By: Jeff Wilbanks, Executive Recruiter

One of the most important topics on the minds of CEOs and senior HR leaders is culture and engagement. No surprise, the job market is still hot, many skills are in scarce supply, and your employment experience is highly transparent. The competition for top talent is fierce as organizations find new tools to help find, attract, and recruit the people they want.  Also, we have entered a world in which open feedback and transparency are expected. HR professionals are still relying on the old-fashioned, once a year engagement survey to keep in touch with employees. This feedback process has to be thrown out and be replaced by a process of continuous feedback going to managers, HR and business leaders. Companies are investing in real-time employee feedback solutions which will provide valuable data on work practices, safety situations, customer service and management within the organization.  Any assessment or tool to capture and measure employee feedback is trending as a major discipline within HR and business.

Culture has become and will continue to be a strategic business priority.  While feedback and engagement are critical wellness measures in an organization, culture is the framework that helps people to understand how to work. Working with HR leaders and discussing this topic, it is also very difficult to change a culture. It is deeply embedded in the practices, behaviors, reward systems used in the company.  When you merge with another company, change CEOs, or go through a business transition, culture can make or break your success. Going through this transformation requires the right training, changes in hiring, and constant communication with all employee levels.  In many cases, leaders do not know where in the company the culture is the strongest or weakest.

When Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was in charge from 2000 to early 2014, the company was being criticized by employees for company culture and the company was struggling in many ways. When Satya Nadella took over, he focused on building a new corporate culture. Microsoft’s share price skyrocketed from $28 under Ballmer to $137 in August 2019. Nadella commented on HR changes saying, “Each of our over 16,000 managers needs to be an effective culture champion dedicated to improving the experience of our employees.”

As topics of culture and engagement will continue to be on the rise, it is important that organizations check their pulse when it comes to culture and engagement. Successful companies understand this philosophy and are willing/able to shift while reaping the financial rewards.  Other companies will stay behind and have a steep hill to climb within the market.

We’d be happy to discuss corporate culture with you.  Whether you are in the market for top talent at your company or ready to make the move to the next career step, contact us and we can help!



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