Getting the Real Answer to “What is it Like to Work Here?”

Welcome back to our deep dive into putting your culture to work for your business. If you aren’t familiar with Part 1 & Part 2, please review them as Part 3 is a continuation of the conversation. Last week we introduced examples where a stated culture differed from the aspired culture and began to determine solutions for better alignment moving forward.

As shared in Part 2, Cultural Continuums were developed from employee feedback that provided a true perspective on what it is like to work there (i.e. the organizational culture). As is typical for similar engagements, survey results provided a clear picture of existing gaps between current and aspired culture, as well as organizational strengths and weaknesses.

Two areas of misalignment we have seen consistently are in Control versus Empowerment and Proven Methods versus Innovation. For the former, employees may indicate that while they feel they are able to provide insights and ideas to leadership during the decision-making process, they may not see a tangible outcome from sharing their ideas or feel like they have the power to make decisions.  Feeling unempowered can impact engagement while also causing bottlenecks and delays, risking an organization’s objectives.

A second example we have often seen has been employee feedback indicating an eagerness to move from “the way things are done” to a more innovative and agile way of working. Again, the ‘proven methods’ approach has had a role in helping an organization succeed, but it’s important to get clear on when resources are better used in identifying ways to innovate processes and systems which then would help an organization achieve its strategy.

Next week we will finish the conversation with examples of actions to take to improve and/or ensure alignment between your culture and your strategy, and how to make sure you’re utilizing your resources in the best way possible.

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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