Do you know the difference between organizational culture and employee engagement?
Organizational culture is one of the key ingredients in the modern employer brand. Therefore it is probably good to dig a bit deeper into what it means and how it differs from employee engagement.
Organizational Culture Drives Behavior and Reinforces Engagement
Understanding employee engagement is hugely important, but business leaders need to understand culture before engagement. In the corporate world organizations have business objectives. Business leaders must make sure the leadership behavior drive and enforce the type of behavior and engagement that deliver both business results and work happiness.
The most successful companies develop culture and measure the impact of culture through business results and employee engagement.
While employee engagement is a significant part of the employer brand -package, company culture and employee engagement have slightly different objectives and targets. I formulated this infographic to open up some of the key differences between culture and engagement.
Organizational Culture is About Organizational Performance
Contrary to how we tend to develop culture into perks and benefits, organizational culture is really about how we operate in order to perform as an organization.
I like to call it the ERP of business strategy – something that translates how we must behave and operate if we want the business strategy to become executed and goals met.
Culture is “the way we do things”. The underlying values that help us to decide which way to go when we come to a cross roads.
Strategic Culture Interprets Strategy into Behavior, Attitudes and Values
Put your company culture into work by transforming it to a strategic company culture.
When your business is driving the behavior, actions and attitudes of all the people (yes, the leaders too, and especially!) based on your business strategy, you will have the required transparency on an individual level to how each person contributes to delivering the customer promise. Regardless of what their job is.
When a company bases their employer brand on the strategic culture and employee experiences (i.e engagement), they will have a highly influential employer brand. That is a modern employer brand.
Case: A Media Company Losing Revenue and Engagement
I recently encountered a customer experience that led me to question the culture of that business. This was one of the biggest media companies in Finland. Based on media coverage, I knew this company was running on a growth strategy.
Based on my poor experience with their sales and customer service, I knew this business was not using their company culture to drive their organizational performance.
How did I know this?
A company executing a growth strategy must focus on two things:
- Keeping the existing customers very happy in order to keep them and have them speak for them
- Aggressively hunting for new territories and customers
A customer service instruction that forbids the customer service agent to use their common sense to keep an existing customer happy means, this company has not put any thought into what it really means on an organizational behavior level to execute a growth strategy.
They made a lot of losses simply because of lack of a strategic company culture:
- They lost me as a customer.
- They lost the revenue from my short lived subscription because they deleted the invoices as a token of apology.
- They added on an extra cost for giving me a free subscription of a more expensive product.
- I’m not likely to speak on their behalf. They did not woo me.
- The customer service agent is probably quite embarrassed now as her employee engagement took a dent.
My advice for anyone working in HR, engagement and employer branding: Drill into your business strategy, learn about what it means and requires from organizational behavior, and audit your existing processes, values, rewarding policies and how your people are adviced to deliver the customer promise.