiatives with the customer experience, the concept of workplace pride is a business lever that HR can pull to create a positive impact on employee engagement and the employee experience. And how can you pull that lever? Our research shows the answer is to put workplace pride at the center of a unified employee experience — making the system about your people, not just about the technology.

Why? Because as The WorkProud Study shows, employee pride has a huge impact on employee engagement. Researchers Rick Garlick, Ph.D. and Bob Nelson, Ph.D. concluded, “The results from this study were irrefutable. No matter how much monetary incentive you provide to employees, if you do not put in the due diligence to address non-monetary, intrinsic drivers such as pride and engagement, the goal of a high-performing business culture will remain elusive.”

And if HR can’t contribute to developing a “high-performing business culture,” it’s unlikely or at least much more difficult to be valued as a strategic leader in your organization. 

Workplace Pride: An Underutilized Tool to Boost HR’s Strategic Position

Workplace pride comes in two flavors: individual pride (pride in one’s work) and company pride (pride in one’s employer and company culture). It’s important for HR to cultivate and leverage both types and appreciate how one fuels the other. Individual pride is “portable” to other roles with similar companies (and within your own organization). But company pride provides the “stickiness” you need to attract and retain top talent. The WorkProud study found that:

  • Employees with high individual pride are 10 times more likely to be highly satisfied with their jobs (which we can assume will drive greater company pride).
  • Employees with high company pride are 24 times more likely to stay at their current companies (which paves the way toward greater individual pride in their work).

The bottom line is that The WorkProud Study revealed that pride is one of the most significant influences on the overall employee experience. It substantiated the often-held premise that building individual and company pride is critical in driving productivity and affirmed the notion that attracting and retaining talent is influenced by workplace pride.

Finally, the study confirmed that recognition and feedback are some of the strongest predictors for overall employee engagement.

You can start creating a truly unified and engaging employee experience and build a culture of workplace pride now. Contact us below.



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WorkProud is committed to helping its clients create a unified approach to the employee experience by helping them build cultures of workplace pride. Trusted by millions of users at some of the world’s most recognized employer brands, WorkProud delivers a comprehensive approach to building company cultures that inspire people to be Proud of their Work and Proud of their Company.

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