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3 Drivers of an Exceptional Company Culture

Workplace culture can be the engine that propels corporate achievements or leads to misfires. To cultivate a thriving organization, it is essential for leaders to regularly check in on the environment they are creating and identify opportunities to maintain a positive, productive atmosphere for all employees.


The Potential Impact of Workplace Climate

Culture is vital to attracting and retaining exceptional talent. 88% of job seekers say that a strong work environment is pivotal to their success. Employees who feel connected to their organization’s culture are 55% less likely to look for other jobs and 3.7X more likely to be engaged.


Attaining an elevated level of commitment cannot be overlooked as it also translates into enhanced financial benefits. Companies that have higher employee engagement levels experience a 21% increase in profitability and a 17% rise in productivity. Additionally, businesses with compelling corporate cultures see a 4X increase in revenue, compared to those with weak ones.


94% of executives acknowledge the impact their workplace environment has on performance. Yet, while it is almost universally recognized that culture is important, we still see so many corporations struggling to create a meaningful employee experience.


The Complexities that Impact Culture

When employers invest in developing the culture, they must consider that their personnel have differing drivers of engagement, evolving expectations as a multi-generational workforce and have weathered significant change in the past few years.


Often, when leaders set out to shape their companies, the ethos tends to reflect the values and attitudes that best engage and motivate them. However, no two people are exactly alike, so, understandably, employees have varied preferences when it comes to their desired climate.


Differing expectations will only continue to grow as personnel from multiple generations enter the workforce. Gen Z and millennial employees are often seeking more purpose-driven roles, a commitment to work-life balance and the opportunity to make an immediate impact. To balance the needs and interests of all generations, the culture needs to be adaptive.


Additionally, companies are in a time of rapid transformation. Artificial intelligence and big data are impacting the type of work people engage in. Shifts in privacy regulations are adjusting how businesses operate, and leaders continue to explore the right balance of in-person and remote experiences. Each of these factors is affecting employee-employer relations and expectations.


The Top 3 Priorities to Amplify Culture

While every organization faces its own evolutions, the good news is that there are actions leaders can take to fuel a remarkable culture for all employees by investing resources in:

  • Offering training and development programs

  • Cultivating a sense of belonging

  • Communicating effectively


Offering Training and Development Programs

Organizations with motivating environments are committed to supporting the growth of their people. Deloitte reported that opportunities to learn were the number one factor that motivated Gen Z at work, and 59% of millennials say that professional development is extremely important when applying for a job. With these generations making up a sizable portion of the workforce, leaders who prioritize learning as a principal component of their culture will see more engaged, productive personnel.


It is not only the younger generations who benefit from learning. As AI advances the skill sets that employees need to thrive, every staff member can benefit from a focus on continuous growth.


Investing in the development of people signals a company’s commitment to its employees and desire to help them gain the skills they need to succeed throughout their careers. It also generates win-win opportunities as professional development promotes organizational agility, empowering the corporation to adapt as business practices, processes and roles transform.


Cultivating a Sense of Belonging

Exceptional firms create a sense of belonging by ensuring that employees feel valued, welcomed and respected. As companies grow, they are likely to hire more staff members with various backgrounds, experiences and perspectives, so leaders need to establish an atmosphere where staff feel safe to share their authentic points of view. When they do, incredible things happen for the individual and the organization.


Employees who feel their voices are heard are 4.6X more likely to perform to the best of their ability, and diverse viewpoints lead to greater innovation and problem-solving. Belonging was also found to be the top driver of employee engagement. To cultivate this environment, an EY study found that it’s best to prioritize trust and respect.


By encouraging staff members to be themselves, share their viewpoints and listen to one another, employers will build a motivating, psychologically safe workplace for all.


Communicating Effectively

Transparent and open communication is integral to a flourishing company. In its absence, employees may feel disconnected from the vision and direction of the organization, which can lead to disengagement and productivity losses, especially in times of rapid change.


71% of employees think that their leaders do not invest adequate time in explaining goals and strategies, opening a significant opportunity for differentiation for employers who are willing to put in the extra effort.


Positive workplace cultures are marked by inclusive conversations around decision-making, clarity into business priorities and transparency over results. When employees are also invited to share their input, raise concerns and work together to address challenges, the employer benefits from collective problem-solving and builds a community that is truly engaged in achieving desired outcomes together.


Shifting the direction of a company culture takes time and intention. When leaders prioritize continuous learning, belonging and transparency, they will be able to cultivate high-performing, highly engaging workplaces. When they do so, employers will be well on the way to achieving greater success.


Marie Unger serves as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Emergenetics® International, an organizational development company dedicated to realizing the potential of people within businesses, educational environments and the community.  As CEO, Marie guides the companies’ operations by providing strategic direction to drive its growth. Most recently, Marie served as President of Emergenetics International. She brings more than 15 years of strategic management experience and more than 20 years of experience in education.  Since joining the Emergenetics and Student/Teacher Emergenetics Program team in 2013, she has become a Master Associate and has consulted with thousands of business leaders, employees and educators around the world, where she helps them apply Emergenetics theories and cognitive diversity to create positive, productive workplace cultures. An expert in the way people prefer to think and behave, Marie empowers organizations to optimize communication, increase cohesion, improve team performance and amplify employee engagement. Prior to joining Emergenetics, Marie was a teacher, school principal, Human Resource Director and Director of Elementary Education for the third largest school district in the state of Colorado. As school principal, Marie’s schools received numerous honors and distinction from the State of Colorado for Outstanding Achievement and Academic Growth as well as being named as a Top Elementary school in the state of Colorado by 5280 Magazine. Marie graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Northern Colorado with a degree in Communications and an emphasis in Elementary Education. She obtained her master’s degree from the University of Phoenix in Education Administration. 



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