Your Culture Under a Microscope: Lead

Editor's Note: Today we welcome our guest, Mollie Lombardi. This is the third and final part in a 3 part series about workplace culture under a microscope. But first, make sure you check out part 1 and part 2.

Whether you realize it or not, leaders set the tone for the corporate culture from the top. While they alone cannot shift or create culture, leaders are one of the most important resources when it comes to: (1) amplifying or starving your organizational culture; and (2) reinforcing organizational norms and expectations. The key to encouraging both of these foundational principles is the often-under-appreciated skill of giving feedback. Aptitude Research has found that when managers are trained in this critical role of giving feedback, there’s much greater alignment around performance expectations as well as organizational culture. 

Superior organizations always support managers in developing the critical skill of giving constructive feedback. According to Aptitude Research study data, organizations giving constructive feedback are 57% more likely to indicate that they have above-average levels of productivity (66% vs. 42%). And organizations that help managers learn the skills of feedback are 36% more likely to indicate they had improved their employee experience over the past year (64% vs. 47%).   

This level of communication and feedback also has an impact on an organization’s ability to develop a common sense of culture. This unified view of culture is critical, because the culture sets the stage for the behaviors expected when delivering a business strategy. 

Culture and communication go hand-in-hand when it comes to setting expectations and aligning your organization for success. And when employees and leaders have a common view of the culture and its purpose within an organization--meaning a collective or shared experience of the culture—they’re 57% more likely (57% vs. 36%) to achieve above-industry-average levels of customer retention, and twice as likely (63% vs. 31%) to achieve above-industry-average levels of customer satisfaction. 


Finally, an organization's culture is its calling card to the rest of the world, setting the stage for experiences by potential customers and employees alike. The transparency that social media has brought sheds light on your organization's treatment of its employees. If you’re not living your culture--and supporting it with your technology—customers, current employees, and potential employees will know, sooner rather than later. 

Mollie Lombardi is a researcher, writer, and speaker focused on the intersection of human capital strategies, technologies, and processes. Her work has appeared in such publications as Fast Company, the Wall Street Journal, Inc. and other industry trade publications. Her main focus is primary research aimed at helping individuals and organizations blend efficiency, engagement, inclusion, and performance through the use of technology. She Is Co-founder of Aptitude Research Partners, and has held a number of leadership roles at industry analyst firms. 

Follow Mollie on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Be sure to check out her website