A growing body of evidence makes it clear that a great Organizational Culture (OC) where employees are highly engaged can mean the difference between mediocre performance and breakthrough performance. Then why do so few organizations embrace the innate competitive advantage they already have at their fingertips? The short answer is – because it takes commitment, discipline and intentionality. There’s no quick one time implementation and your OC is set, done, move on to the next thing.

The fact is, your OC is not determined by what you necessarily do today, it’s determined by a series of ongoing decisions and actions you and your employees take and are rewarded over a period of time.

But if you’re not convinced by heightened performance and sustainable competitive advantage, if your organization concentrates more on short term planning, you should still take notice. Having a strong OC, creates an environment of loyalty, trust and engagement. When employees are loyal and trust their employer, they are less likely to seek intervention from a 3rd party when things go wrong. Employees don’t sue you because you make a mistake, they sue you because of how you make them feel.

Case in Point:  The top litigated complaint from employees is about pay, specifically overtime pay. Companies either not having employees classified correctly (exempt or nonexempt) and not paying overtime or just not paying employees for all the hours they worked in a workweek. Organizations with a strong OC find employees come to them with questions and give them an opportunity to fix it first. In organizations where employees don’t trust their employer they may not afford you that courtesy, rather seeking outside intervention before you even know there a problem. To encourage this behavior, the Department of Labor (DOL) Wage & Hour Division (WHD) launched an app in 2011 that allows employees to track their own time and will refer them directly to an attorney if they feel something isn’t right.

As if that’s not enough, AVVO.com, a legal review and referral site, recently launched a major advertising campaign informing your employees that seeking legal help is fast and easy.

The fact is, if you don’t take care of your employees, someone else will and it may cost you – BIG.      

– Cindy

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