Until recently, Uber maintained a strong competitive advantage in attracting and retaining the nation’s best and brightest in tech. Widely held as the world’s most valuable startup following an explosive eight-year arc from conception to $70 billion valuation, Uber epitomized the Silicon Valley success story.
Today, that competitive advantage may be threatened, thanks in part to a blog post-gone-viral by a former Uber engineer which has led to an unwelcome spotlight on Uber’s self-proclaimed meritocracy approach to employee engagement.
In Uber’s case, this PR maelstrom goes beyond company image, and reveals the effects a misguided employee engagement strategy can have on company culture. Indeed, leading research demonstrates the tangible impact systemic culture damage can have on bottom line results. A study by McLean & Company found that disengaged employees cost organizations an average of $3,400 a year for every $10,000 in annual salary. According to Towers Perrin, organizations with disengaged employees experienced a 33 percent decrease in operating income over a 12-month period. Conversely, organizations with engaged employees showed a 19 percent increase. In fact, the Corporate Leadership Council reports that companies with high engagement scores grow profits as much as three-times faster than their disengaged competitors.
In response to recent events, Uber’s leadership team has asserted their commitment to building a better workplace culture for everyone. But culture change is only successful when the correct behaviors are being driven and reinforced.
Here’s Where To Start When Course Correcting Corporate Culture
The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and not necessarily the views of FTI Consulting LLP, its management, its subsidiaries, its affiliates, or its other professionals, members or employees.
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