How Corporate Culture and Employee Engagement are Linked

two men are pushing giant puzzle pieces together

We believe that organizational culture and employee engagement are two pieces of a puzzle that fit perfectly together and are not complete without the other. That is how closely they are linked.

Organizational Culture
Let’s start with organizational culture. While different pockets of culture can exist in various teams and geographies within a company, we think of organizational culture as a company-wide construct. It is “The Way” things truly get done on a day-to-day basis. Organizational culture is made up of the behaviors and practices of the company as a whole. It includes the known and unspoken values, beliefs and assumptions that underlie how and why things get done. Organizational culture represents the norms that define how employees behave and what they believe.

And, in terms of performance, organizational culture matters. Our organizational alignment research found that corporate culture accounts for up to 40% of the difference between high and low performing organizations.

Employee Engagement
We believe that measuring and improving engagement is a powerful talent management tool to help attract, develop, engage and retain top talent. We think of employee engagement as looking at an individual employee’s level of advocacy, discretionary effort and intent to stay. Employee engagement surveys typically help leaders and managers understand how their individual employees feel about their work situation. And while it certainly provides a perspective about the impact that the overall culture has on employee’s attitudes toward their job, we do not believe engagement fully measures cultural effectiveness. We see high levels of employee engagement as an outcome of a healthy organizational culture, not the cause.

And, like culture, employee engagement also matters in terms of business performance. On average, highly engaged employees create 18% greater productivity, 12% higher customer satisfaction and 51% less voluntary turnover.

How Do They Fit Together?
Through our work with clients in the field of high performance both in terms of organizational culture and employee engagement, we have found that organizations with stronger cultures also have a highly engaged workforce. And three cultural components have the highest correlation to higher levels of employee engagement:

  • Alignment with Goals – You will know this alignment is happening when employees understand the company’s plans for future success, believe the organization will be successful in the future, can articulate how their job helps the organization achieve success, and know how they fit into the organization’s future plans.
  • Trust in Senior Leaders – You will know this is happening when employees trust the leaders are setting the right course, believe the senior leadership team is up for the task of leading the company to future success, and believe the leaders are honest, trustworthy and demonstrate integrity.
  • Feeling Valued – You will know this is happening when employees see meaningful investments being made to make employees more successful, feel valued as the company’s most important resource, are rewarded and recognized proportionately for contributing to the organization’s success, and believe that leaders are committed to making it a great place to work.

The Bottom Line
To improve performance, start with a compelling, believable and implementable strategy that is clear enough to guide an individual’s work. Strategic clarity provides the solid foundation from which everything else flows. Strategic ambiguity creates ineffectiveness and inefficiencies.

Once your business strategy is clear enough to act and people are committed to it, it is time to shape and align your corporate culture to purposefully drive your strategy forward. Smart leaders invest the time and effort to create the environment necessary for their employees to perform at their peak.

Once your strategy is clear enough to act and you have aligned your high performance culture for that strategy, it is time to attract, develop, engage and retain talent that fits your unique situation. This is where employee engagement should be understood within the context of your organizational culture, business strategy and talent management plan. When you have a compelling direction, a culture that works and employees who are fully engaged, you have a winning combination that is hard for your competitors to replicate.

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LSA helped to meet the needs of my teams within a very narrow timeframe. My team walked away with highly useful management tools and practices. LSA saved us time in delivering the right solution for our specific needs.

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Hyperion has a commitment to lifelong learning. LSA helps us provide the right business sales training, management training programs, and leadership development programs at the right time to meet the needs of both individuals and departments. I especially appreciate their ability to listen to my needs and recommend the appropriate facilitators, solutions and content.

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I’ve been associated with LSA for the last 8 years and have found them to be an extremely professional, well managed full service training organization. Since working with LSA, I’ve participated in a number of solutions ranging from Performance Management to Assertiveness Training – I’ve found that the quality of the resources is superior. They are well prepared and have definitely done a considerable amount of pre-work in order to customize our culture and business into the total learning experience – making it most beneficial for our employees.

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We contacted LSA to help us with customized management development. LSA worked with me to identify a solution that would meet our exact needs. We decided to start at the top and ran the program for our executive team. It was such a great success that we hope to roll it out companywide. We look forward to a long-term partnership with LSA Global and their team of experts.

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In my years working with LSA, it seems like I’ve had a personal consultant at my fingertips to help me identify just the right solution to satisfy our needs. The entire LSA team has become a trusted friend of Actel — assuring we provide state-of-the-art learning to meet our complex, high-tech business and people needs.

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“We turned to LSA to help us custom design and deliver a leadership and management development curriculum to help drive performance. They have done an excellent job diagnosing the business situation, designing an approach that fits our culture, and delivering a first class solution.”

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VP Human Resources

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On behalf of Roche and my staff I would like to sincerely thank you for your help with this. The English as a Second Language (ESL) assessment and coaching that you provided for our team was a great success.

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Thank you to LSA Global for their partnership and support in helping us to design and roll-out our valuable management development training program. I personally have partnered with LSA Global at four of my previous companies. It continues to be a delight working with LSA. We look forward to partnering with them at Blackhawk Networks for future training and consulting needs.

Suzanne Kinner
VP Human Resources

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LSA has been a tremendous asset to my portfolio, both at my current company and my past company. As an HR leader, I am always looking for ways to find external resources that can provide a solution to our management training needs. LSA does that for me. Their solutions are presented in a much more leadership-oriented manner so as to be crisp, business relevant, and easy to apply right back on the job. I will continue to augment our programs using LSA solutions.

Ken Boehm
VP of Human Resources

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LSA’s Employee Engagement Consulting and Survey work has provided critical visibility into: how well our people are holding up under the general economic environment, as well as, the specific challenges that face biotechnology companies in their efforts to discover and develop new medicines; their level of alignment and commitment to XOMA’s Vision and mission critical strategies; how leadership practices and management systems support an environment that engender commitment, and the specific actions that our leaders can take to improve on areas that are important to our people. I highly recommend LSA’s employee engagement solutions.

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We engaged LSA to design and deliver a 6-month custom executive coaching program for a group of our key leaders. The focus of the program was to help a core group of senior leaders to leverage previous investments in management training, to ensure the engagement and retention of key employees, and to push critical strategic initiatives forward. Even with the high expectations of our senior people, LSA has completely exceeded our expectations. I would recommend them to anyone looking to create and implement a custom coaching methodology using proven tools to drive true change.

Ivan Fukumoto
Senior HR Manager - Staffing, Training, & Development

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