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Corporate Responsibility in Action

I am the difference between disconnected and engaged

Created: 26 Nov 2012 • Updated: 26 Nov 2012 • 1 comment
David Belle-Isle's picture
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Symantec’s 2012 Corporate Responsibility Report explores our commitments to our employees, the world, and your information. Over the last several weeks, we’ve featured blogs from Symantec employees and partners that focus on how they are making a difference. This week, our final entry in this series comes from David Belle-Isle, Vice President of Organizational Excellence.

At Symantec, our people represent the competitive and creative force behind everything we do. We strive not only to ensure that our employees are satisfied with their work, development, and career opportunities, but also to build a culture rooted in tenacity and personal fulfillment.  We know that passion leads to innovation and that a good idea can come from anywhere on an org chart. Achieving this vision requires a holistic understanding of our employees’ needs and aspirations.

As you will see in this year's 2012 Corporate Responsibility Report, employee engagement/satisfaction was identified as one of our top material issues, and is a central focus of our CR strategy and report. Why, you might ask? Our employees are our most valuable asset. And when employees are happier, satisfied and more engaged, organizational performance is stronger. It's proven, it's a win-win for everyone and top performing companies recognize this. Let me explain further.

Talented and engaged employees want to deliver great value to a business, but to do this they need to understand exactly what value they are generating and how their role supports business success. As a recent Forbes article states, employee engagement “doesn’t just mean ‘happy’ or ‘satisfied,’” it’s “the emotional commitment an employee has to the organization and its goals.” To cultivate this connection, employees need to understand why their functional role is important and how this supports and benefits the business. For example, how does their work connect up and across the organization? The clearer this is to employees, the more they understand their tangible value, and how collectively we, as a community, deliver to multiple stakeholders. All of this leads to higher levels of motivation, higher work quality and higher overall engagement.

How does Symantec effectively engage employees?

At Symantec, the core of our employee engagement strategy is our employee value proposition, which is aimed at creating a work environment where people feel valued. This is based on what employees define as a great place to work AND the core values we want our employees to experience. For us, a great place to work includes:

  • People doing great work
  • People working with great people
  • Having a great manager
  • Achieving recognition/rewards
  • Working for a company with a great brand

The five core experiences that we want employees to have include:

  1. Symantec supports my productivity
  2. Symantec invests in me to help me grow fast (through professional development, training, etc.)
  3. I’m an integral part of the team creating a positive work environment
  4. I understand my performance and how I’m doing in the organization
  5. Symantec pays me fairly and recognizes my contribution

It is shown that experiencing these benefits and values in the work environment is the most effective strategy for recruiting and retaining top-quality employees. Alternatively, where these elements don’t exist, companies have significant challenges keeping employees engaged in high quality work.

While it may seem easy to create a workplace with these values, it is actually quite challenging. One of the biggest challenges is that the employee experience is largely through their direct leader or manager. Successful employee engagement cannot simply be managed from the top down, it must be internalized, and every leader must take responsibility to drive engagement with their employees.

At Symantec, we are developing multiple channels to support the Leadership Success Profile and the Employee Value Proposition. For example, we use a 360-review process that incorporates feedback from peers, direct reports and managers to help leaders understand what behavior is expected and how they are demonstrating those leadership behaviors.

Additionally, in FY14, we will roll out our employee engagement assessment to survey whether the employee experience is consistent with the value proposition outlined above. This feedback will be used to identify key areas and priorities for improvement, and to continue working towards building a high performance organization and great place to work.

We’re all employees and members of the global Symantec community, and while we are different in some ways, we are similar in so many others. We share a common commitment to our customers, a desire to feel valued, and the drive to work to the best of our abilities.

For more information about Symantec's approach to talent management, diversity and inclusion, and employee satisfaction, visit the Our People section of the corporate responsibility website.

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Ashley Savageau's picture

Thanks for the update, David. It's certainly an exciting time to be at Symantec!


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