Employee Engagement in España

August 23, 2016 by

employee engagement in SpainI recently gave a keynote address in Brussels, Belgium and took some time off to visit the Basque Country in Northeastern Spain. It was there that I got to hike many miles of the famed Camino de Santiago, also known as “The Way of St. James.” Tens of thousands of people have trekked this pilgrimage path as a retreat for spiritual growth and as a method to re-engage in their life purpose. The journey ends at the beautiful shrine to St. James the Great in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, in western Spain.

I used the journey to be reflective and to learn from my climbing companions how Spaniards view employee engagement. Two core findings stood out that I wanted to share with you:

1. Employee engagement is called “compromiso,” which literally means to “get engaged,” identical to the commitment one makes when they get engaged to be married. Indeed, much like marriage, engagement is a solid commitment, as well as a two-way street.
2. Employee engagement levels are higher in Spain than the rest of Europe.1 My hiking companions confirmed one of the reasons why: employers in Spain are much more sensitive to providing workplace flexibility, especially as it relates to letting people have ample time off for summertime vacations, decompression, stress relief, and reflection.

Given that job stress and a lack of work/life balance are the single biggest reasons that people resign, many a company in the rest of the world can learn from Spain’s example.2


1. http://www.employee-engagement-index.com/europe/engagement/overview/
2. 2011: HR Solutions, Inc.



Kevin Sheridan is an internationally-recognized Keynote Speaker, a New York Times Best Selling Author, and one of the most sought-after voices in the world on the topic of Employee Engagement. For five years running, he has been honored on Inc. Magazine’s top 100 Leadership Speakers in the world, as well as Inc.’s top 100 experts on Employee Engagement. He was also honored to be named to The Employee Engagement Award’s Top 101 Global Influencers on Employee Engagement of 2017.

Having spent thirty years as a high-level Human Capital Management consultant, Kevin has helped some of the world’s largest corporations rebuild a culture that fosters productive engagement, earning him several distinctive awards and honors. Kevin’s premier creation, PEER®, has been consistently recognized as a long-overdue, industry-changing innovation in the field of Employee Engagement. His first book, Building a Magnetic Culture, made six of the best seller lists including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. He is also the author of The Virtual Manager, which explores how to most effectively manage remote workers.

Kevin received a Master of Business Administration from the Harvard Business School in 1988, concentrating his degree in Strategy, Human Resources Management, and Organizational Behavior. He is also a serial entrepreneur, having founded and sold three different companies.

Email: kevin@kevinsheridanllc.com