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The Missing Piece

Organizational culture’s fit in the performance puzzle

By Catherine Germinario

 

My director of sales approached me one day after I had finished writing my weekly report. His questions were centered around performance. “Why do you think the other teams are more successful in hitting their numbers? They have the same processes as we do. They’re training on the same material.” He was puzzled and he had been trying everything to change his approach for days attempting to turn his quarter around. After all, sales is about immediate results. Unfortunately,  he could only see what was directly in front of him and he just couldn’t figure out what was missing. That afternoon we sat down together to take a closer look at the layout of his teams. The talent was spread out evenly. The managers were all coaching effectively. But there was an intangible he hadn’t considered: culture.

The other teams on the sales floor were engaged with each other; they were constantly learning together, and they were all unified towards a common goal. We had to admit, their culture was stronger, more cohesive. 

Culture can be the difference between a good team and a great team, and when constructed effectively, it can have a direct impact on your team’s bottom line. Companies such as Nike, Twitter, Google, and Netflix, which are all dominating their industries, are prime examples of why attending to culture pays off. 

Research shows that when you define, hire, integrate, and live a unique organizational culture, you build a deeper connection within your team. Queens University Centre for Business Venturing studied organizational culture and mapped out the direct impact an engaged culture can have:

  • 65% greater share-price increase
  • 26% less team turnover
  • 20% less absenteeism
  • 15% greater team productivity
  • 30% greater customer satisfaction 

If your team is invested in the norms and values of your company and they feel dedicated to the culture, their commitment to the common goal increases and they will work smarter, harder, and more efficiently to reach it.

After taking a closer look that afternoon, we decided that instead of looking for a band-aid fix to team performance, it was time to dive deeper. We put culture at the top of the list and his team began to climb the stack rank month over month. 

When you invest in your culture, you invest in your people, and when you invest in your people, you invest in long-term results.

If you want to read more about how to support a strong organizational culture check out Optify’s article series: Building a Leadership Development Culture.

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Catherine Germinario

Partner

Over the past few years, Catherine gained experience ranging from human resources and program administration to the heart of any business, sales, and marketing. She quickly moved into multiple training and management roles, creating training material, building processes, and spearheading women-in-sales focus groups. At Optify, she focuses her efforts on business development and marketing campaigns as a thought leader to continue to expand outreach.

Catherine holds a Masters of Arts in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She earned her B.A. in Psychology from Christopher Newport University with minors in Leadership and Communications. Catherine was also an avid member of the President’s Leadership Program and recipient of the Joann S. Squires Award for Industrial and Organizational Psychology in 2018.