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Jessica Kriegel knows culture. After all, she is the Chief Scientist of Workplace Culture for Culture Partners, leading research and strategy in best practices for driving results through culture. Jessica and her research have frequently been featured on CNN, CNBC, and The Wall Street Journal. And she has a lot to say about building organizational cultures that drive not just employee smiles but real business results that drive not only employee engagement but true employee fulfillment.
Many CEOs believe that organizations must pick between prioritizing profitability and prioritizing their people. It’s seen as an inherent tradeoff: invest in customers OR employees, but not both. However, Jessica has proven that doing both simultaneously is possible. Because, in her words, “When people care, people succeed.” When organizations have people invested in the mission and purpose behind the organization, they will go above and beyond to help that business succeed.
An equation exists that, when applied intentionally, can build a culture that recruits, retains, inspires employees, and drives profitability. Jessica calls this equation “The Culture Equation.”
The Culture Equation
The Culture Equation is Organizational Purpose + Strategy, powered by Culture. Purpose represents the “why,” Strategy represents the “how,” and Culture equals “the results/outcomes” in this equation.
So how can organizations actually use this equation to power their businesses and drive profitability? Following the three steps below is a good start.
Step 1. Define and communicate your strategy
For culture to power an organization’s strategy, you first need to know what your strategy is. Leaders should create and refine the organizational strategy and document it. Once defined, the strategy needs to be communicated so that every employee understands it. Once everyone understands the strategy, ensure that individual responsibilities and key initiatives are aligned to it.
Step 2. Assess your culture
Once a clear strategy is in place, ask yourself, “What kind of organizational culture do we truly need to achieve our strategy?” To answer this question, analyze your existing culture in qualitative and quantitative terms. There are eight main cultural drivers:
- Access to tools
- Access to information
- Organizational hierarchical structure
- Horizontal integration
- Responsibilities to each employee
- Responsibilities to the organization
- Rewards and consequences
- Performance management
Assessing your current culture in each one of these areas– and doing so honestly– will help you identify which specific areas across your organization design, management structure, performance and enablement systems may be negatively impacting your culture and holding back employee performance.
Step 3. Accelerate performance by changing your culture
Finally, with knowledge of your organization’s shortcomings and strengths in hand, it is possible to build an intentional culture that aligns with your strategy and helps fuel your purpose. You’ll need to correct the cultural drivers previously identified as needing improvement, however, so they more fully align with the organizational strategy and create more favorable employee experiences.
Once your organization’s people begin to feel more fulfilled, they will become more productive and will perform more consistently over time. This shift in behavior creates sustainable organizational profitability and excellence.
When the entire organization understands your strategy and works within a culture that empowers them to perform, it creates alignment. When team members feel both aligned and empowered, they do more than just show up – they perform at peak levels. Doing purpose-driven work and excelling at that work generates joy, fulfillment, pride and a sense of belonging that positively impacts employee retention. It also makes recruiting easier. After all, who wouldn’t want to work at a company full of passionate rockstars?
Companies who master these three steps find themselves performing better than their peers. In fact, the data shows that companies who master The Culture Equation drive 5x profitability compared to those who don’t.
So why isn’t every company following this equation, if the reward is so great? Well, changing an organization’s purpose is relatively easy. Even changing the strategy is straightforward. But changing the very culture of an organization? Fighting against entrenched ideas of “this is the way we’ve always done things”? Well, that’s the hard part.
WorkTango was lucky enough to secure Jessica Kriegel to speak at WorkTango’s upcoming Work Culture webinar titled: “The Culture Equation: How to build cultures that power your business and drive profitability.” In this webinar, Jessica will cover these three steps and then will dive further into the Results Pyramid: a framework to help companies actually make those hard changes to their culture.
To register for the free webinar on September 27 2023 from 1-2pm ET, click here.
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WorkTango is built for the workplace we all want to be a part of – where priorities become clear, achievements are celebrated, and employees have a voice. So if you’re ready to improve (work) lives, schedule a demo today.