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Workplace Engagement InsightsLatest Employee Engagement NewsLeadershipCulture Matters – How to Get Top Employee Performance

Culture Matters – How to Get Top Employee Performance


Some articles that come my way really hit the mark, and a recent article by Gregory Ciotti does just that. The article, “Why Good Employees Make Bad Decisions”, discusses how a company’s working environment has a significant impact on its employees.

The author reaches the very astute conclusion that culture matters and the leadership of the organization sets the tone. 

Three key variables at play are:

  1. Leadership
  2. Values
  3. Team interaction

These three variables determine how decision-making in your organization happens. As the author states, if these variables are handled poorly, they can “cause otherwise good people to make bad decisions”.

The article goes on to describe five things employers and leaders need to get right in order to foster the type of company culture that creates engaged, productive employees.

The five essential things you need to get right are:

shutterstock_1766148381. Goal Setting

As Ciotti explains, you don’t want employees to start feeling like a “cog in the machine”.

This can happen when goal setting is not done well. When goals aren’t communicated properly, employees can become detached from them.

Instead, shared goals and shared meaning must be created.

I call this “Line of Sight”, and of course the process of setting smart goals.

2. Time Pressure

We need to focus on balance for employees.

“Ideal work/life balance tends to be achieved when the individual feels busy but not rushed.”

Making sure employees have balance and aren’t faced with time pressure strain will allow them to engage with their work – and behave in a way that causes others to engage as well.

3. Leadership Needs to Set the Tone

My favorite saying on this one is “the fish stinks from the head down”.

Employees will follow the tone and norms set by their leaders. You are the example that they follow. If you act unethically or out of sync with the values of your organization, employees will be influenced by your actions and attitude.

4. Competition Kept in Check

Competition can be good … but it needs to be kept in check.

Too much competition will lead to poor behaviour and a breakdown of the core moral fabric of your company. The leadership needs to oversee competition within the organization to ensure it doesn’t get out of hand.

I wrote a blog several weeks ago that pointed out the need to build a collaborative culture if you want to attract and retain the best of the millennials; click here to read it.

5. Coaching and Teaching

Leaders need to spend time coaching and teaching. That may be the single most important role of a leader: encouraging, nurturing, and developing employees to become the best they can be.

Help employees to engage in their work and excel – don’t micromanage.

I discussed this in a recent blog about how the best leaders … do nothing.


Create the company culture you want. Reward the values you want to encourage. Walk the walk. Hire the types of people that will fit in with your culture and engage within your organization.

Don’t leave culture to develop on its own without clear purpose. As the leader, you must intentionally create a healthy corporate culture.

>> All of these variables and more are part of how we measure engagement at Workplace Engagement Insights. To get a handle on how your culture is doing, contact us to talk about conducting an Employee Engagement Survey.  

Want to start building a great company culture right now? Download my FREE cheat sheet: Improving Employee Engagement in Just 10 Minutes.

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Written by Dwight Lacey

Dwight Lacey

Dwight is the President at Workplace Engagement Insights. He leads Workplace Engagement Insights with a clear understanding of the latest employee engagement research, survey best practices, and leadership styles that create successful businesses.

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