10/13/11

Culture trumps cash, but what about strategy?

Culture is a very important aspect of how well an organization functions.  Most experts agree, culture is more important than pay when discussing employee satisfaction, and yet, many organizations place no value on corporate culture.  They believe, because you cannot easily measure culture, it does not connect with the company's bottom line.

Here are the top three motivators for employee satisfaction.

  1. Job security - without positive communication, employees start to feel threatened and unappreciated.  These feelings give employees the impression that they are not valued.
  2. Communication with management - without positive communication from management, business goals and company vision are not shared.   Without this shared experience, the organization will not stand a chance of meeting business goals.
  3. Respect and the ability to contribute value to the business - the feeling of being heard by management is very important to employee satisfaction.  

All of these fall under what I consider to be culture.  An effective culture is positive, values employee contributions, clearly communicates goals, listens and values ideas.  What is most amazing is that this positive culture costs the company very little, monetarily speaking, but has a huge impact on the success of a business.
"A positive culture is not something to be taken lightly.  It can take years to cultivate a positive, customer oriented, collaborative culture and yet that culture can be destroyed in very little time."
Does culture just happen?  With rare exception, no.  Culture is planned and is part of the overall strategy for an organization.  If culture is not part of your business strategy, how can you expect to have alignment of corporate values?  It is the one-two punch of business alignment and employee dedication that creates a winning team.

In these times when employees are being asked to do more with less, we need to keep in mind the importance of culture within an organization.  If you think about the cost of turnover - how much institutional knowledge leaves with each employee and the impact that bad culture has on employee productivity - you will understand how important a positive culture is and how it contributes to the bottom line.


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2 comments:

Andrew Terrett, Director of KM, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP said...

Culture eats strategy for lunch every time. Check out:

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0FSW/is_6_20/ai_n18614646/

Scott Preston said...

Andrew, thanks for the comment. I agree, a company that does not consider culture as part of their strategy will have a hard time accomplishing their goals. If that is the case then yes, culture eats strategy for lunch. Without planning and care, culture done poorly will keep you from accomplishing your goals. Culture done poorly will not motivate employees to support the goals of the organization.

 

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