Is It Possible to Shape Corporate Culture?
Your corporate culture exists by design or by default. Chances are you shaped, inherited or stumbled into your workplace culture. But:can you shape corporate culture to align with your strategic objectives? Can rewards and consequences play a role?
The Definition of Culture
Let’s start with a definition of organizational culture. We define culture as the way work gets done in an organization day-by-day. You can also think of your corporate culture as the collective attitude, assumptions, purpose and behaviors of a company’s workforce.
Culture Accounts for 40% of the Performance Difference
Our organizational alignment research found that corporate culture accounts for 40% of the difference between high and low performing companies.
Shape Corporate Culture
You may have the kind of culture you hoped to create or it may be the kind of culture you want to change. The question is how much control of your corporate culture do you have as a business leader? Can you change culture? Enforce culture? Control culture? Shape corporate culture?
Behavior Modification and Culture Shaping
We all know about behavior modification…the “carrot and stick” theory of motivating by a combination of reward and punishment. You offer incentives to do the right thing and penalties for the wrong thing. This theory is the basis for many kinds of animal training.
Used correctly, rewards and consequences can play an important role in creating a high performance culture. Used incorrectly (think Wells Fargo sales scandal), rewards and consequences can create undesirable behaviors and outcomes.
An Example – Do Sin Taxes Work to Change Behavior?
Let’s start with recent efforts to guide the general populace toward better health habits to get a sense of the power of consequences. Sin Taxes (the so-called sticks) are now being levied in some areas on sugar-laced drinks, alcohol and cigarettes.
The objective is three-fold: (1) to decrease demand for unhealthy products by making them more expensive; (2) to save medical expenses related to obesity, addiction and cancer; and (3) to garner some revenue that, ideally, can be used to promote health improvements and prevention. And according to studies, all three seem to be working:
So while some validly argue correlation does not equal causation, we believe people generally try to avoid “bad things” and strive to gain “good things.”
What Does this Mean for Rewards and Consequences in Workplace Culture?
In general, you want to:
7 Attributes of Effective Rewards and Consequences to Shape Your Corporate Culture
The right combination of rewards and consequences should create emotional involvement and the right level of desire and motivation within your culture. To be effective, rewards and consequences must be perceived as:
The Bottom Line
It is the job of leaders to provide the right motivation, desire and engagement for their teams to perform at their peak. Rewards and consequences can play an important role in creating higher performance. Just make sure they have the above attributes so you do not make things worse as you try to shape corporate culture to align with where you are headed.
Want to learn more about how to shape corporate culture? Download 3 Levels of a High Performance Culture
Why Employees Change Their Mind
3 Signs of Good and Bad Strategies
PalmSource has found our relationship with LSA extremely beneficial. We worked closely with LSA to customize the right Management Training Program solution to meet our unique business needs. LSA is a quality organization, one that I’d recommend to any company looking for a first class training and consulting partner.
Vice President of Human Resources
LSA provided top notch solutions right when and how we needed them. They exceeded my expectations from a speed, quality, and cost standpoint. I recommend them to anyone looking for a true business partner in the Learning and Development arena. The breadth and depth of their expertise has helped us hit tight deadlines across multiple projects.
Fortune 500 Financial Services Company
Director of Infrastructure & Technology
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.
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.
Director, Team Development
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.
Director, Software Engineering, EPG
What a refreshing change from the half-baked psycho-babble you normally get from training and consulting organizations. LSA gives you the practical and results-oriented assistance you need to define and reach your goal. They provide a results driven plan – not just a temporary fix. They are great to work with, and even more importantly, they “get it!”
Vice President Human Resources
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.
Vice President of Human Resources
I highly recommend LSA Global to anyone who is looking to improve individual or organizational effectiveness through their top quality programs and broad range of expertise.
VP of Human Resources
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.
Senior Project Manager
Harmonic has worked with LSA for over 8 years. We have found their partnership extremely beneficial. We recently implemented a Management Development Program that was designed and customized to support our company’s strategic initiative of hiring, building, and retaining key intellectual property and human talent. We worked closely with LSA to target and implement the right solutions with the greatest impact. I would recommend LSA to any company that’s looking for a trusted training and development partner.
Director of Human Resources
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.
HR Program 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!
Director of HR
Our company engaged LSA to do a specialized “train the trainer” program, and the consultant’s performance outdid our exceptionally high standards for such a program. Very crucial to the success of this program was the work done upfront to discuss our needs and to interview key members of our organization so that the program specifically met our goals. Our facilitators continue to comment on the success of the program. Thanks also for the follow-up.
Chief Financial Officer
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.
HR Project Manager - Training & Development, PHR
LSA’s customized Effective Presentation Skills program has helped me elevate my presentation skills to the next level. I now have a much greater self-awareness of my presentation skills and can leverage off of my strengths while working to improve upon other areas. I would definitely recommend this solution to anyone for whom business presentations are an integral part of their job.
Senior Marketing Manager
Download key published insights and tools from industry experts highlighting best practices in the areas of talent, strategy and culture.
Want to know how you stack up against leading organizations? Receive a complimentary benchmarking analysis courtesy of an LSA Expert.
Get up to speed on timely solutions critical to your business. Published by LSA Experts based upon client feedback and key industry trends.
First we identify the key metrics you want to improve. Then we assemble a dedicated team of elite experts who have successfully solved similar problems with similar clients.
Stay up to do date with the latest information on how we help high growth companies align their culture and talent with strategy.
Real world consulting and training approaches from LSA projects, providing insights on how your company can outperform the competition.