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
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