Are You Intentional About Culture or Do You Leave it to Chance?

by Energage

Top Workplaces leaders ask the tough questions and listen to their employees

Behind every Top Workplaces award-winning organization lies a simple truth: They stand out from the crowd because their leaders are willing to ask the tough questions. They have the guts to find out what’s really happening within their organizations. And they have the smarts to ask their employees: How are we doing — and how can we improve?

Not all leaders have this same degree of courage

Many would rather not burden themselves with the answers. They hope the workplace culture issue will somehow fix itself. But asking these tough questions draws the line between leadership teams who leave culture to chance and those who are intentional about culture. Top Workplaces know culture is the ultimate competitive advantage and they prioritize it each and every day. And the potential upside is substantial.

Top Workplaces achieve 2x engagement levels 

Employee engagement top workplacesAcross the general population of the U.S. workforce, only 31% of employees are engaged. Our research confirms this and others have reported the same.

But when leaders are intentional about culture, there’s a different story to tell. These organizations achieve engagement levels of 58%. That’s nearly double the national average! And at the top tier of companies we’ve surveyed, engagement levels exceed 86%. Just think about the unleashed potential at these organizations.

Culture-aware organizations also see an engagement boost

Even aspiring Top Workplaces — organizations that throw their hat in the ring but don’t reach the required culture standard — also exceed the U.S. average with employee engagement levels of 46%.

Employees in organizations where the leaders are open to employee feedback score higher on key engagement factors: They’re more likely to refer their workplace to friends and family, more committed to staying, and more likely to give their very best at work.

Companies that are intentional about culture excel at attracting and retaining the right talent. Read more here.

Leaders who are intentional about culture get better business results, too

We’re talking about significant differences in performance, such as:

  • Stronger execution: +23 percentage points higher than the average
  • Clearer direction: +25 percentage points
  • Better cooperation: +19 percentage points

In average organizations, fewer than half (49%) of employees report being well-informed and only 57% report that their senior leaders understand what is really happening. Among Top Workplaces, those numbers jump to 70%. All of these play into employee engagement. It also builds trust and commitment.

Being intentional about culture isn’t about pay and benefits

Top Workplaces don’t distinguish themselves with greater benefits, higher pay, or more flexible work arrangements. In fact, here we see a gap of nine, ten, and 12 percentage points respectively in positive responses between the population at large and Top Workplaces.

In today’s business world, an intentional culture is the only sustainable competitive advantage. So, it’s time to hold up the mirror and ask: Do you lead your culture or leave it to chance?