3 crucial—yet painful—steps in fostering employee engagement

Engaging employees is far from sunshine and rainbows, but if you can survive these three pivotal parts of the process, your struggle will be worth it.

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The mainstream portrait of employee engagement is a utopian scene where smiling employees work harmoniously and collaborate effectively as productivity skyrockets.

Related: 10 Examples of Companies with Fantastic Cultures

But the sobering truth is that creating true employee engagement within your company is a painful process that is often both messy and difficult. I’ve focused an inordinate amount of time on my company’s culture over the last two years. I’ve listened intently, signed onto software programs to collect and analyze data on employee engagement and sent out hundreds of emails asking for anonymous feedback.

The process has been painful at times, but that pain has led to a better culture for our nationwide mortgage company.

Don’t believe all the hype about company culture being all rainbows and sunshine. If you want a truly world-class culture, you have to go through some difficult times and endure some pointed criticism. But those painful moments are the key to authentic employee engagement.

Here are three difficult—and sometimes painful—steps every organization should take to create true employee engagement within their cultures:

1. Listen to the good—and bad.

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