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Ten Laws of Employee Engagement – Law #10

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CORPORATE CULTURE IS ESSENTIAL TO WORKPLACE ENGAGEMENT

Whenever we work with companies, they are anxious to get our list of tactical steps to increase employee engagement to begin implementation.   Unfortunately, tactical actions, no matter how many or in what combination, are not enough to create a truly sustainable high performance organization.  Sustainable change and improvement can come only through sustained (consistent and repeated) behavioral norms that are congruent with organizational core values, mission and vision. The most efficient and effective way to do that is with organizational culture that serves as a constant guide and reminder of what is expected from every employee every minute of the day. Culture in an organization is built on two primary sources: the stated core values, mission and vision (understood throughout the company) and, more important, the visible daily behavior of leadership (from the CEO down to the line supervisor). Plaques on the wall quickly become meaningless when the lofty goals and norms are not reinforced by leadership actions. What leadership actually does, how they behave, is far more illustrative than any other factor of what the cultural norms are. If you want know where most of the cynicism comes from in a company, look no further than the dissonance between what is stated and what is lived (demonstrated by leaders) and observed/experienced by staff. There is no list of engagement “solutions,” no matter how expertly crafted or deployed, that can overcome a company culture that is incongruent with those solutions (or nonexistent).

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