True Corporate Culture – When Nobody Is Watching

True Corporate Culture a giraffe is looking over the fence

What is Your True Corporate Culture?
One way we like to to think of your true corporate culture is what employees do when the CEO is not in the room.  When no one is watching, how do your employees behave?  In many respects, the norms and beliefs that guide their behavior when they are on their own are the basis of a company’s corporate culture.

Corporate Culture Accounts for 40% of the Difference Between High and Low Performance
According to Frances Frei and Anne Morriss at Harvard Business Review, it is organizational culture that “guides discretionary behavior and it picks up where the employee handbook leaves off.”  We agree.  Our organizational alignment research found that cultural factors account for up to 40% of the difference between high and low performing companies.

Some Corporate Culture Examples
For example, what happens when a customer service rep is faced with an extraordinary request? The rep must decide how to respond. A strong company culture will guide possible reactions from one end of the spectrum to the other. A rep inured in Zappo’s culture will most likely have the discretionary power and the will to provide extraordinary customer service.

A rep guided by a less customer-focused culture (my cable provider comes to mind) might ignore the request because it takes too much time and effort to understand the problem or push it on up the ladder for someone else to figure out.

True Corporate Culture at Your Company
In your own organization, think about what happens when an employee encounters a problem on the job. Do they feel comfortable solving it or reporting the situation to a superior?  Or do they hope someone else will notice and become the bearer of bad news?

A corporate culture where everyone feels responsibility for and ownership of the company’s success is one where problems are pointed out early enough to be dealt with before too much damage has been done. A true corporate culture that keeps employees fearful of the consequences of pointing out issues is one where problems go undetected until they grow too large to handle easily.

What happens when an employee comes up with a great idea for improvement? In an open environment, a new idea can be considered and tested by the team. Ideas for doing things better are always welcomed. In more closed or toxic cultures, good ideas may never be aired and many opportunities for improvement lost.

Who is Responsible for Your Corporate Culture?
So your true corporate culture matters. But who is responsible for creating it…

  • is it HR?
  • the CEO?
  • management?
  • the employees themselves?
  • or does it just evolve on its own?

Our research shows that the answer needs to be a fine-tuned combination of the CEO, leadership, HR, and the employees.

First and foremost, leaders should work with employees and senior managers to determine just what kind of organizational culture they want to best execute their business strategy. When it comes to effective corporate cultures, our research showed that highly aligned companies’ employees:

What true corporate culture will help you best achieve your strategic objectives and talent goals in a way that makes sense?

To learn more about how to align your true corporate culture with your business and people strategies, download The 3 Levels of a High Performance Culture

 

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Congratulations on your pro-activity in establishing this program and developing such an effective New Employee Orientation course.

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Fujitsu

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.

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Samsung

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’s approach and ability to bring the best resources to eBay has been a great asset. They really focus on helping us succeed in any way they can and are very flexible in meeting our management and talent needs.

Mike Normant
Learning & Development

ebay

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.

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LSA helped change our entire culture around meetings, making them more effective and efficient, thus enabling us to concentrate on driving more business.

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VP of Human Resources

The refreshing thing about LSA is that they focus on understanding our business situation and helping me succeed instead of selling a product. With over 150 experts, they are an invaluable resource that helps me deliver higher quality results faster. I recommend them to anyone looking to improve the performance of their workforce.

Stacie Rodgers
VP of Human Resources

Cutera

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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Human Resources Manager

LSA Global’s consultant brought a fresh perspective to our behavioral based interviewing strategy for two key executive positions we needed to fill, and their consultant helped us develop questions that produced a much deeper understanding of candidates’ capabilities. I am confident that the two new executives joining our organization have the right skills to add significant value. Throughout the process LSA was also very responsive in dealing with short lead time requests.

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SPO Partners & Co
Kim Silva, CFO

I am very impressed with the quality of work and talent. LSA did a great job of listening to my needs and providing the exact management training program expertise I needed to get the job done.

Don Pryor
Director, Business Planning & Analysis

VNUS Medical has been very pleased with the effective management development programs that LSA Global has delivered for us over the last four years. The programs have been universally facilitated by experienced and best in class instructors. The knowledge gained by our management team has been put into practice very quickly. VNUS is very happy to be working in partnership with LSA because they consistently deliver excellent programs that receive exceptional feedback from our management team.

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Director, HR & Compliance

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