The Power of Workplace Culture to Drive Behavior

Graphic of a seesaw with Workplace Culture to Drive Behavior

Use Workplace Culture to Drive Behavior
Smart leaders know how to use the power of their workplace culture to drive behavior that helps to accelerate their strategy and to attract, develop, engage and retain top talent.

While leaders can certainly have an over-weighted impact on behavioral norms, workplace culture rarely works according to the picture above where an individual holds more sway than the group as a whole.

Workplace Culture Exists by Design or by Default
Only in extraordinary circumstances and with a very strong, determined leader can a single individual have more influence on changing a corporate culture than the majority of the workers. By design or by default, for good and for bad, a company’s culture shapes the way most of the employees think and behave. Those that do not “fit” the organizational culture tend to leave or lose functional status and effectiveness.

The Power of Culture for Bad
The phenomenon of using workplace culture to drive behavior is active not just in the corporate world. Consider the sport of professional cycling.  Somehow unethical behavior became the norm.

  • First came the doping scandal in which many of the top international cyclists, including the now infamous Lance Armstrong, were discovered to be using performance enhancing drugs.
  • More recently we have read of “doped bikes.”
  • With tiny engines hidden in bike frames, some cyclists were able to cheat their way to greater speed through what is being called “mechanical doping.”
  • From the outside it sure appears as though the prevailing culture is one of “win-at-all-costs.”

There will always be individuals who try to scam the system, but the “win-at-all-costs” culture in professional cycling almost invited riders to cheat in order to level the playing field. This is an example of the power of culture for bad.

The Power of Culture for Good
Let’s look instead at the power of culture for good. There was a time in the U.S. when it was commonplace for people to toss trash from car windows as they traveled the highways.

  • People did it because everyone else was doing it.
  • Then came the campaign for highway beautification led by Lady Bird Johnson.
  • It didn’t take long before the culture believed that littering was not acceptable.
  • Habits changed as even children became part of the effort and admonished their parents if they littered.
  • Tossing trash now carries a stigma…it does not “fit” with the culture.

Seeing someone throw trash out the car window is sort of like seeing someone pull out a cigarette on an airplane. It is simply not done anymore.

Culture Works the Same in the Corporate World
Think of corporate culture as how things truly get done in an organization. It includes the known and unspoken assumptions and values that drive daily behaviors and practices. Though many still mistakenly consider workplace culture as “soft HR stuff,” we know that it can have a measurable impact on performance.

  • A recent Harvard Business School research study reported that an effective culture can account for up to half of the differential in performance between companies in the same business.
  • Our organizational alignment research found cultural factors account for 40% of the difference between high and low growth companies.

The Bottom Line
Be very thoughtful about the workplace culture you want to shape and encourage at your organization. It matters.

To learn more about using workplace culture to drive behavior and creating a high performance and purposeful culture, download The 3 “C’s” that Create High Performance Culture Whitepaper

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I have worked with LSA Global at previous companies and welcomed the opportunity to bring them in to support my new organization. We worked closely with LSA to design a solution for our Client Partner Teams and Management Training on both coasts. LSA designed a customized solution for our business and organizational culture. LSA is a quality organization, one that I’d recommend to any company looking for a first class training and consulting partner that makes an impact.

Laurie Torres
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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.

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Hyperion

LSA is an instrumental training outsourcing partner in helping us to build management capacity and strategically invest in our people. Their flexibility, depth, and breadth of expertise allows us to deliver top quality solutions that are directly tied to key business plans. Their ability to custom design, deliver, and evaluate our Management Curriculum has been excellent. They are true business partners and a pleasure to work with.

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Vice President, Human Resources

Hyperion

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.

Because of the unique nature of our business, Excel is a core application in our accounting organization. After three attempts to find an Excel consultant who is capable of helping our finance team integrate advanced applications into our work processes we found LSA and Alex. He was not only a “Real” Excel expert but was masterful in helping us identify where to use Excel applications in our processes to increase our group’s efficiency.

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Kim Silva, CFO

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.

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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.

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The LSA Global team was very receptive and flexible to our needs every step of the way. Their staff and facilitator demonstrated attention to detail, responsiveness, and professional courtesy. The participants were thrilled with the outcome and rated the communication skills workshop and the facilitator as ‘Excellent’. I’d highly recommend working with the LSA Global team to meet your professional development needs.

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FRDP Leader

Intuit

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

Farhat Ali
President and Chief Executive Office

Fujitsu

Thank you to LSA Global for their partnership and support in helping us to design and roll-out our valuable management development training program. I personally have partnered with LSA Global at four of my previous companies. It continues to be a delight working with LSA. We look forward to partnering with them at Blackhawk Networks for future training and consulting needs.

Suzanne Kinner
VP Human Resources

Blackhawk Network

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!”

David Fiano
Vice President Human Resources

Avon’s success is dependent on strong relationships among our Customers, Representatives, Associates, and outside resources we hire to help us meet our business objectives. We were very pleased with the results from working with LSA Global to design and facilitate a custom program for our events management team. LSA demonstrated responsiveness, flexibility, and an innovative approach to working with us.

Deanna Rudnitsky
Senior Manager, HR Destiny Sales Region

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 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

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

Terry Wassman
VP of Human Resources

In my years working with LSA, it seems like I’ve had a personal consultant at my fingertips to help me identify just the right solution to satisfy our needs. The entire LSA team has become a trusted friend of Actel — assuring we provide state-of-the-art learning to meet our complex, high-tech business and people needs.

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