Engaging Culture at the Workplace

Retaining talent has become a nightmare for HR across the globe. Employees of today don’t think twice before switching to a new job, and the recruitment industry is struggling to keep up.

Towers Watson Global Talent Management and Rewards Survey revealed that 65% of the participating companies were having trouble finding top performers, and 54% found it challenging to retain high-potential employees. But why?

The workplace culture around the world is going downhill as the communication gap between the leaders and their employees is increasing by the day. The majority of these employees who switch jobs frequently give poor workplace culture as the reason for the same.


Tribal Culture in Corporate

Dave Logan, Professor at USC Marshall School of Business, conducted a study on 30,000 people from different global organizations to get to the bottom of the workplace culture degradation problem. He aimed at understanding how leadership can be so impactful in some companies, but completely ineffective in others. In his quest for answers, he eventually came up with the concept of tribal culture in modern organizations.

Logan and his team discovered that the reason why some companies perform better than others is because of their culture, in a way similar to the tribal culture. The kind of environment they maintain, general feelings the employees harbour for each other, and the motivational factors they use; all these things shape their culture, and define them on the occupational fabric.

Logan also discovered that the tribal “leaders” (business leaders) play an important role in developing a workplace culture for their tribe (employees). Just like a tribal leader does everything in their power to take the tribe to the next level, a leader of today can also make the organization better, a place where employees are happy to work and feel proud of the same.

Studying the standards set by the businesses of today to measure employee performance or conduct appraisals, Logan realized they can learn a lot from the tribal culture. A tribal leader would keep its tribe close, by instilling a mutual love for each other. He would encourage them to speak openly and express themselves without holding anything back. This resulted in big achievements that resulted from combined efforts, as they strived for greatness while looking after one another.


“Tribal leaders are talent magnets,” Logan said, “with people so eager to work for the leader that they will take a pay cut if necessary.”


Understanding What Employees Want

To create a productive and happy workplace environment, the leaders of today must start paying attention to the needs and demands of their employees. While their requirements can vary from region to region and industry to industry, two things that are common everywhere are recognition and perks that are not centred on money.



Few employees get recognition for their efforts and achievements, and even when they do, it is mostly from the first level managers. However, when the same is provided by the executive level management (CFOs, COOs, etc.) it can have a long-lasting impact on them. This kind of acknowledgement stays with them for a long time and reflects in their performance.


Non-Monetary Incentivization

Money has always been used as a motivator by organizations around the world. In fact, HR still consider that increase in base pay or performance-based cash bonuses can serve as powerful incentives for the employees. However, the employees feel differently.

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More and more young talents are learning that money is not everything. They are realizing the importance of comfort and purpose, which they place above money today. The same has been clearly proven by the McKinsey Global Survey.

A company culture should be designed and built from the perspective of its employees. Thus, their feedback and input should be given the highest priority when implementing the changes. If their voices are heard there is no way the resulting culture won’t take the company to new heights.

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