Corporate culture – a story for success?

If half your employees suddenly decided to quit their jobs simultaneously, and with no warning, how would you feel? You probably wouldn’t be the happiest bunny in the burrow, and you’d likely feel pretty betrayed too. After all, you gave those people a job, salary, and development opportunities, so what more could they want? And now there’s a whopping great gaping gap in your workforce you somehow have to fill.

This probably seems a little exaggerated… but unfortunately, it’s absolutely not. What if the reason for the mass-quitting was that your employees felt betrayed by you, for having lacked a certain something in the workplace?

And that certain something? A positive, engaging company culture. And we weren’t pulling your leg with our scenario there either – because a lack of a positive company culture (cue bombshell) is responsible for 48.4% of job turnover. We did warn you.

Organisations are characterised by their cultures. And every organisation is the main character in its own story.

So how do you get employees to engage with it?

When we watch a film, the aim of the film maker – as well as constructing an enticing narrative – is to make us empathise and feel for, and with, the main characters. Otherwise, there’d nothing to emotionally connect with – and you’d end up with a boring story, and a box office flop.

To do this, the director has two jobs. First, they have to align the audience with the characters – so we see things from their point of view, understand their motives and actions, and follow them through the narrative. But that’s not enough to make us engage with those characters. A connection – or allegiance – has to be forged. We have to emotionally empathise with them if we’re going to immerse ourselves in the story and not give up and leave the cinema halfway through, barely having scratched the surface of our popcorn. We have to want to root for them.

It’s exactly the same principle with organisational culture. As the organisation is the main character in the story, it’s up to its leaders to align employees with it and foster an allegiance from them – establishing an investment first, and an emotional engagement second.

Aligning employees with the organisation relies on them fitting in. A ‘culture’ is a group of people with a common set of values and beliefs – and it’s no different in our organisations. The views, values and beliefs of employees have to chime with those of the organisation in a harmonious melody – otherwise, they won’t see the point of being there, they won’t support it, and worse still, they may end up resenting it.

So once your employees and your organisation are moving in step, you’ll have the beginning building blocks of a great organisational culture. But what about the crucial emotional allegiance?

This is where employee engagement comes in. You’ve established a culture – the core set of mutual values – and now you’ve got to make that culture inspiring, engaging and fun enough to make your employees stick around. The workplace doesn’t have to be about all work no play. In fact, employees who have frequent fun at work are more productive and creative.

Making time for regular team socialising, company events (like a Secret Santa, for instance) and encouraging an environment of appreciation can go a long way to making employees happily engaged. And it couldn’t be more simple.

And once you’ve cracked engagement, you’ve cracked allegiance. Your employees will now root for your organisation and want to actively contribute to make it successful. Employees are the building blocks of organisational cultures – and with satisfied, inspired employees, successful it will be.

So if you build a positive, engaging organisational culture, you’ll have the positive, engaging protagonist of the story. And you might find all those disgruntled employees come rushing back to root for it.

Just as organisations are defined by their people, so people are defined by their Unconscious Motivators. Our Unconscious Motivators influence our behaviour, actions, and our values. Understanding someone’s Unconscious Motivators can help you to judge how they might fit in to a particular team or workplace environment – and therefore, whether they’ll be the right piece for the culture jigsaw.


If you’d like to discover your Unconscious Motivators or find out more about how PRINT could benefit your organisation, email, visit our website and social media (Facebook: @discoveryourprint, Twitter: @Discover_Print, LinkedIn: Print Profile Ltd) or sign up to our mailing list. If you’d like to bring PRINT’s benefits to organisations and businesses, we offer Accreditation courses enabling in-house coaches and learning & development professionals to become certified PRINT coaches.