Hickock Boardman Benefits

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Why Culture Matters

The word culture as it pertains to organizations has been a hot topic for many business experts in recent years. Though many definitions of culture exist, anthropologists state that societies that flourish have “cultures” where groups have shared beliefs, customs, rituals, language and myths. Organizations are like mini-societies and as Edgar Schein, PhD, a corporate culture expert, states, “culture is the hidden force that drives most behaviors, both inside and outside the organization”. Essentially, organizational culture is how an organization is personified by its beliefs and values displayed by employees and leadership alike.

Culture matters a great deal in wellness. In well workplaces, a strong organizational culture is one where employee wellbeing goals are aligned with organizational values, vision and mission.  Powerful leadership and management, emphasis on employee wellbeing and company culture are crucial to employee health, performance and safety.  These together, are recognized as perfect conditions for organizational success where employees have the energy and passion to support not only their own wellbeing, but the wellbeing of their families and their communities at large. With a “culture first” mentality, organizations can expect to see more employees highly engaged in their work and their lives.  These employees tend to be more physically and emotionally healthy as well.  It’s no surprise that these highly engaged employees are 28% more likely to engage in wellbeing initiatives. http://www.gallup.com/businessjournal/168995/why-workplace-wellness-program-isn-working.aspx

Unfortunately, the sad truth about the workplace is that just 30% of employees are actively committed to doing a good job. According to Gallup’s 2014   State of the American Workplace   report, 50% of employees merely put their time in, while the remaining 20% act out their discontent in counterproductive ways, negatively influencing their coworkers, missing days on the job, and driving customers away through poor service. Gallup estimates that the 20% group alone costs the U.S. economy around half a trillion dollars each year. High-performing companies place culture as the top of their list.  The right culture can make all the difference for all stakeholders; the organization, the employees and the customers. And from a wellness point of view, “culture really matters for a strong workplace and a well culture allows employees to feel and be at their best day in and day out"!