In our last post, we explored how to adapt to the Business 3.0 era with Success Skill #2: “Execution and Process: Innovate and Respond.” Here we examine Success Skill #3 in detail. The Series supports the release of our video, “Did You Know? 6.0: Change to Thrive.”
Success Skill #3: Open Culture, Engaged Employees
Culture drives the bottom line.
A positive culture is at the heart of healthy organizations. In a 2013 Booz & Company global study, 86% of C-level executives and 84% of all managers and employees said workplace culture is key to their organization’s success. 6 in 10 saw culture as a more important ingredient than either strategy or operating models.
Cultural health drives financial success. According to the 2013 Gallup Report, “State of the American Workplace,” 70% of employees are not engaged or are actively disengaged. Gallup estimates that this costs the U.S. $450-$550 billion each year in lost productivity! The study further found that organizations with an average of 9.3 engaged employees for every actively disengaged employee experience 147% higher earnings per share versus their competition.
Engaged = better performance.
Employees who are engaged, and enjoy a culture with good working relationships, perform more effectively. They:
Culture doesn’t just happen. It’s intentionally created. A recent study by the Human Capital Institute (HCI) found three interdependent components necessary for effective engagement. This “trifecta of engagement” represents the shared responsibility among the organization, the manager, and the individual employee:
Further, HCI’s research indicated that these critical workplace characteristics drive employee engagement:
Zappos: steps ahead in change.
Zappos is consistently known as one the best places to work in America, has over $1 billion in revenue, and possesses a world-renowned workplace culture. Zappos utilizes a culture book, an open environment for questions, a life coach, and offers employees payment to leave the company if they wish to pursue opportunity they can’t find at Zappos. The firm encourages managers to socialize with teams outside the office, building communication and trust. The company’s founder says the operation depends on it:
“Our number one priority is company culture. Our whole belief is that if you get the culture right, most of the other stuff like delivering great customer service or building a long-term enduring brand will just happen naturally on its own.”
Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos
RadioShack & Zynga: patterns of mis-steps.
As with strategy and execution, getting to a vibrant culture isn’t easy. There are plenty of examples where poor company culture has hindered corporate success. For example:
It’s essential to have a good plan in place if the goal is to create a culture of employee engagement. The most significant challenges to implementation are, paradoxically, people-oriented. But changing mindsets and re-shaping corporate culture can be achieved through carefully managed processes, vision-based goals and transparency.
In upcoming the final post of the five-part Did You Know? Series, we explore the final Success Skill: “Balanced & Fair Organizational Structure.”