The findings from a global survey of over 3,200 employees from various countries have made it clear that corporate leaders are increasingly beginning to view corporate culture as a tool which is responsible for increased productivity throughout the global pandemic. There is little doubt that the Covid-19 pandemic forced companies across various countries to innovate, and to do so quickly in order to meet the needs presented by the pandemic. Many respondents to this survey noted that their positive organizational culture played an important role in the successful creation and integration of such initiative programs into their corporate culture. Additionally, they stated that their positive organizational culture gave them a competitive edge over competing companies.
Notably, the majority of respondents stated that culture influences decisions and strategies surrounding the organization, and affects employee happiness and productivity. Together, these factors can either increase or decrease employee retention, depending on the organizational culture at work. However, this survey also found a clear distinction between what organizational leaders stated their culture was, when compared to their employees.
However, if organizational leaders employ a few key strategies, they can begin to address this discrepancy in order to bring the inclusive corporate structure they emphasize into fruition. Additionally, these can create a corporate culture that encourages growth, rather than stagnation.
Culture becomes more important to leadership
- Over 67% of executives believe that organizational culture is more important to the success and stability of a company than their operative procedures or strategies.
- Over 70% of executives stated that a positive culture supports the creation of change initiatives within a company.
Culture is a source of competitive advantage
When faced with the rigors of the pandemic, the survey showed that the companies which coped the best and were most able to remain profitable during the pandemic, were those that had previously worked towards having a positive organizational culture prior to the start of the pandemic. These were also the companies which saw higher employee satisfaction, retention, and higher profit margins despite the challenges of the previous fiscal year. Notably, the factors which supported this were companies which managed to limit a discrepancy between the executive culture and that of their employees. Additionally, it is when employees feel that they are a valued part of the organization that a company is best able to succeed and implement further initiatives.
- Of those surveyed who stated that their company adapted well to the pandemic, over 60% noted that culture was an advantage of their competitors.
A gap in authenticity when dealing with inclusion issues
Data shows that employees commonly view the inclusive nature of an organization as far different from that of their leaders. It is common that leaders believe that their business is extremely inclusive and accepting, however, this is not often the case presented by their workers.
- Over 70% of senior managers feel a personal stake in the organization’s mission, compared to just over 50% of the rest of the workers.
- Over half of those who believe that their company has a unique culture noted that their organization was willing to adapt to employees with unique challenges.
Studies have found that just under half of the listed enablers for a positive organizational culture came to bear during the pandemic. Due to this, it is clear that organizations with a stable, cohesive, and distinct cultural identity are better equipped to adapt to unforeseeable limiting factors which may change the typical operating procedures and profitability within an industry. Additionally, it is clear that these are the organizations most likely to gain a competitive advantage over competitors during such events.
1. Tone from the top
2. Technology and tools
3. Incentives, compensations, and benefits
4. Development and training
5. Formal communications
6. Employee networks
7. Engagement networks
8. Feedback gathered and acted upon
9. Visible signals from leaders
Arthur Mansourian has a 12-year track record as both a management consultant and investment banker, advising clients on valuation, capital markets, structured financing, mergers, acquisitions and divestitures and general corporate strategy.
Mr. Mansourian served as Vice President while at NMS Capital Advisors, when the company achieved cumulative sales growth of over 5,100% with annual compounded sales growth in excess of 120% from 2012 to 2017.
Aykut Cakir has worked for major Fortune 500 companies such as Procter & Gamble, Roche Pharma Group, and John Deere. He has 28 years of experience in Operational Finance, Accounting and in General Management with international business experience including in the USA, Europe, Middle East and Turkey.
Aykut holds a Bachelor’s degrees in Finance and Economics from the University of North Carolina. He also teaches, Financial Analysis, Project Management, and Decision-Making classes part-time at the Beykent University. Lastly, he’s published an internationally accredited article on “Financial Perspective on cost of Palliative Care.”