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How Your Culture Impacts Engagement

Updated: Oct 23, 2019

Much is written about the impact of culture on employee engagement and organizational growth. Having been inside hundreds of organizations, I’ve seen both eye popping and subtle representations of culture.


If you’re tuned in, I believe you can quickly get a feel for your culture. By watching, listening and experiencing your organization as an observer, you can detect signs of an attractive culture or one that causes employees to flee.


Walk around your office, look in on meetings, visit the break room and observe whether you see people smiling having Fun or Frowning. Are you always a serious bunch or is there some laughter and levity.


Consider your growth strategy and fiscal health. Do your employees have confidence in the organization’s direction and financial performance? Are you on solid Footing or are you Fiscally Floundering?

When conversations occur about problems facing your organization, do you hear Fixed or Forward thinking? Are employees trapped in belief systems that inhibit accountability or do the conversations represent a growth mindset?


Is your culture Fearless or Fearful? Do your employees have the autonomy to act or must they ask for permission? Do people speak up in meetings, offer new ideas, and respectfully challenge one another?


Do managers fail to provide Feedback or is it delivered at the right Frequency? And does it focus on Failure or is it Fruitful to an employee’s development?


What is the culture more comfortable with - Formulas or Freehand? Would I see employees doing what it takes to wow your customers or simply hear them reciting policy?


How much gossip, loose lips and lying occurs in your organization. Does your culture accept Falsehoods or encourage Frankness?


Who gets attention and promotions? How do you solve interpersonal conflict? Are you operating with Fundamental Fairness or influenced by Favoritism?


What happens when people make mistakes. Are they Flogged or Forgiven? Do conversations seek to understand what occurred from which everyone can learn or do they result in fault finding and indictment?


Have relationships developed where people feel mutual respect, acceptance and belonging or does the culture promote unhealthy competition. Do coworkers and departments see one another as Friend or Foe?


Here’s a final few ‘F’s” that also stand out.

Do people celebrate and support one another at work? Is there Food to be shared and are there events and gatherings that include Family? And consider the physical environment too. Do the Furniture and Fixtures promote pride or embarrassment about the workspace?


Lastly, do your employees have the Freedom to express their Feelings about their culture, leaders and teammates? How much conversation is filtered versus authentic?


My encouragement is to pay close attention and work to develop a culture that helps drive employee engagement.


Questions to Consider

What in this article describes your present culture that drives engagement?


What in this article describes your present culture that inhibits engagement?


What in this article describes what you want to see more of in your culture?


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2020 Tom Schreiber