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Tips for Engaging Employees to Help Build a Healthy Culture


"Don’t let tackling culture overwhelm you. Start a conversation."

Silicon Valley Bank brought together corporate and human resources leaders to share ideas on how to talk about and measure culture to motivate awareness and positive behavior inside their companies. Read on for part two (of two) of advice they have for high growth technology companies. Here you will find part one.

Tips for Engaging Employees to Help Build a Healthy Culture

Engage Employees

Engaged employees understand their purpose in the organization, believe their bosses are transparent and feel they have a voice. If Friday bagel time or beer busts aren’t your thing, try the one-on-one approach. Randomly walk the floor and start conversations by asking how folks are feeling. If your employees are reticent, that may be a sign you have work to do to gain trust. 

Encourage storytelling and have some good stories of your own that illustrate your values. Prove that your words, feet, and wallet all march in the same direction. Sharing financials openly is one path. 

Measure Success

As mentioned above, set a baseline and have a goal. Ways to set the baseline include reading employee reviews on websites and taking regular snapshots or drip surveys of employees. Some tools allow you to compare your company to others on criteria ranging from diversity in hiring to employee turnover rates. Some companies have started "culture clubs." Others tweet questions asking how a move went or soliciting reaction to a new policy. There is no magic measurement tool. Success is not about any particular score or response rate; it’s about seeing continued improvement. 

Make it Happen

Don’t let "tackling culture" overwhelm you. Start a conversation. Go up to someone in your company and ask her or him, "What’s your experience like working here? What can I do to make it better?" The first time or two may be a bit uncomfortable, but it’s a good start. Ask yourself this question, "What are you doing today to make it better tomorrow?”

Related Content

Go back to part one of this two-part series and learn about how to define culture for your workplace and why it’s important to be authentic when talking about it.


This material, including without limitation the statistical information herein, is provided for informational purposes only. The material is based in part upon information from third-party sources that we believe to be reliable, but which has not been independently verified by us and, as such, we do not represent that the information is accurate or complete. You should obtain relevant and specific professional advice before making any investment or other decision. Silicon Valley Bank is not responsible for any cost, claim or loss associated with your use of this material.

About the Author

As the Senior Market Manager for Silicon Valley Bank, Robert oversees all business activities and client relationship development in the broader Southwest through its offices in Austin, Dallas and Tempe. Robert and his teams work closely with CEO/Founders, VCs & PE firms to deliver unique solutions to meet the rapidly changing needs of high-growth technology companies of all sizes. Today, his teams work with over 500 technology companies and have current commitments in excess of $350MM.

Robert joined SVB in 1999 when he opened the Dallas office for the bank. He worked out of the Dallas office managing it’s business activities until 2014 when he moved to Austin to be part of that market’s vibrant technology ecosystem while maintaining his responsibilities for the Southwest Region of SVB. Robert has also held various leadership positions in the community including board memberships of Texchange, Metroplex Technology Business Council (now Tech Titans) and South Collin County Infant Program. In 2007, Sureck and the SVB Dallas team were honored with the Technology Advocate Award at the annual Tech Titans dinner for their work in advancing the technology ecosystem forward.

Robert earned a bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Texas and a master’s degree in Finance from the University of North Texas. Prior to joining SVB, Sureck was a commercial banker with Chase for 10 years including 3 years running their Dallas technology team.

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