CEOs are Having the Wrong Workplace Debate: It's All About the Culture
You can't mandate motivation. Driving productivity and achievement is about
shared culture, community and experience.
CHICAGO, March 6, 2013
CHICAGO, March 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --As the chief environment officers
responsible for company culture, CEOs are actively seeking to drive
shareholder value by making radical shifts in workplace strategies. Yet some
CEOs may be missing the point.
"The real workplace debate is all about driving culture as a key driver of
business performance," asserts Susan Lim, a member of the Jones Lang LaSalle
(JLL) global workplace strategy board with responsibility for the Asia Pacific
region. "To drive the global economy, you've got to create a shared culture
aligned with CEO vision. You can't mandate motivation. We should be debating
how companies create and sustain culture, community and experience."
Three Guiding Principles for Transforming Workplace Culture
Lim and the JLL global workplace strategy board recommend that organizations
transform their workplaces through three guiding principles: (1) Corporate
success begins with shared culture aligned with CEO vision; (2) Shared
communities drive productivity; and (3) Improve employee engagement by
creating destinations of choice.
One: Corporate success begins with shared culture aligned with CEO vision
CEOs must drive shareholder value and business strategy, and essential to that
is defining and shaping a shared culture, values and community spirit. In a
healthy organization, the CEO defines the vision and shapes the cultural
values. Only then do execution and policy emerge from a shared set of values
When CEOs focus on culture, shareholders listen. According to the Great Places
to Work global research firm, "Financial performance of publicly-traded
companies on our 100 Best Company List consistently outperform major stock
indices by 300% and have half the voluntary turnover rates of their
"A shared mission creates a resilient, high performance organization – not
specific policies," observes Claudia Hamm-Bastow, the JLL global workplace
strategy board member heading the EMEA region. "When culture is a strong
reflection of the CEO's vision, it creates an underlying bond that encourages
managers to translate shared values within local workplace environments,
fostering a sense of identity and belonging."
Two: Shared communities drive productivity
"Productivity drivers naturally flow from shared values, and can create both
revenue and achieve savings," notes Bernice Boucher, also a member of the
global workplace strategy board with responsibility for the Americas.
"Technology has allowed us to navigate traditional space and time-zone
boundaries, but shared culture shapes how that technology and freedom are
Building a sense of community motivates employees and pays dividends in
workforce retention, employee productivity and innovation. Creating a
collaborative community of like-minded workers who want to interact together
to solve corporate challenges is effective.
These communities drive revenue generation as they increase the speed of
decision-making, spark innovation and drive process improvements through
better relationships. According to Fred Reichheld, author ofThe Ultimate
Question 2.0,and creator of theNet Promotermethodology, "You can't be the
best place to buy if you're not the best place to work."
Culture and sense of community can be shared worldwide, but the path to shared
values will be executed in different ways depending on geography and function.
Community will be built in different ways around the globe. Capturing cultural
nuances helps build broader communities, as noted in the JLL infographic
"Pocketbook of Cultural Change."
Karen Stephenson, professor at Harvard's graduate school of design and
originator of the Quantum Theory of Trust, also stresses the importance of
building a trusted community, "Trust is the utility through which
(organizational) knowledge flows." In an article about the Quantum Theory of
Trust, professor Art Kleiner of New York University concurs, "Because networks
of trust release so much cognitive capability, they can (and often do) have
far more influence over the fortunes and failures of companies from day to day
and year to year than the official hierarchy." This trust must be reciprocal
between the organization and its employees.
Three: Improve employee engagement by creating destinations of choice
"If workplaces are dull, monotonous and uninspiring, people won't want to come
to the office, and consequently may balk at policies that require face time,"
observes Boucher. "It's tough to have constructive conflict through virtual
means only. An investment in shaping culture through workplaces that are truly
destinations can protect one of the most valuable assets of any organization:
its cultural identity and sense of community."
"Many major corporations have been focusing their workplace policies and
investment on enticing people to 'come back' to the office," observes Boucher.
"But there should not be a black and white choice between the office and
telecommuting. Flexibility is here to stay."
The JLL workplace strategy global leadership team is available for media
commentary. Reporters, editors and bloggers are encouraged to speak with New
York-based Boucher, Hamm-Bastow (EMEA), and Lim (Asia-Pacific). Other JLL top
strategists are available for commentary to address regional and specialty
topics as well.
Coming soon: Keep JLL on your radar as the firm will release its proprietary
Global Corporate Real Estate Survey 2013 this April. This research continues
the debate with additional perspectives for the C-suite including a look at
the internal pressures executives face to get the workplace solution right.
JLL's research shows 73 percent of corporate real estate executives face high
expectations from their organization specifically around the improvement of
workplace productivity; and 62 percent face high expectations in the
improvement of people productivity.
A leader in the real estate outsourcing field, JLL's workplace strategy team
is a key component of its Corporate Solutions business. By creating
outsourcing partnerships to manage and execute a range of corporate real
estate services, JLL professionals help corporations improve productivity in
the cost, efficiency and performance of their national, regional or global
real estate portfolios. This service delivery capability helps corporations
improve business performance, particularly as companies turn to the
outsourcing of their real estate activity as a way to manage expenses and
For more news, videos and research resources on Jones Lang LaSalle, please
visit the firm's global media center Web page
About Jones Lang LaSalle
Jones Lang LaSalle (NYSE:JLL) is a professional services and investment
management firm offering specialized real estate services to clients seeking
increased value by owning, occupying and investing in real estate. With annual
revenue of $3.9 billion, Jones Lang LaSalle operates in 70 countries from more
than 1,000 locations worldwide. On behalf of its clients, the firm provides
management and real estate outsourcing services to a property portfolio of 2.6
billion square feet. Its investment management business, LaSalle Investment
Management, has $47.0 billion of real estate assets under management. For
further information, visit www.jll.com.
SOURCE Jones Lang LaSalle
Contact: Margy Sweeney, +1-312-612-0343, Margy.Sweeney@am.jll.com, or Paige
Steers, +1-312-228-2797, or Paige.Steers@am.jll.com
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