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The Journal Gazette

Sunday, March 31, 2019 1:00 am

Workplace culture plays vital role

LISA GREEN | The Journal Gazette

Culture is quite the buzz among leadership and workplace interests.

One of the latest emails about culture to land in my inbox came this month from Eagle Hill Consulting, based on a national online Workplace Culture Survey last summer that drew nearly 1,020 responses. The 2018 survey was conducted by Ipsos.

Sixty-three percent of employees say workplace culture directly impacts their organization's success. The majority – 77 percent – believe culture influences much of their job performance or doing their best work. Seventy-six percent say it affects productivity and efficiency, and 74 percent say it affects their ability to best serve customers.

Although employees believe culture “has a profound impact on the workforce and business success, organizations find culture to be nebulous, and they struggle to assess and manage it,” according to a report from Eagle Hill, which provides assessment resources for companies.

“Organizational culture is the unsung hero of long-term organizational success,” Melissa Jezior, Eagle Hill's president and CEO, said in a statement.

Companies that don't manage and measure their culture are at a disadvantage, “especially in a tight labor market when it's incredibly difficult to find and keep top talent,” Jezior said. Culture can “quickly become a liability, instead of the competitive asset that it should be.”

Eagle Hill outlines five critical elements of workplace culture, starting with core values – an organization's fundamental beliefs intended to guide decision making and actions. Disconnects between what individuals value and what organizations value fuel cultural mismatches.

Leadership, another element, guides an organization's overall direction and embodies its core values. But “trust gaps” can cause organizations to be less effective. Those often occur, according to the survey report, when people do not feel heard by leadership.

Relationships, authenticity and satisfaction are the other critical elements.

Relationships are the connections and trust that individuals build with colleagues at work.

Authenticity, the consulting firm says, is the genuineness of employee and organizational behaviors, while satisfaction is how content employees feel at work. Most employees responding to the survey – nearly three-fourths – are happy at work. Sixty-five percent would recommend their workplace to others.

Overall, 58 percent of workers would stay at their organization even if offered a similar position elsewhere. But when employees report being happy at work, that jumps to 72 percent, while only 11 percent of those who say they are not happy would stay in the same situation.

Leadership forum

A list of more than a dozen speakers who have committed to sharing at this year's two-day Global Leadership Summit, Aug. 8-9, has been released.

They include Craig Groeschel, co-founder and senior pastor of Life.Church; Bozoma Saint John, a former Uber executive now chief marketing officer for Endeavor; Patrick Lencioni, best-selling author, founder and CEO, The Table Group; Aja Brown, who at age 31 made history as the youngest elected mayor of the city of Compton, California; Chris Voss, former FBI hostage negotiator, CEO and founder, The Black Swan Group; and DeVon Franklin, producer, author, speaker and CEO of Franklin Entertainment.

Fort Wayne is among more than 500 remote sites – and the largest based on attendance – for the leadership training event. The summit is broadcast via satellite from the Willow Creek Church campus in South Barrington, Illinois.

Memorial Coliseum became the local host site about two years ago due to attendance growth. Attendance was more than 4,200 in 2017, the first year it was at the Coliseum. Attendance last year was down, less than 2,900.

For those interested in attending at the Coliseum, more information is at www.fortwayneleaders.com.

To share a thought, a favorite quote or other wisdom about leadership, email Lisa Green at lisagreen@jg.net. Lead On also appears online as a blog at www.journalgazette.net/blog/lead-on/.