The 1997 classic Australian film “The Castle”, one of the most famous lines used to ever describe a court case on film; “it’s the vibe”. The film’s hero, Dale Kerrigan is represented in court by a local solicitor in regards to matters of the constitution, though he has no grounds to which to argue his point. Instead, his only justification is that the company that wishes to purchase Mr Kerrigan’s home is going against “the vibe” of the constitution.
Have you ever gone in to a company for a job interview and thought, “I don’t like this place” or “something about this place doesn’t sit right with me”, or on a more positive note “I really like this place”, “this place is where I belong” or even “I am proud to work here”. The reason you feel this way can be quantified in one simple phrase; the vibe.
What is a vibe?
A vibe is simply anything that creates an emotional reaction to the aura felt to belong to a person, place or thing. In real terms, all it really means is something that can be felt to generate an emotional response.
We as humans can gage any number of variable emotions from limited information. For us as humans, it’s a survival instinct. We need to be able to walk into a place and feel a sense that something is up, and have the correct emotional response to match that anticipated feeling.
How does your vibe relate to workplace?
We all spend the vast majority of our time at work. While at work, we all have moments of enjoyment, as well as moments that are not so great, but they all collectively form our experience at work. Added to this, we often see the same people on a day-to-day basis, and also generally sit in the same building on a day-to-day basis. All these factors form the “vibe”.
To put it into an easy to use analogy:
Vibe = People + Place + Culture X Value of Everyday Action
What does Vibe have to do with Employee Engagement?
Now, here is the real kicker.
Employee Engagement, or the relationship that employees have with their respective organisation, is all about the vibe of the organisation. Employees don’t seem to engage with their place of work if the vibe seems to be off, and if the vibe is not-right they are much more likely to leave.
While talking about a “vibe” in one sense can sound like hippie jargon, it does go a long way in terms of company culture and company values, as having a positive vibe is one of the best ways to retain employees.
Consider your organisational vibe to be the apex of a very large pyramid of company culture, whose individual blocks are made up of everyday actions, people, place and culture.