Culture vs. engagement. Is there a winner?

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Culture vs. engagement. Is there a winner?

 

Hi All,

 

Here is your bi-weekly dose of “tip-trap-trick-thursday” insights  on how to digitally embed company culture.

A study by Deloitte shows that 87% of organisations cite culture and engagement as one of their top challenges, but which one should we prioritise?This week we asked subscribers if culture eats engagement  for breakfast or if engagement is the key metric. 60% of respondents believed that culture eats engagement for breakfast. Is there a winner?

 

Summary

:

TIP: If you have to prioritise one, choose culture

TRAP: Creating a great employee experience does not automatically result in a great customer experience

TRICK: Link your culture initiatives to real business metrics like the Net Promoter Score and margins in order to remove the “fluffy” stereotype

 

TIP: If you have to prioritise one, choose culture

Culture can create engagement however the opposite is not true. Lets take a deeper look into these two;

Engagement: Engagement is about creating an emotional connection between the employee and the organisation

Puts the employee at the center

Common set of drivers

 

Culture: Culture is about behavioural changes and getting employees to do the right thing as opposed to the easy thing

Culture puts the business metrics at the center

Drivers are customised based on the business strategy

 

The case study below demonstrates how focusing on the culture drives business metrics irrespective of engagement.

In 2011 Qantus Airlines experienced an employee strike due to wage negotiations. Something very interesting happened during this time, while engagement scores dropped the Net Promoter Scores increased. Qantus was able to maintain its high customer service and reduce operating expenses while its employee engagement numbers fell. This was testament to Qantus being able to successfully create a culture of great customer service.

TRAP: Creating a great employee experience does not automatically result in a great customer experience

Many HR managers believe that if they take care of the employee experience it will directly result in the customer experience improving. This is the old “take care of your employees and they will take care of your customers” mantra. Unfortunately, it is really not that simple. Just making employees happy is not a strategy. They need to understand the behaviours, processes and  mindset in order to deliver on your strategy. In short you need to define and influence the culture.

 

The case study below demonstrates the reality many organisations experience of just how disconnected employees are from understanding their customers, their challenges and desires.

 

While at a client workshop a leader spoke about their noble purpose which created a sense of pride within the employees. However emotions quickly changed when a clip of a recent client call was played. The caller wept as she spoke about the company not being able to pay out her father’s funeral insurance cover (Apparently this was due to back-office challenges). The young lady spoke about having to borrow money for the funeral and how degrading this was considering the fact that she had been contributing every month. As she wept ,she called the people working for the company criminals!

 

While employees were shocked, it was a great example of how distant they had become with their customers. If our strategy talks about customer centricity then we need a plan to enable awareness, shape mindsets and create behaviours. Employee happiness can only take us  so far.

 

TRICK: Link your culture initiatives to real business metrics like the Net Promoter Score and margins in order to remove the “fluffy” stereotype

Fortune favours the brave, this is the same for culture. It takes a brave HR Team to commit to enabling real business metrics, NPS and margins through the culture initiatives. Rather the promise is “culture is a long-term journey”. This is the cause for business calling culture ” fluffy.”

Often these interventions deliver engagement benefits which leave employees feeling excited but with little correlation to the strategy. Instead of prioritising engagement we need to focus on culture to drive engagement.

Organisations need to define the behaviours for success, make clear on what is the 20% that will make the 80% impact and embed these behaviours. These need to be measured against real business metrics. If not, HR will continue to find it difficult to shrug off the “fluffy stuff” reputation.We have always said that culture eats strategy for breakfast. It is now time for culture to eat engagement.

 

Enjoy the rest of your week!

 

Mishanth

mishanth@stratagc.co.za

084 280 9206

Founder | Strata Game Changers


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