Culture Is A Top Challenge for Business Leaders

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Facing increased pressure to deliver more growth and productivity while addressing workforce mobility trends and skills shortages, 87 percent of business leaders cite organizational culture and employee engagement as their top challenge, according to Deloitte’s “Global Human Capital Trends 2015” report.

“Organizational culture is top-of-mind for the C-suite today because business is changing more rapidly — and is more competitive — than ever before,” says Anthony Abbatiello, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP. “To thrive in this environment, companies must understand their employees’ beliefs and motivations, and connect those emotionally-influenced decisions and actions to business strategy. Organizations that align people to purpose are more engaged and better able to achieve key business goals.”

Deloitte recommends that organizations focus on three critical areas:

  1. Align culture with business strategy. Today, culture is an enabler of strategy. This means companies should define the behaviors that align to achieving their business strategy.
  2. Make emotional connections with employees. Companies need to take a page from consumer marketing and create emotional connections between the strategy and the workforce to create engaged, productive, and loyal employees. Research has found that “mission-driven” companies have 30 percent higher levels of innovation and 40 percent higher retention.
  3. Take your culture off cruise control. A company must actively manage its culture and adjust desired behaviors and processes as business strategies evolve over time to have an enduring effect on business performance and the bottom line.

“To make a significant and lasting impact on culture change, the levers that drive performance and behaviors need to be adjusted over time because the business strategy, work and employees continually change,” says Marc Kaplan, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP, and national leader of the organization transformation and talent service line. “While culture can sometimes seem amorphous, it is possible to measure and develop required cultural attributes. Still, there needs to be an ongoing commitment to monitoring, measuring and actively shaping the culture organizations need to drive the organizational strategy.” 

Responding to this need, Deloitte developed CulturePathTM to help companies measure their culture, pinpoint strengths and gaps, and drive behaviors needed to achieve critical business objectives. Using an analytics-driven diagnostic, the solution measures eight specific indices. This includes four foundational attributes that are core to achievement of specific business strategies – collective focus; risk and governance; external orientation; and change and innovation. Plus, four differentiating attributes tied directly to behavioral motivations and emotions – courage, commitment, inclusion, and shared beliefs.