Recognise This! –It matters little that executives and employees agree on the importance of a strong culture if they cannot agree on how to implement, influence and maintain one.

Frequent readers of my blog know I write often about the importance of a strong company culture, especially one based on recognition. But how important is culture to a company’s success? And do employees and executives agree on the relative importance of culture?

Thanks to a recent survey from Deloitte, we know that yes, they do agree.

“94% of executives and 88% of employees believe a distinct workplace culture is important to business success.”

In fact, executives and managers alike agree on the importance of culture to organisation success, as evidenced by these results from the survey:

And yet, “Only 19% of executives and 15% of employees believe strongly that their culture is widely upheld within their own organisations.”

Therein lies the rub. If we all agree that culture is critical success, how is it that we cannot seem to figure out how to live out that culture?

Perhaps it’s because executives and employees do not agree on what factors most impact a culture. Keep in mind, it’s these factors that make it possible to “live” and uphold the culture broadly throughout the organisation.

Factors that Most Impact Culture

Executives Say:
Financial performance (65%)
Competitive compensation (62%)

Employees Say:
Regular and candid communications (50%)
Employee recognition (49%)
Access to management (47%)

It’s also not at all surprising that the factors executives consider to be most important ranked among the lowest for employees.

Indeed, what’s most needed is to get executives and employees on the same priorities page. Instead of focussing so much on “competitive compensation,” perhaps executives should insist on fair pay structures and then more effectively use that budget to fund a strategic employee recognition programme.

And yes, financial performance is inarguably important, but success can only be achieved when all employees are pulling in the same direction. Recognise and reward them when they live your values in contribution to achieving your financial performance objectives. This gives them regular communication on what matters most to executives.

What do you think is most important to culture?

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