Aligning Culture to Unlock Value 

Corporate culture is an almost inescapable recent topic of discussion and study, fueled largely by the many recent changes impacting work, the workplace, and the workforce today.  Rightly so, as it is one of the most important factors that a business has for influencing performance and results, particularly in times of change. Over the coming weeks, we will discuss how companies looking to impact performance and differentiate themselves in a competitive market can review their culture, strategy, structure, leadership, communication – the building blocks of a healthy organization – to ensure that they are well-aligned and can deliver stakeholder results. 

It is not always obvious that it is a culture issue which is the driving force behind an organization’s lagging results. Rather, the problem may show up symptomatically in “just the way things are” issues such as two functions routinely butting heads, “we” versus “they” rhetoric and behavior, recognition/rewards systems not clearly understood across the organization, or leaders perceived as not modeling the stated values. These or similar issues are typically found in organizations whose stated culture is out of alignment with its business objectives.

Aligning your Company’s culture with its Mission/ Vision, Values and Strategy is a lot like a three-legged stool. When the legs are in place, the stool works. This alignment provides your people with invaluable clarity, which we know translates to a more engaged workforce. It is proven that engaged employees deliver greater results – financial, safety, and productivity. On the other hand, when the stool’s legs do not match there is misalignment as the ‘walk does not match the talk’. This scenario represents a missed opportunity which in turn risks employee commitment, performance, and achieving results.

The upcoming topics will discuss how to address this potential awareness gap using candid employee feedback, how to understand and align that feedback with short- and long-term strategy, and how to make a meaningful cultural shift that increases your ability to achieve business goals.  We believe this will show the business value of getting your culture right for your company and putting it to work against your company’s goals. Next week’s discussion will focus on assessing your current company culture and the importance of knowing what it’s really like for employees to work there.

Culture as a Competitive Advantage, is written by:

Lindsey O’Kelley, Senior Consultant, and Doug Schlegel, Managing Director and Human Capital Lead.

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