10 Research-backed Dimensions of an Aligned Workplace Culture

10 Research-backed Dimensions of an Aligned Workplace Culture
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An Aligned Workplace Culture Matters

Our organizational alignment research found that an aligned workplace culture accounts for 40% of the difference between high and low performing companies in terms of revenue growth, profitability, employee engagement, customer loyalty, and leadership effectiveness.

The Definition of an Aligned Workplace Culture
An aligned workplace culture means that “how and why things are done” is highly attuned with “what needs to gets done” from a strategy perspective.   Creating alignment between strategy and culture allows individuals and teams to become interdependent and act with a more unified and harmonious mindset.

An Aligned Culture is Different than a Healthy Culture
A healthy corporate culture includes areas such as employee engagement, leadership, trust, service, safety, innovation, continuous improvement, community involvement, ethics, character, and respect.

These attributes are what make an organization healthy and drive how people interact with each other in getting things done.  The attributes of a healthy organization, however, are not typically much different from other organizations, and they typically do not address how business actually gets done.

A healthy culture is just the “ticket to play the people game” for any well run organization.  While necessary, by itself, cultural health is insufficient to differentiate one company from another or to create higher performance.  That is the job of an aligned corporate culture.

Top 10 Research-backed Dimensions of an Aligned Workplace Culture
When an organization has an aligned workplace culture — one that is purposefully aligned with a clear business strategy — it sets the stage for high performance. Effective leaders assess their level of cultural alignment to help remove cultural barriers, to simplify decision-making, and to create organizational harmony across ten research-backed cultural dimensions:

See a picture of the ten dimensions of culture

    1. Market Approach
      From a [Market Adopter] that introduces new offerings after the market has proven that they work to a [Market Leader] that develops offerings beyond what exists today.  What market approach makes sense for your strategy?
    2. Customers
      From [Transactional] short-term interactions to [Intimate] relationship-based experiences.  How customer centric should you be?
    3. Loyalty
      From [Individual] capabilities and relationships to [Logo] and company loyalty.
    4. Focus
      From an [Internal] focus on systems and processes to an [External] focus on customers and market trends.  Where should your culture focus be to best execute your strategic priorities?
    5. Risk Tolerance
      From [Risk Mitigation] that eliminates all risk before making decisions to [Embracing Risk] by encouraging and rewarding smart risk-taking.  Where should you be on the cultural risk spectrum?
    6. Operational Approach
      From [Low Process Variation] to ensure business practice standardization and quality to [High Process Variation] to get each unique job done in a quality manner
    7. Decision Making
      From [Centralized] decision-making by top leadership to [Decentralized] decision-making where individuals are allowed to make decisions at the front line.  Which decision making culture makes sense for you?
    8. Information
      From [Fact-based] decision-making that requires extensive data to move forward to [Intuition-based] decision-making that utilized intuition and gut reactions to determine courses of action.  How is information handled at your company?
    9. Atmosphere
      From a [Social] approach that encourages a flexible approach to workplace norms to a [Disciplined] and formal work environment where employees are expected to conform to strict norms
    10.  Results
      From [The How] where doing it the “right” way is of highest priority to [The What] where delivering results matters most.

The Bottom Line
A corporate strategy without an aligned workplace culture is just wishful thinking.  Because a business strategy must go through your culture and your people to get successfully implemented, you must assess your organizational culture to make sure that the “what” and the “how” are attuned.  While a healthy culture is a step in the right direction, by itself, it will not differentiate you from the competition.

To learn more about the dimensions of an aligned workplace culture, download Steps to Build a Purposeful and Aligned Corporate Culture.

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