Today’s competitive environment demands fully engaged employees at all levels of an organization. The CEO must define the leadership agenda that will drive employee engagement and superior performance for an organization, an expert told the AIM CEO Connection recently.
Mike Maginn, president of Singularity Group, said, “Creating a workplace climate where people feel eager to deal with challenges, where they want to contribute ideas, and where they feel personally valued is the job of the CEO. It’s a critical job, and the good news is that there are some defined, specific actions that leaders can take to change or improve the climate.”
Maginn led a discussion about culture and climate with a dozen chief executive officers who are members of the North Shore AIM CEO Connection. He helped the CEOs explore the nature of culture and climate:
- Culture consists of the norms and values of an organization and defines acceptable behavior.
- Climate is what it feels like to work in an organization, which drives employee engagement.
- Dimensions such as clarity, standards, responsibility, recognition, teamwork, and commitment define climate.
- Climate dimensions can be measured.
- Day-to-day leadership actions create climate.
- A change in leadership actions will lead to a change in climate.
There is no “right” culture and climate, so the CEO must delineate the needs of the company and its customers to capture the essence of the culture and climate that will drive the organization in the right direction.
Veda Ferlazzo Clark, the former chief executive who moderates CEO Connection, said, “CEOs are always concerned about the culture of their organization and how they can affect it to maximize performance. It often feels amorphous, but the concept of climate is specific and actionable and can help CEOs and their senior managers feel as though they can make real change.”
The CEO Connection brings together CEOs to talk about important topics with their peers to help them make critical decisions that will drive their company’s growth. Each session of the CEO Connection includes a presentation from an outside expert, open discussion about current issues, and a company tour.