3 Ways to Shine a Light on a Healthy Organizational Culture

3 Ways to Shine a Light on a Healthy Organizational Culture
Facebook Twitter Email LinkedIn

A Healthy Organizational Culture Matters
A healthy organizational culture can have a huge influence on the success or failure of your business.

  • Harvard Business School recently reported that a healthy culture can account for up to 50% of the difference in performance between organizations in the same industry.
  • Our own organizational alignment research concluded that culture accounts for 40% of the performance difference between low- and high-growth companies. Indeed, a healthy culture matters.

What Is Culture?
We define organizational culture as how and why things truly get done in an organization.  Organizational culture can be measured by understanding the way people think, behave, and work.  This includes the known and unspoken corporate values and assumptions that drive key business practices and behaviors.

Organizational culture is what new employees need to learn to be “accepted as a member” and what makes the organization “feel and act” like itself.

Healthy Leadership Creates a Healthy Organizational Culture
Organizational culture is, to a large degree, defined and guided by a company’s leaders — especially through the people they hire, fire, and promote.  If you are a leader, it is your responsibility to ensure you create and reinforce a healthy organizational culture that supports the winning strategy of your business.

3 Ways to Ensure a Healthy Organizational Culture
To ensure a healthy organizational culture, you must be vigilant.  Culture can easily get derailed.  Here is what you need to do to ensure that your healthy organizational culture is not threatened:

  1. Check in Regularly with Employees
    Conduct simple, confidential, and consistent employee surveys, focus groups, and discussions. Keep a pulse on how employees experience the company’s culture, what they value most, and what they would like to see changed.  Encourage honest feedback and commit to making changes as a result of what you learn.
  2. Watch for Signs of Deterioration
    Watch out for decreasing productivity, increasing complaints to HR, an uptick in turnover, lackadaisical effort, negative talk, and back-channeling. The temptation is to ignore these warning signs, but you cannot afford to let them manifest. Be honest with yourself and get at the root cause of any of these worrisome indications of a potentially unhealthy organizational culture.
  3. Shine a Light on Company Values
    Be crystal clear about the kind of behavior that you and your employees want to promote – the desired kinds of behavior that distinguish your workplace in a positive way. Remember it is not enough to state your corporate values, you must live, promote, and monitor them every day.  Recognize and reward the desired behaviors and have clear consequences for undesired behaviors.

The Bottom Line
A healthy organizational culture is not just a nice-to-have.  It is the foundation of a thriving business.  Don’t jeopardize the success of your company.  Communicate cultural values clearly, listen closely to your employees and beware of misaligned culture warning signs.

To learn more about how to create a high performing organizational culture, download The 3 Levels of a High Performance Culture To Get Right

Evaluate your Performance


Get key strategy, culture, and talent tools from industry experts that work


Health Checks

Assess how you stack up against leading organizations in areas matter most



Download published articles from experts to stay ahead of the competition



Review proven research-backed approaches to get aligned



Stay up to do date on the latest best practices that drive higher performance


Client Case Studies

Explore real world results for clients like you striving to create higher performance