Culture and engagement are often used interchangeably when describing the overall environment of an organization. While they’re highly correlated and typically go hand in hand, there are important distinctions that make each one unique.
What is Company Culture?
Company culture is defined as the overall practice, behaviors, and priorities that unite and motivate employees to achieve company goals. Culture is often thought of as the secret behind memorable brands and successful businesses. And that’s because culture is a company’s foundation, and a strong culture is one that is built with continuous and conscious effort.
A healthy and effective culture goes way beyond just how your business is perceived. Positive cultures keep employees engaged and invested by creating an environment that encourages people to do their best at work. This impact on productivity and revenue naturally positions an organization for long-term financial success.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach towards building a great company culture. Culture is born out of the priorities and values of a company, so it’s pretty unique to each organization. While company culture can vary as widely as the businesses in which it’s found, the purpose it serves remains the same – to consistently help the organization move closer to its goals.
What is Employee Engagement?
While culture is extremely important to the success of an organization, it’s more qualitative than quantitative. Employee engagement, on the other hand, serves as a quantifiable measure of the health of a company’s culture and its effectiveness. In a way, engagement presents a report card of your cultural impact – showcasing the successes and failures and identifying areas for change.
Simply put, engagement is the level of connection, motivation, and commitment a person feels for their workplace. By understanding and tracking employee sentiment around teamwork, leadership, and learning and development, you’ll collect a wealth of employee engagement data over time. These findings uncover areas that are effective and areas that need attention to help you assess the overall impact of company culture.
Defining Your Culture
There is no such thing as ‘the right culture,’ but there are certain guidelines to help ensure your culture aligns with your vision and values. The key to establishing a strong culture lies in ensuring that the priorities of the company and individual employees are in sync.
Today, most organizations recognize that culture is their true source of competitive advantage. While almost everything within a business is replicable – strategy, processes, tools – the one thing that can’t be copied is your culture. Engagement serves as a guiding light as companies strive to hone and refine their culture. Both are critical, and ultimately determine the fate of your organization.
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About Great Place to Work®
Great Place to Work® is the Global Authority on Workplace Culture. We make it easy to survey your employees, uncover actionable insights and get recognized for your great company culture. Learn more about Great Place to Work Certification.