Breaking the Cycle: How to Engage Employees and Build a Culture of Growth

Koen Claes Rouire
Koen Claes Rouire
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Did you know that only 21% of employees are currently engaged and satisfied with their work?

This means that most employees are left disengaged and solely focused on receiving a paycheck. This lack of engagement can negatively impact employee development, company culture, and ultimately hinder business growth.

In addition, the financial cost of replacing disengaged employees can be up to twice their base salaries, adding additional pressure to the organization.

To address this issue, it is crucial for organizations to focus on engaging and supporting their employees’ growth, especially for young talent entering the workforce.

In this blog post, we will explore the various factors contributing to employee unhappiness and provide strategies for cultivating a culture of growth and engagement.

Employee Discontentment: Examining the Triple Threat

1 – Communication

Effective communication is not just important but essential in the workplace. It’s the key to successful collaboration, achieving common goals, and maintaining productivity. Communication can take many forms, including verbal, written, or nonverbal, but it’s crucial to ensure that messages are clear, concise, and understood by everyone involved. Unfortunately, many organizations struggle with communication in the workplace, leading to misinterpretation, lack of clarity, and poor timing.

These issues can cause errors, misunderstandings, and even conflicts that can affect performance, morale, and overall productivity. The solution to this problem lies in adopting a company-wide culture that aligns closely with communication. It’s important to create a clear environment within your organization that supports the way you work, live, and grow.

According to our State of Growth 2023 report, company-wide adoption is one of the biggest challenges that organizations face, with 42% of respondents citing it as a challenge. This makes it the most common issue in growth marketing, and unfortunately, there’s no easy fix. But with the right strategies and approach, organizations can overcome this challenge and create a culture of growth and engagement.

2 – Lack of investment and support

It’s a common practice for business owners and managers to hire talented individuals and expect them to figure everything out on their own. Unfortunately, many companies are not investing in their employees’ career education. They view it as an expense rather than an investment, and as long as the numbers look good on paper, they see no need to prioritize education.

However, this mindset is holding back organizations from achieving breakthroughs. Education is a critical investment that can transform mediocre results into remarkable successes. In our State of Growth 2023 report, we found that hiring and team training continue to be major challenges for organizations, with a combined 30% of respondents mentioning it.

The stakes are high when it comes to investing in employee education. According to the same study, employees who don’t feel a sense of career development are 12 times more likely to leave their jobs. And the cost of employee turnover far exceeds the cost of investing in education. It’s time for organizations to recognize the importance of investing in their employees’ education and development to create a culture of growth and engagement.

3 – Micromanagement

Micromanagement is a common problem in the workplace. Anxious and insecure managers often resort to this tactic, which can be detrimental to both employees and the company as a whole. In fact, a staggering 79% of employees in a recent study reported being micromanaged. This not only destroys employee morale and company culture, but it can also lead to health problems for both parties.

Given the negative impact of micromanagement, it’s clear that leaders need to adopt a different approach. Education is a powerful investment that can promote growth for both employees and the organization. By prioritizing education, leaders can create a culture of learning and development that empowers employees to take ownership of their work and achieve their full potential. Ultimately, this will lead to higher engagement, productivity, and success for the company.

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The ROI of employee development

To put it simply, great leaders understand that happiness is more important than money. When employees are happy and engaged, a positive work culture is created, which leads to both financial success and personal growth for everyone involved. By investing in effective education programs, leaders can set their teams up for success and create a culture of excellence.

In fact, providing education and development opportunities can even help attract top talent to your organization. When potential employees see that you are committed to their growth and development, they are more likely to be interested in joining your team. So not only does education benefit your current employees, it can also help you recruit the best of the best in your industry.

Accelerate growth by building your team

Research studies have shown that organizations that invest in employee education and training programs have seen a significant increase in their profit margins. In fact, companies that offer training programs to their employees have seen a 24% higher profit margin than those that don’t. By investing in employee education, you are not only developing their skills and competencies, but you are also helping them to become more engaged and motivated, which in turn leads to increased productivity and better business results.

Investing in employee education may require some financial resources in the short term, but the long-term benefits are significant. As employees become more proficient and skilled, they become more valuable assets to the organization, and the organization becomes more efficient and effective. This, in turn, can help differentiate your team from competitors, provide more opportunities for growth, and accelerate overall business success. So, if you want to build a strong and engaged team that is ready to take your organization to the next level, consider investing in employee education and training programs.

Unlocking the Power of Employee Mobility for Innovation and Performance

In today’s rapidly changing market, employee mobility has become increasingly important. The ability to transfer talent from one job to another can provide significant benefits for both employees and organizations. It allows for versatility and flexibility within the workplace, while keeping the salary, status, and responsibility of the employee unchanged.

By encouraging employee mobility, organizations can:

  • Increase versatility and competence of key positions, which leads to more efficient and effective work
  • Avoid monotony in the workplace for employees, which keeps them engaged and motivated
  • Develop a sense of empathy among departments and duties, which promotes collaboration and understanding
  • Create transparency, which can help build trust and accountability
  • Build new friendships among employees, which leads to a more positive workplace culture

Embracing employee mobility within an organization can cultivate a culture of innovation, which accelerates growth for all stakeholders. It allows for the development of new ideas and approaches to work, and helps organizations adapt to changing market conditions. By prioritizing employee mobility, organizations can create a workplace that is dynamic, engaging, and ultimately, more successful.

Importance of Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is crucial in today’s fast-paced world where organizations need to keep up with the latest trends and advancements in technology. According to the State of Growth 2023 survey, 31% of respondents identified resource management as a challenge. Therefore, it’s vital for marketers to adopt these evolutions in their strategies, tools, and resources to remain productive in their field.

To ensure a productive and successful work environment, it’s essential to prioritize employee growth and continuous learning. At Upthrust, we recognize the importance of learning and development and have made it a key performance indicator (KPI). Our Upthrust Growth Marketing Academy is specifically designed to train staff and help them continuously develop their skills.

Developing a Pool of Promotable Talent

Are you tired of hiring outsiders who may bring expertise, but often lack a true understanding of your company’s day-to-day operations, customers, and culture? Look no further than your own talented team!

It’s worth considering the benefits of developing your talent pool.
IInvesting in the education and development of your employees can pay off in spades. By identifying their strengths and weaknesses and providing targeted training, you can create a more skilled and knowledgeable workforce. Plus, by prioritizing your team’s growth and development, you become a better manager.

Promoting from within also leads to improved performance and opens up opportunities for advancement. Don’t know where to start? Implement an Individual Development Plan (IDP) to guide your team in setting and achieving their professional goals.

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From Learning to Earning

Investing in employee education may not be as costly as it seems. As a business owner, reimbursing your employees’ educational expenses can be considered a deductible business expense. Furthermore, educational expenses can often qualify for exclusion from gross income payment, which is also known as a working condition fringe benefit.

In Belgium, the government offers the “KMO Portefeuille” program, which subsidizes 20%-30% of the course’s total price to future-proof your marketing or sales team.

To qualify for these tax benefits, the education provided must either be legally required for the employee to maintain their current salary, status, or job, or enhance and maintain skills needed in their present employment. By taking advantage of these programs, you can promote employee education without compromising your budget.


In summary, it’s clear that investing in employee development is a crucial factor for any organization to succeed in today’s rapidly changing world. By adapting to new trends and technologies, and creating a pool of promotable employees, businesses can cultivate a skilled and knowledgeable workforce.

Managers can use Individual Development Plans to identify their employees’ strengths and weaknesses, and guide them towards the right courses and skills to succeed. This approach ultimately leads to better performance and creates opportunities for advancement.

It’s also important to note that reimbursing employee education is not as expensive as many may think. It can even be a deductible business expense and a working condition fringe benefit, providing tax breaks for businesses that invest in their employees.

By prioritizing the growth and development of their employees, businesses can future-proof their teams and strengthen their competitive advantage. The benefits of investing in employee development are clear, and it’s time for organizations to take action and build a culture of growth.

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