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Organisational Culture: Bigger than the Bottom Line – Key Insights

Organisational Culture: Bigger than the Bottom Line – Key Insights
I don’t think anybody, anywhere, would disagree that you can’t achieve a strategy without engagement, focus and discipline across your organisation. However, ensuring those elements are in place is a different challenge altogether. This is where your organisational culture comes in. Your culture underwrites everything you do. It creates the context in which results can be achieved, the stage on which your people perform. As part of our whitepaper “Organisational Culture: Bigger than the Bottom Line” we surveyed employees and employers alike and not surprisingly found that 90% of respondents believed culture was important to driving business strategy. 94% said better culture would bring improvements to staff engagement, customer satisfaction, staff retention, innovation, productivity and revenue.

The Consequence of Culture

To provide a little anecdotal evidence; I was once out shopping with my wife, and she was very purposely looking for a particular dress for a special event. After browsing the racks in several stores, much to the frustration of me following her, we finally walked into a store where an incredibly attentive salesperson engaged in conversation, understood the need, worked with her and managed to sell her not one, but two dresses. Brilliant and seemingly effortless work on the part of the salesperson who epitomised everything that we expected and that clothing brand reflected.

That’s just one story that showcases the potential outcomes of a strong internal culture. This sets the stage that guides the actions of everybody within the business in a way that ultimately reflects in the external outcomes.

If you have a ‘service’ culture (for example) then it’s an ingrained value that sets behaviour from the ground floor to the executive that “in every contact point with a customer ‘service’ will be delivered”

Leading the Way

The findings in our whitepaper demonstrate that you can’t take your eye off the ball in terms of building an appropriate internal culture to support your external promise. With so many people saying that a better culture would improve outcomes across the business, why is it that a large number of employees are reporting that their organisations are failing to deliver on this? Rightly or wrongly they suggest a lack of ‘buy-in’ from management lets the game down with over one third saying the leadership team were responsible.

To an extent, this is understandable. When challenges hit management saving the day can become the priority ahead of the bigger picture. However, making short term decisions that don’t align to your culture may undermine the long-term game. One of the key call-outs in our research was the core responsibility that leaders at all levels have to walk the walk, not just talk the talk.

Closing Thoughts

As a managers and leaders, it’s important to be consistent and transparent about what matters inside your business. The culture that you’re trying to reinforce needs to be reflected in everything you do. A culture that doesn’t attract, retain and build people’s willingness to exert discretionary effort almost always ends up in missed targets and strategic failure.

No matter who you are, a strong understanding of the fundamentals of what your organisation stands for, and how you deliver on those values, is critical. It’s the basis for selecting, developing and promoting your people, ensuring that the actions they take reflect the promise your organisation has made to its audience. In closing, if leaders drive culture change effectively, consistently and relentlessly throughout an organisation, then the end-result is a self-fulfilling outcome.

Looking to find out more about the impact of organisational culture? Feel free to get in touch with our team to secure a copy of the whitepaper.
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