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Culture and Engagement: Key to Sustainable Business

Organization culture plays a significant role in an employee’s performance and commitment to an organization, through certain basic assumptions, values and norms, artifacts and creation. The cornerstone of an organization culture is laid by its values. Values are instrumental and core to any human decision-making. When an employee works in an organisation whose culture aligns with his/her personal values, they feel satisfied and engage in accomplishing the organizational goal and vision and exhibit organizational citizenship behaviour. This further creates an organization climate where employees and leaders not only bring their energy, creativity and enthusiasm but also commit and collaborate with associates striving towards excellence, overall well-being and demonstrating a mastery climate.

In "Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies", Jim Collins and Jerry Porrashave demonstrated that companies which consistently focused on a value-driven culture, over a period of several decades, outperformed companies that did not by a factor of six. The most successful organisations are those that are cognizant of their“deficiency” needs and their “growth” needs. They create a climate of trust and have the ability to manage complexity,can respond and rapidly adapt to all situations. The climate of trust is built over–time and both the employee and the organization commit their time, effort and their willingness in building a long-lasting relationship.

It is seen that most of the organizations achieve this by developing a culture based on shared values, and a shared vision that engenders an organization-wide climate of trust.Teamwork is encouraged and more attention is given to personal development and relationship skills thereby ensuring that employee’s feel valued as against feeling threatened. Diversity in every aspect is promoted and appreciated as a positive asset in exploring new ideas and facilitating innovation. This shift brings autonomy and equality to employees, supports in achieving the desired results through shared vision and unifies employees and teams with a same sense of direction or purpose. The values and behaviours thus form a part of the processes and systems of the organization which focuses on a participatory climate, fosters continuous learning and creativity and harnesses holistic engagement at all levels. Thus organization climate and culture are fundamental in creating an engaged and committed workforce.

The testimony to this relationship between culture, climate and employee engagement is further endorsed in the 2014 report , The Global Employee Engagement Index which was at 61%, seen an increase by 1% compared to 2013(Aon-Hewitt, 2014. 2014 Trends in Global Employee Engagement, s.l.: Aon-Hewitt) This fact means companies all over the world increased their attention to this field in order to transform their workplace and create more values by giving opportunities for their employees to contribute. Interestingly, the list of the best companies to work for seemed to be built based on the employee engagement criterion, as well. In which, Google, the number one company to work for, played an impressive rule, called “20% time”(Kottler, I., 2013,Google’s Best New Innovation: Rules Around ‘20% Time’, Online).Consequently, Googlers generated a lot of great ideas for the company and contributed to the success of this company like the present. Similarly, the others in the list of the best companies to work for, employees found excellent working environment, where they can create, contribute, and develop their career based on their choice.

Hence, as per Resource Based View (RBV), it is imperative that in an era of knowledge economy, human capital is seen as an asset that appreciates in terms of knowledge, skill and ability in an environment where engagement through participation, creativity, high involvement work systems are harnessed in creating a culture that is built to last and create sustainable businesses.