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’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.

Chris Wells
Vice President, HR and IT

I have worked with other training companies and found it to be more of a seller/buyer relationship than one of matching the right expertise to our business issues. That’s what LSA does – ask the hard questions, listen, and understand our business needs. We receive the benefit of their expertise from assistance with personal development plans to enhancing team performance, to looking at enterprise-wide challenges. It’s all about helping our business succeed as we grow. Right now, LSA is providing great ideas, a fresh approach, and valuable guidance as we develop our management team and accelerate our client relationship management results.

Kristin Westland-Kaune
Director, Team Development

In the Next Generation Management Development courses, I was trained with skills and tools that have made me and my team more productive, motivated, and successful at communicating with other departments.

 

Kevin Ashman
Firmware Engineering Supervisor

I consistently look to LSA Global when I need custom programs put together for my client groups. I can always count on LSA to do a thorough needs analysis and to put together spectacular programs that are well received. Their management development and performance management expertise and professionalism make them one of my top-rated learning and development partners.

Stephanie Webb
HR Program Manager

Rambus

Over the years, both at 3Com and now at Redback, I’ve found LSA Global to be a valuable resource. The recent compliance program that they delivered for Redback’s executive and management team was the right solution, of the highest of quality, and customized to our business and culture. I would highly recommend LSA to any company looking for top quality solutions.

Gina Fulton
Vice President of Human Resources

We consider LSA our true business partner in the areas of Learning and Organizational Development. From Strategic Planning to Presentation Skills and Management Training, they continue to provide excellent value and extremely high quality solutions – not just one time events. I recommend them to anyone looking to drive true business results.

Michelle A. Mitchell
Vice President, Worldwide Human Resources

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.

Duane Schroeder
Human Resource Manager

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.

Sandeep Kumar
Director, Software Engineering, EPG

We value our relationship with LSA Global. We came to LSA because we wanted to improve overall behavioral based interviewing capabilities of our managers to increase the probability of both hiring top talent and future leaders. LSA designed a highly customized solution for our business and culture. We are currently rolling out this solution to our leaders. I would highly recommend LSA Global as a top quality resource.

Rae Phillips
HR Project Manager - Training & Development, PHR

We have been able to utilize LSA’s extensive network of top-notch resources to leverage our investment in employee development. The result has been the cost effective and highly efficient delivery of quality educational and management training programs.

Steve Feller
Vice President, Human Resources

The Next Generation Management Development courses have helped me communicate more effectively with my peers and teammates. By utilizing effective communication techniques such as clarifying and confirming, and asking open ended questions, I have been able to clarify and understand information in situations where I would have otherwise asked limited questions and made false assumptions.

Robert Breckner
Firmware Engineering Manager

LSA’s consultant designed and delivered a half-day team building solution for our recent conference. It included careful customization to integrate the design with our new mission and values. Everyone had fun and identified key issues with our teamwork. Altogether a great program!

Bob Ward
Director of HR

The Managing Virtual Teams program was extremely valuable. Your consultant/ facilitator’s fundamental knowledge of Synopsys as a company provided an incredible base to build upon while tackling the complications of managing and working with globally distributed teams. My team walked away walked away with highly useful practices and tools. It was an excellent use of our time.

Debra Martucci
Vice President, Information Technology

SeaTel has found our partnership with LSA Global to be very valuable and beneficial. We turned to LSA to customize a supervisory/leadership solution to meet our needs. LSA delivered a customized top quality solution. I’d recommend LSA Global to any company looking for a best-in-class training and consulting partner.

Kortney Riddle
HR Manager

We recently contacted LSA Global to assist us with a unique training request. We gave LSA a very short deadline and LSA custom designed a training program to meet our exact requirements within the limited time allotted to them. We found their facilitator to be well versed in the subject matter and very credible; the design provided practical and valuable information to our team of managers. I highly recommend LSA Global, particularly in the area of management training.

Julaine K. Souza
Senior Vice President

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