The Real MVP: Workplace Culture vs Employee Engagement




The Real MVP: Why Workplace Culture should be prioritised over Employee Engagement

While exploring organisational behaviour, there’s been a tug of war in my mind. On one side, we have Employee Engagement, and on the other, the all-encompassing Workplace Culture. And after much reflection, I've come to believe that the heart of an organisation—its culture—deserves a tad more spotlight than we've been giving it.  Here's why:

1. Decoding the DNA: Culture vs. Engagement Pulse Check

Imagine walking into a room where every piece of furniture, the colour of the walls, the music playing, even the scent in the air—it all tells you a story. That's what culture is to an organisation: its very essence, its life story. It's the unspoken language everyone understands.

Engagement? It's like a snapshot, a selfie if you will. It captures the mood of the moment, showing how employees feel right now.


2. The Classic Case of the Chicken and the Egg:

Now, what came first: the chicken or the egg? In our world, culture is the chicken. It lays the foundation, creating ripples of effect, often leading to employees feeling more invested and engaged.
Engagement is the egg.  It's essential, no doubt, but it's born from the nest of culture.

3. Riding the Waves vs. Being the Ocean:

Culture is like the vast ocean, deep and steady. Sure, business strategies will come and go like the tides, but the core essence, the culture, remains, providing that much-needed anchor.

Engagement, in contrast, rides the waves. It can be sky-high one quarter and take a dip the next.


4. Casting the Net Wide:

Let's play detective. If you're looking to solve the mystery of how decisions are made, how teams innovate, or how successes get the limelight, culture is your prime suspect.
Engagement? It’s the eyewitness account, giving you snippets of the emotional scene but not always the full story.

5. The Magnetic Pull of Talent:

Imagine you're at a bustling career fair. What draws you to a stall? It's the vibe, the values they stand for—essentially, their culture. It’s that first impression that makes you think, "Hmm, could I fit here?"

Once you're in, it's the level of engagement that might make you stay, but culture? That's the initial charm.


6. When Strategy and Culture Tango:

Ah, the dance between strategy and culture. When they’re in sync, it's poetry in motion. But a misaligned culture is like stepping on your partner's toes—a painful hurdle in the dance of progress.

Engagement, while reactive, can show how well the organisation is keeping pace with the strategic beats.

7. Breaking Down Silos and Walls:

Every organisation has its little cliques or departments. But what binds everyone in a harmonious chorus? A shared culture. It’s the thread weaving through every floor, desk, and corner office.

Engagement, with its variability, often depends on the immediate surroundings and team vibes, giving insights into individual islands but not always the entire archipelago.


8. The Dive vs. The Skim:

When I look at cultural assessments, I picture them as deep-sea dives, revealing the coral reefs, the marine life, and sometimes, the lurking challenges in the depths.

Engagement surveys? They're like skimming the surface on a jet ski. Thrilling, yes, and providing a sense of the water's feel, but they might not capture what lies beneath.
So, as we pull up our chairs and mull over boardroom decisions, let's not forget the behemoth that is Workplace Culture. While engagement will always have its rightful place in the spotlight, understanding the depth and breadth of our cultural landscape will pave the way for organic, sustained engagement. After all, a happy ship sails smoother seas!

At The Get Go, we employ a dual approach when engaging with our clients in Phase 1 of our working relationship.   

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Workplace Culture Consultant

Captain of The Get Go

Happier employees = Higher Profits
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