Magazine article Talent Development

Not All Leaders Buy into the Power of Culture: Leaders Who Get Results Believe That Organizational Culture Matters and Act Accordingly

Magazine article Talent Development

Not All Leaders Buy into the Power of Culture: Leaders Who Get Results Believe That Organizational Culture Matters and Act Accordingly

Article excerpt

Culture can make or break an organization's success. It affects company productivity and performance, customer interactions, and employee engagement and retention. In strong cultures, employees share a common set of values and norms that unite them and inform their behavior. Everyone knows how things are done. In weak cultures, employees are on their own in determining what's appropriate or expected behavior, often resulting in organizational disorder, dysfunction, and relatively poor performance.

The power of culture seems straightforward, but obviously it's not--otherwise, all companies would be high performers. Because leaders at the top of the organization play an outsize role in ensuring the development of strong cultures, Dale Carnegie set out to explore these leaders' perceptions of organizational culture, the factors that shape it, and the impact they believe culture has on organizational outcomes.

Dale Carnegie surveyed 760 corporate leaders (vice president and higher) across a variety of international markets for its report, Transforming Attitudes and Actions: How Senior Leaders Create Successful Workplace Cultures. Across the board, 81 percent of leaders said their company is committed to creating a high-performing culture--but only 19 percent rated the health of their cultures as "excellent." This wide disparity between intention and results prompted a deeper dive into the data to explore the disconnect.

Leaders who rated their own cultures as excellent (and who also reported financial performance that exceeded expectations, low employee turnover rates, and high employee engagement scores) were compared with all other leaders surveyed. …

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