Staff engagement: Office atmosphere as important as compensation

As the director of people and culture for World Vision Kenya, Marionne Tucker constantly has staff engagement on her mind.

A recent survey of World Vision’s office showed a staff engagement rate above 80 percent, she told Devex at the 2013 Partnerships Forum in Nairobi. So how does an organization keep staff fully engaged rather than just neutral or partial?

At the same time that an organization is intentional about encouraging growth of technical skills, it’s important to be creating a positive work atmosphere, Tucker said.

“If you bring in great staff and the culture is not conducive, they won’t stay,” she noted.

She encouraged organizations to treat staff members as their greatest resources by preparing managers to help successfully onboard new hires, setting up staff wellness programs and monitoring the physical and mental wellbeing of staff members and their families. For World Vision, that means mandatory annual paid medical check-ups, having a gym in the office and organizing company-wide participation in an event like a marathon.

World Vision doesn’t refer to “work/life balance,” but shortens the term to “life balance,” as work is part of life, Tucker said.

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About the author

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    Kelli Rogers

    Kelli Rogers is a global development reporter for Devex. Based in Bangkok, she covers disaster and crisis response, innovation, women’s rights, and development trends throughout Asia. Prior to her current post, she covered leadership, careers, and the USAID implementer community from Washington, D.C. Previously, she reported on social and environmental issues from Nairobi, Kenya. Kelli holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri, and has since reported from more than 20 countries.

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