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Corporate Culture Management
Adapting to Changing Work Priorities
Defining Corporate Culture:
- Culture is something that pervades an organization
- Culture is defined by a combination of values, norms, expectations and behaviors
- Culture also is reflected in an organization's structures, systems, symbols, artifacts, rites and rituals
Katherine Woodall, principal at Towers Perrin, on seven reasons why corporate culture matters
The Towers Perrin principal cites seven reasons why corporate culture matters:
- A strong culture can help attract, retain and engage key talent
- Given their employment options, it makes sense to view employees as investors, not just assets — building human capital
- Research shows engaged and committed employees deliver better results
- People come to work (and stay and deliver results) for reasons beyond their paycheck
- Your frontline employees embody the brand to the customer and shape the customers' experience (for better or worse)
- Brands help break through the clutter
- Think about the brands you know and trust
- Related Articles
- Towers Perrin's Top 10 Engagement Drivers; Top 10 Attractors; Top 10 Retention Drivers
- Three Common Attributes of Brand-Aligned Organizations
This matters, she maintains, because the way people think and feel about work relates to business performance. A critical component is employee engagement — the extent to which employees are both willing and able to contribute to company success. Employee engagement, which is critical to an organization's growth, should be considered in two components — the extent employees are engaged emotionally and the extent in which they are engaged rationally. A Towers Perrin study indicates that a 15 percent change in employee engagement can boost a company's operating margin to 16.9 percent from 14.5 percent.
Another Towers Perrin study that segmented employees into three distinct engagement profiles based on answers to nine questions included as part of its engagement definition indicates that 15 percent of the workforce is highly engaged while nearly one in five is disengaged. Moderately engaged employees equal 69 percent.
Steven Overman, director of strategic effectiveness at Jack Morton Worldwide, on seven rules of thumb of brand-aligned organizations
The director of strategic effectiveness at Jack Morton Worldwide quotes leadership expert John Kotter of Harvard Business School about why people change: "People change what they do less because they are given analysis that shifts their thinking than because they are shown a truth that influences their feeling."
Steven offers seven rules of thumb, or "heuristics," of brand-aligned organizations that if kept in mind, can design and execute meaningful and effective programs that bring the brand — and the strategies it drives — to life.
- Brand from inside the house: The most powerful branding comes from within; brand alignment is, in effect, genetic engineering.
- Engage everyone: Segment all of your employees according to two psychographic axes: first, the degree to which employees are acting on behalf of the brand; second, how outspoken and influential they are. This yields four profiles: Drivers (on brand and active); residents (on brand but inactive); cynics (off brand and inactive), and critics (off brand but active). You can design a successful scenario against each audience with a baseline and desired conclusion.
- Catalyze conversation: The most aligned organizations are those that talk among themselves, constantly. You must connect internal constituents in ways that are both inspiring and business focused.
- Be local: Brands often need to link ever-growing employee audiences distributed around the world, separated by language and culture, while engaging them in a way that seems more "pull" than "push."
- Connect it to strategy: If it isn't aiming to achieve strategic objectives, it's not worth doing. So often, internal branding efforts are developed to support messages, not strategy. With elements of strategy in their hands, people feel empowered.
- Think systemically: This means looking at how all the parts and people fit together — it means looking across all functions of the organization. Migrating upward — from innocence, to awareness, to interest, to understanding, all the way to commitment — takes place over time. You need to engineer different messages and experiences — and have different expectations — of different groups at any given moment.
- Engender empathy: Walking in someone else's shoes is the best way to understand them. We created an experience for a major shipping company that enabled 300 managers from around the world to walk in their customers' shoes, and to experience the effects of three possible futures on those customer's lives. The learning was three-fold: They thought about customers in a new way; they thought about the future in a new way, and they explored new product innovation — all in the context of the brand.
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