February 14, 2014

According to a study by Pricewaterhouse Coopers, firms deemed ‘effective people managers’ were able to generate 35 percent higher revenue per employee.

A Gallup study has established that firms with high employee engagement are 50 percent more likely to have low staff turnover and 38 percent more likely to have higher productivity.

Companies with an ‘adaptive’ (i.e. an organization that learns from challenges and successes on an ongoing basis) culture that is aligned to their business goals routinely outperform their competitors; some studies report this difference as 200 percent or more.

So what is culture? In an organizational context one could say that a culture refers to the values and practices shared by the employees of a company. Very often culture develops unconsciously often based on the values and core beliefs of top management. Leaders could also more consciously influence the culture of an organization by articulating and actively communicating aspirational values.

According to a study done by Randstad US, a provider of HR and staffing services, 35 percent of employees report that company culture has the greatest impact on morale. A culture that employees thrive in is becoming more and more relevant to employees too given the significant chunk of time they spend at work. With the demise of traditional community companies are also fulfilling employees’ need to belong to a community.

By focusing on agency culture, agency leaders can not only meet the community and social needs of their employees, but if the evidence is anything to go by                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     perhaps also harvest the benefits of long term improved business results. The old Telstra line ‘It’s what brings us together that sets us apart’ comes to mind.

Anu D’Souza runs Bricoleur Consulting (, an HR services firm that focuses on the internal/ employee brand insights. Anu has lived and worked in multiple countries, has worked for multinationals such as Unilever and Ogilvy and has also served as a Board member with multiple non- profit organisations. This article was featured in Campaign Asia Pacific in 2012.

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