Recent buzz about corporate culture has many CEOs and their teams reassessing their current situation. Is their company’s culture still relevant in today’s fast-paced world?  What has changed since the time when their culture seemed to be a non-issue?

While there are many culture surveys available to answer these questions, here are two obvious behaviors leaders can look for on their own: turnover and engagement.

Turnover is the number one indicator of cultural issues and the most obvious indicator to employees. A cultural survey is not needed to tell the staff there is a problem. The amount of people coming and going from the organization stirs up a lot of discussion between those staying and those departing. It doesn’t take long for employees to begin asking if:

  • Their company is respected,
  • Their leaders are trusted,
  • They are valued by the company,
  • They are treated fairly, and
  • They are learning new things.

Engagement is a close second as an indicator of an effective culture. Again, no survey is needed to tell if the employees are engaged or not engaged. Employees are engaged when:

  • They volunteer for activities sponsored by the organization,
  • They participate in team meetings,
  • They consistently meet or exceed the expectations for their positions (and are recognized for doing so),
  • They provide honest feedback to leaders, and
  • They enjoy taking part in company celebrations.

If your organization is experiencing any of these behaviors, chances are you are in need of a cultural refresh. The solutions to these behaviors are a by-product of an authentic culture that is maintained and promoted by the leadership team. Surveys can quantify the need for a cultural recharge but good leaders know the signs and can tell you when a cultural recharge is necessary.


Next time:   Competing Values Framework – The Problem with Culture