Does Your Culture Statement Align with Your Employee Experience?

Does Your Culture Statement Align with Your Employee Experience?

Many companies are placing a great deal of emphasis on organizational culture and building a reputation that aligns with it. They’re focused on creating a set of beliefs, supported by the aligned behavior of the organizational leaders, that hopefully filters down to each employee and what they feel about working at their company. That shift isn’t easy and it’s not a quick fix.

At the Center for Leadership Excellence, we believe that “great leaders and great culture create great organizations.” But what does that mean exactly?  Well, simply put, it means the employee “experience” and what the company values are in alignment – and that alignment is dictated by the actions of their leaders.  When there is not alignment, there’s a disconnect. That disconnect can show up in employee performance, retention, satisfaction, and engagement. It can show up in recruiting, hiring, sales, and much more.  More importantly, one leader can impact the organizational culture and what the employee “experience” looks like.

A recent experience with a client’s organization demonstrates how one leader can make a huge impact on culture.  This organization has a long-standing practice committed to both developing leaders from within, but also hiring bright leaders with potential, from outside the organization. In a situation with a high-potential new hire, who’d been with the organization for about a year, they called on us to help.

This new leader was told that the company wanted a “change agent” who could both move projects along, as well as operationalize new projects quickly. So, drawing on the leadership characteristics to do just that, he set about the actions he thought would help the company achieve its goals. He quickly found himself running up against a number of road blocks. Internal teams, complained that about his action-oriented style, that he was not collaborative enough, and he didn’t take into consideration the importance of building relationships within the teams he was trying to help.

This leader was drawing upon his instincts and past experiences, without taking into consideration the organizational culture and the impact these quick changes might be having on the people within the organization.

Fortunately, the client didn’t want to give up on the leader.  So, they invested in Leadership Coaching to help him “re-set” his reputation within the organization and build greater alignment to the cultural goals of the organization. This leader quickly began to realize that what had worked for him in his past organizations, wouldn’t work here, and agreed to do the work that would get him back on track.  Through our coaching, he was able to see the benefits of “taking time” to better understand what was important to these internal teams, so that he could begin to “gently” nudge them to change the way they’d previously been doing things.

There were many benefits to this leader from our coaching, but the most significant was learning the importance of meeting people where they were and taking the time to develop relationships before taking action. And the benefit to the organization, was the ability to “save” a high potential leader who could really make a difference for the company going forward.  The organization also preserved the employee-centric culture that was and continues to be, so important to them.

Changes in leadership can dramatically affect an organization’s culture, but it doesn’t have to eliminate the cultural values and goals you have organizationally. We can help you assess your new leaders to help mitigate these situations. If your organization is dealing with cultural misalignment, we can help navigate the situation and get the organization “back on track” and preserve your culture!

Visit our website at to learn more about our Executive Coaching and Leadership Development Programs, as well as how our Culture Marker Assessment may help.

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