How to Get the Ultimate Return on Investment: Aligning Talent-Management Strategies to Corporate Culture Goals

by Agota Alvarez

Corporate culture is fundamental to an organization. A company’s culture is like a person’s DNA – it is a unique and essential blueprint. For a business to be truly successful, the people working there must feel connected to the culture. Ensuring alignment between employees and corporate culture goals can require a constant, conscious effort, but the results are worth it.

Why Does Corporate Culture Matter?
In 2012, Greg Smith wrote an op-ed piece for The New York Times to explain why he was leaving his position with the investment bank Goldman Sachs. In this essay, he explained that a deterioration of company culture was what drove him to resign. Mr. Smith wrote, “Culture was always a vital part of Goldman Sach’s success. It revolved around teamwork, integrity, a spirit of humility, and always doing right by our clients… I no longer have the pride, or the belief.”

Mr. Smith explained that much of what goes into a company’s culture has to do with its view on leadership. Without leaders who set an ethical and creative example for employees, an organization’s culture can quickly crumble, and people can lose sight of the company’s goals. “I truly believe,” wrote Mr. Smith, “that this decline in the firm’s moral fiber represents the single most serious threat to its long-run survival.” While it is easy to get caught up in bottom lines and dollar signs, it is crucial for businesses to spend time and energy on creating and maintaining a positive company culture that keeps employees engaged and on track.

Today’s Culture Challenges and Trends
Although a corporate culture should serve as a framework to help employees function successfully, it can hinder a company’s progress if not properly defined or developed.

The following are a few common challenges and obstacles that businesses are facing with respect to their culture:

  • Limited alignment of talent management with the business strategy
  • Weak pipeline of leadership talent ready to assume key roles
  • Lack of accurate, timely, and actionable data to support talent-management and leadership-development decisions
  • No clear strategy for developing high-potential talent

So, what are successful companies doing to make positive changes?