Culture Bites Podcast - 008 Is Culture, Climate, Engagement the same thing?

Published on 12 Jun 2018

Culture Climate Engagement

People often talk about Culture and Engagement interchangeably – but are they actually the same thing? We talk about what the differences are and why it matters. This episode is hosted by Shaun McCarthyLiana Sangster, and Dominic Gourley.

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Listen in to the podcast episode to get great examples and stories which bring the below keypoints to life.

Microphone Key Takeaways and Ideas

What is Culture? What is Climate? What is Engagement?

People often talk about engagement as if it is culture, or talk about culture as if it is engagement, but they are actually quite different – but related – things.
Organisational Culture: Behavioural norms and expectations. How people believe they are expected to fit in, get ahead, or in some cases simply survive.
Organisational Climate: What people perceive is going on in the organisation and how they feel about being part of the organisation.
Employee Engagement: A measure of ‘affect’ – how people feel about the organisation they are currently working for. Do they like working there? Would they recommend it to a friend? Would they go out of their way?

Different, but Related:

Engagement is an outcome of Culture. Climate and Culture impact each other.
How Culture works - adapted to show culture climate engagement

All too often, people look at things like engagement in isolation and don’t take into account the bigger picture. To sustainably change Engagement we need to change the culture. Culture is shaped by the things leaders do (role modelling, communication etc.) and the decisions they make (structures, systems, job design etc.) – we discussed this in episode 007 of the podcast: How Leaders Impact Culture. Leaders are also influenced by the culture and therefore the type of culture they are a part of will impact the way they do things and the types of decisions they make.

High Engagement = High Performance?

Research shows there is a correlation between high engagement - high performance, or low engagement – low performance. However it is important to keep in mind that correlation does not necessarily suggest causation. Just because the two variables correlate, it just means where you get one you get the other. For instance, this website notes that the number of people who drown in pools correlates with films Nicolas Cage has performed in, or the divorce rate and margarine consumption. What we know from research is that culture causes engagement AND performance.

Address the Root Cause, not the Symptom:

Engagement is important to understand, but to make sustainable changes to outcomes like engagement and performance, we need to understand and change the underlying cultural beliefs that drive it. It’s best to take a ‘whole of organisation’ approach to organisational development: understand the climate, understand the culture, measure your engagement – and understand the interplay between all of those factors.

Want to Learn More?

Prisons Have Ping Pong Tables Too

Organisational Culture: Beyond Employee Engagement

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Previous Episodes:
001: Kick Starting a Passive Team
002: Dealing with Delegation
003: Telling Someone They have a Blind Spot
004: What's Wrong with Being Competitive?
005: I have a Competitive Teammate – Help!
006: What is a Toxic Culture?
007: How Leaders Impact Culture

Culture Bites Podcast is Copyrighted © by Human Synergistics Australia 2018. All Rights Reserved.