Over the last several months, I’ve noticed an increased interest in two business topics, the Millennial generation and corporate culture. We’ll dive into Millennials later but for now and the next few blog entries, let’s explore corporate culture.
It’s amazing what employees tell you about corporate culture without really telling you. Consider these examples I’ve noticed in just the last several weeks:
Now I haven’t conducted a culture survey for any of the organizations referenced above, but based on these employee statements, both verbal and nonverbal, I’m willing to bet they have unhealthy corporate cultures. These unhealthy cultures are sure to lead to high employee turnover, low employee loyalty, and low employee engagement.
Why? Because corporate culture drives everything! In fact, Lou Gerstner, former CEO of IBM, said almost this exact thing when he commented, “. . . culture is everything.”
There are plenty of other quotes that point to the critical nature of corporate culture:
"If you do not manage culture, it manages you.”
- Edgar Schein
MIT Sloan School of Management
". . . the ability of organizational culture to drive success and
actively support business outcomes is unmatched."
- Human Capital Institute
"Get it right and culture can transform your company’s performance
and help sustain success for years to come. Culture can be your
competitive advantage. Get it wrong and you'll pay dearly for it . . .
for years to come."
- Ian C. Read
In addition to numerous opinions, there are concrete business reasons for developing and managing a healthy culture. Organizations that have a healthy corporate culture outperform their competition and enjoy higher shareholder return and lower employee turnover. In fact, the evidence supporting the development of a healthy corporate culture is overwhelming.
So why don’t more organizations tackle this issue and what is driving the increased interest in culture? We’ll discuss that in our next blog. For now, let me hear from you. What do you think about corporate culture and what examples have you come across that point to unhealthy (or healthy) cultures?
Darren K. Ford
I've enjoyed a great career. Worked in many different industries with great coworkers and customers. I talk to a lot of people while drinking a lot of coffee. I read constantly. From all of this, I have much to say.