Cultured Approach

Research shows employees should drive cultural change.

Cultured Approach

Australia & New Zealand

Research from CEB, now Gartner, has given a new insight on corporate culture. The company says that leaders are increasingly focused on using culture as a competitive advantage, however those who want to reengineer their culture to gain an edge must let employees drive the change.

“In Australia, the most sought-after types of cultures we typically see are innovative, customer centric, high performance based, ethical or collaborative. However, our research found that there is no single culture that enhances financial performance,” says Aaron McEwan, HR advisory leader at CEB, now Gartner. 

According to the latest research from CEB, now Gartner, it’s those organisations that achieve Workforce-Culture Alignment (WCA) that will win. WCA can increase performance revenue goals by nine per cent, increase reputation outcomes by 16 per cent and see a 22 per cent increase in employee performance. In fact, culture is so important that organisations are spending approximately AUD$2,823 per employees on their annual culture spend in a bid to get it right. Despite the investment, just 31 per cent of HR leaders believe they have the culture needed to drive future business performance, while just 10 per cent are confident their organisation understands their culture. 

“For years leaders have taken the traditional approach to driving culture by simply communicating what it is and then trying to get employees to fit the mould; either by changing the people they have or bringing in people who fit the culture they need,” says Mr McEwan.

 

However, this dictative approach by leaders is no longer working. Organisations who want to create a strong culture must create a strategy that focuses on all employees. “Employees are the engine room of any business and they are unique in their ability to inform, influence, shape and drive culture. It’s their input and passion for organisational culture that will impact business results,” says McEwan.

“The best organisations are addressing the knowledge, mindset and behaviour gaps of employees, by moving away from people-focused to process-focused strategies in order to get a higher level of alignment between the workforce and the desired culture,” he adds.

CEB, now Gartner, recommends a model of workforce-culture alignment for organisations who want to transform their culture: 

? Understanding the culture through employee-led diagnostics

? Operationalising the culture through processes that help employees understand how the culture applies in their day-to-day work

? Maximising leader impact by requiring leaders to design processes that support the culture needed



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